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How Pega 8.8 can improve your impact as a Pega Business Architect

Marc Cheong, 9 minute read

The life of a Pega Business Architect (BA) involves many roles and exciting projects. Today, I’m helping a client BA with low code authoring in App Studio in order to prototype a new application for a new department. Tomorrow, I’ll be working with end users and the Product Owner to define the next Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) increment for an existing solution. Next week, I’ll be building an internal application for entries to an internal hackathon event we are hosting.

No two days are the same. No two projects are the same. No two solutions to a business problem are ever the same.

How can 8.8 help me in my role as a Pega Business Architect?

As my clients keep up to date, constantly updating the next Pega release, I’m always evaluating new features and how they will make my many jobs as a Pega Business Architect easier. And I bet you’re wondering what Pega Platform 8.8 will do to help you in yours.

There is a wealth of information on Pega 8.8 via our What’s New page. I won’t be able to take you through everything. The list is huge. I highly recommend you bookmark the release notes for future reference – it is a handy go-to reference for now and in the future.

What I’ve done in this post is to do the hard work of identifying what I think are the best things for the Pega Business Architect role.

Cosmos React and Constellation name change

Before I jump to my tips, this is an important understanding for our community.

As of 8.8 version of Pega Platform, we have adopted a more precise naming scheme for our Pega UI ecosystem.  Instead of talking about Constellation and Cosmos React, we’re simply going to use Constellation as a prefix to describe the various features of our modern UI approach:

  • Constellation architecture
  • Constellation design system
  • Constellation component library
  • Constellation DX API
  • Constellation SDKs
  • etc

This is in contrast to our previous approach to UI, consisting of a Traditional UI architecture, our Cosmos design system, and our Theme Cosmos design system implementation.

Understanding the above will help you keep up with the latest lingo and be more precise on which UI architecture you are using. It’s important to understand this, as this release provides different capabilities, some for all architectures and some just for Constellation. Understanding what you can use will help you be most effective in your role.

Also, an early tip, just because you might not be on the Constellation architecture does not mean you can’t access these new features, check out Hybrid Mode that you can enable for Traditional UI architecture (section-based) to access the latest and greatest.

If you are unsure which UI Architecture you are on, as always collaboration is the key, it's best to talk to your Lead System Architect (LSA).

Directly Capture Objectives quicker than ever before

Do I have your attention? Great! My first tip is a big one - improved Directly Capturing Objectives (DCO).

If you haven’t seen it yet, the Constellation Architecture (view-based) provides access to our lowest-code authoring experience to date. App Studio authoring is significantly easier compared to our Traditional UI architecture. This really is significant if you want to quickly DCO!

For those that have worked with me, I’ve always enjoyed getting hands on with Pega as the Business Architect on a project. The ability to bring requirements to life with live Show and Tells in your app has always been the true strength of working on Pega projects. The ability to quickly use Agile Workbench to capture user stories or bugs in the app is fantastic. The ability to showcase ‘Out of the Box’ options quickly and easily really helps users visualize and think through their needs.  

This is an exciting evolution, making authoring applications even more accessible, not just to seasoned professional developers.

Please check out new Constellation features like Primary Fields and Promoted Actions, useful new things to refine with our users.

Developer Assistant Panel

Speaking of DCO, if you are using Agile Workbench then my second tip is you’ll want to pay attention to the new Developer Assistant feature.

“But I am not a developer!” I hear you say. Just hear me out. This new feature comes with a few things that Pega Business Architects should know and leverage.

Firstly, Agile Workbench, our inbuilt project management capability for App Studio users to view User Stories side-by-side developing or previewing the app has been moved into the Developer Assistant Panel.

This is only the beginning. Those new to Pega need guidance to allow them to quickly onboard to be an efficient member of any team. The Developer Assistant Panel helps provide context and guidance in App Studio when they are navigating through case lifecycle design or configuring other parts of the application.

There has never been a better time to roll up your sleeves and experience the power of low code configuration in App Studio firsthand. This one will be available in all our UI Architectures, not just Constellation Architecture (view-based).

Data, data, data

So, we’ve talked about a richer DCO experience for Business Architects and our Pega family. In my third tip, you’ll also see the way we can interact with data has expanded. This one will require access to some of the Constellation architecture.

In 8.8, Constellation landing pages (including Theme-Cosmos (hybrid) apps) will allow you to show data quickly and easily to business users. Perhaps the business wants to change the values used in drop downs, dictionaries or other data lists themselves? In 8.8 putting a data object on a landing page has never been easier. We can even allow business users to create, update or delete these records too. You may hear more professional developers call this CRUD actions on data…

Additionally, Pega has introduced a new Field Type: Many-to-many. This one is available for all our UI architectures. This is a low code way to map complex relationship in App Studio. Imagine you need to capture all the hospitals a particular Nurse works at. They work at many hospitals and hospitals have hundreds of nurses. In the past, this was quite a complex data modelling exercise, now a quick click of a button and App Studio will take care of the data infrastructure to capture and map such information. One all Business Architects should get familiar with as of 8.8.

Self-service channel

Enhanced DCO’s and richer app configuration in less time? I’m sold. However, there are a few more tips.

In 8.8 Pega increases its self-service offerings to include a new channel: ‘Self-Service’. The traditional Worker Portal should still be used for frequent users but for occasional users, there is a simpler Self-Service Portal available. Giving us the ability to provide some more ‘Out of The Box’ options to our clients and users.

This one is just for those on the Constellation Architecture, so double check if you have access to this one before exploring this for your project.

Data analysis and dashboard self-service

Over the past few major releases, Pega has introduced the Explore Data capability in its Constellation architecture. Explore Data is a great tool for developers, but empowering real users with the ability to self-serve is where it really shines, allowing our users to access a familiar data reporting capability to interrogate the wealth of information that our applications capture.

In 8.8 Pega has extended this capability to include the ability for users to create and configure their own dashboards using the Insights shared with them or they have built themselves. This is a game changer for implementations. In the past, it was necessary to painstakingly define each report that the business required. For those that have had to tackle reporting, this was never a simple task. Sure, building a report is not so hard for a professional developer, but by allowing the business to fully self-serve without professional developers, we become truly agile to business needs. Gamechanger.

Remember, you’ll need access to Constellation (view-based) Architecture to use, so make sure you know which architecture you are on or should choose for your next project.

There is even more to 8.8…

I get excited by a new release and what we can do to provide even more value for our clients and users. So, thank you for sharing in that enthusiasm. 

If you’d like to find out even more details, please check out our full 8.8 Release Notes on Pega Docs. There is an impressive list of enhancements, especially for the Constellation architecture, that will enable the creation of more sophisticated workflows, in a low code App Studio authoring environment, than before.


Recommended resources:

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About the Author

Marc Cheong is a Principal Business Architect at Pegasystems

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