Primary and Secondary Data Stores in Appian

Appian has a primary data store (i.e. database) that it uses to store Appian-related data records, such as the feed items in Tempo, each users’ followers, and locks when editing application objects in the designer. The data in this data store ensures that Appian is working properly.

Appian can be used to connect to secondary data store(s) that contain business data records, such as Purchase Orders, and Stock Inventory. Processes/Workflows in Appian perform operations on the data in these secondary data stores to complete business objectives. This allows the business to reuse their existing applications, instead of replacing them.

One example is to generate a Purchase Order report across the last 5 years. The Payment Advice records may exist in a separate legacy database that was previously set up. All Appian needs to do is to configure the legacy database as a data source, and the records within can be used.

The advantages of being able to add secondary data store(s) are:

  • Cost Effective – reuse existing data stores
  • Shorter Development Time – no migration of data
  • Use Existing Data Protection Mechanisms – no need to audit a new setup
  • Modular – Business databases can be scaled / modified to meet other requirements (e.g. audit) without impacting Appian’s primary data store

The primary data store is configured when installing Appian. The secondary data store can be added at installation time, or via the Admin Console after installation (recommended). This post will run through the steps for the latter approach.


  • A running instance of Appian
  • System Administrator account of the Appian instance
  • JBoss Application Server should have the corresponding connectors for the intended secondary data source


Step 1: Login as System Administrator, and open the Admin Console

Step 2: In the Left Menu Panel, select “INTEGRATION > Data Sources”

Step 3: In the “Data Source Management” (right panel), select “New Data Source”

Step 4: Enter the required details as follows:

  • Name refers to JNDI name of the data source
  • Type refers to the type of database (e.g MySQL, Oracle)
  • Username refers to the database user
  • Password refers to the database user’s password
  • Connection String refers to the database connection string, which should look like this: jdbc:(database)://(server IP):(port)/(database_name)

Step 5: Click on the “Test Connection” button to ensure that Appian can connect to the database

Step 6: Click on “Save” to save the new configuration


You’re good to go! 🙂


2 thoughts on “Primary and Secondary Data Stores in Appian

  1. Thanks.. Can you confirm how the legacy data can be moved to new Appain secondary DB. Is that any in build feature available or we need to develop ETL to load legacy Data to target


    1. Hi Chengeesh

      Assuming you are using Appian 17.4, the list of supported databases can be found here:

      If your legacy database is supported, simply connect to them via the Admin Console (do make sure that JBoss EAP has the necessary drivers). Once connected, create/modify your Custom Data Types (CDTs) to match your table structures.

      More information on how to do that can be found at this link:


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