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Best practices for using multiple built-on applications

Updated on May 31, 2022

To increase reuse between your Pega Platform applications and speed up the development process, enhance your applications by using multiple built-on applications. Built-on applications are structured as a hierarchical application tree.

By using multiple built-on applications, you break up common and stand-alone components into their own applications, and provide the ability to point an application to another application rule, helping to automatically update any required rulesets and versions across applications when applications undergo changes.

For example, the uPlus organization creates an application layer to contain the definition of common assets and integrations in corporate systems. Separating each integration into its own built-on application can simplify the revisioning of each integration by removing dependencies. As a result, applications use features independently and when developers want to update a feature, they can update only a specific built-on application, without affecting the others.

Best practices for using multiple built-on applications

Consider the following tips when developing an application that uses multiple built-on applications:

  • Limit development to rulesets in the top-most application and keep built-on applications locked.
  • To develop in the lower layers of the hierarchical application tree, switch to a built-on application layer.
  • Avoid having the same ruleset in multiple applications. Instead, refactor the ruleset to its own application or a common application.
  • Avoid using different versions of an application in the hierarchical application tree.
  • Avoid branch IDs that span several applications.
  • Avoid making any application structure changes without utilizing the Validation Tool to validate rules.
  • Avoid using Ruleset Validation mode rulesets. Ruleset prerequisites can be challenging to maintain, especially when you need to refactor the application stack. Always default to using Application Validation mode rulesets, which create the ruleset stack depending on the application in which you define the rulesets.

Built-on applications and the Pega Process Fabric Hub

The Pega Process Fabric Hub is an application that gathers assignments from multiple distributed remote applications and provides a unified user interface to manage work that comes from multiple other sources. The Pega Process Fabric Hub and built-on applications are different solutions that fit different scenarios. When you need to compare scenarios that support multiple built-on applications or the Pega Process Fabric Hub, consider the following factors:

Built-on applicationsThe Pega Process Fabric Hub
You can deploy all built-on applications as a single stack.Different stakeholders can manage different remote applications that publish work to the Pega Process Fabric Hub, and you can connect applications that you host on different systems.
The life cycle of built-on applications is synchronized; for example, you deploy all applications simultaneously to a new environment.Each remote application has a separate life cycle that you manage without interfering with other applications.
Maintenance and update of all built-on applications are simultaneous and smooth without contradicting the behavior of different applications.Changes that you deploy in one remote application do not affect other applications that publish work to the Pega Process Fabric Hub.
Built-on applications provide the capacity for customizations of selected applications without negative interference to other applications.The Pega Process Fabric Hub offers out-of-the-box functionalities without a need for any customizations, which helps you begin processing work faster.
All applications in the built-on applications stack are Pega Platform applications.You can connect both Pega and non-Pega applications to the Pega Process Fabric Hub.
By implementing built-on applications, you can reuse different features between applications.The Pega Process Fabric Hub focuses on processing assignments that different applications publish. Functionalities such as service-level agreements or notifications are specific to each remote application and are independent of the Pega Process Fabric Hub.

For more information on managing work from multiple applications in a unified interface, see The Pega Process Fabric Hub.

Creating a unified view of work items in built-on applications and in the Pega Process Fabric Hub

You can use both built-on applications and the Pega Process Fabric Hub to create a unified view that summarizes assignments from multiple applications. The solution that you select depends on your scenario. Consider the following factors:

  • Use built-on applications when you host your applications on one server without any need for external connections, and all your applications are based on the same version of Pega Platform.
  • Use the Pega Process Fabric Hub when you gather work from applications that you host on different servers or when you use applications that are based on different versions of Pega Platform. You can also create connections between the Pega Process Fabric Hub and non-Pega applications.

Limits for applications in a built-on applications stack

The number of applications in a built-on applications stack depends on your scenario. If updating or modifying any of the applications in the stack might result in severe issues and extensive effort to maintain and adjust other applications, consider limiting your application stack. When you add an application as a built-on application, ensure that the benefits of reuse outweigh any risks connected with maintainability.

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