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What are Apps and how do I use them?
What are Apps and how do I use them?

Learn what Apps are, how to create them, and why the are valuable in elvex.

Updated this week

elvex Apps, or Applications, are chatbots that are programmed to accomplish specific tasks when receiving a prompt. This article explains how to create apps, their benefits, and where to find them in the elvex platform.

How Apps Can Help

If you have a task that you commonly repeat on a regular basis, creating an app can help you be more efficient. Even if you're already using AI to help complete these tasks, if you find yourself consistently sending prompts through ChatGPT or other platforms that you need to accompany with specific guidelines or instructions, creating an app will automatically include those instructions each time so you don't have to worry about it! Additionally, apps that are connected to Datasources can serve as instant experts on all sorts of topics!

Finding your existing apps

When you first access your account, you'll find that there are already some apps pre-loaded into your account. Some of these apps are generic apps that are available to all elvex users and some may have been created by your colleagues and shared with you. To find which Apps are already available to you, click "Apps" in the left menu once you are logged into your account.

You can use the search bar at the top of the Apps screen to find the specific app you're looking for. Your search will return results based on matches to the title or description of existing apps so remember to provide a strong description when creating your next app!

You can also sort existing apps by the following:

  • Created: Latest to earliest

  • Created: Earliest to latest

  • Name: A - Z

  • Name: Z - A

Note: Changing settings on an app will change how that app functions for all users, not just you.

Remember: While apps may be used via the chat interface, they may also be accessed via API. Changing settings on an app will change how the app functions when for users of the chat interface and API.

Creating a New App

Creating an app requires only a few steps:

  1. From the Apps screen in elvex, click "Add an App" at the top right of the screen.

  2. Complete the app settings described in the following sections. Click "Save and Publish" when finished.

Take note of the "magic helper" button to the top right of each field. Clicking this button will generate AI-powered suggestions for that field, saving you time and ensuring your app is built with the best possible instructions each time. You can always edit and customize the suggestions elvex provides.

App Settings

Overview

Name: This is the name of your app. It will be displayed on the apps page for all users who have access to your app. It should be a short, descriptive name that helps users understand what your app does.

Tags: You can associate a tag with your App, making it easier for you and others to find and share. Company Admins are able to create and manage the list of selectable tags in their company settings. App creators and editors are able to assign tags to an app from the available list.

Description: You app's description serves a few purposes: it helps users understand what your app does, it helps the app understand what its goals and capabilities are, and it helps your app be more discoverable when using the search feature on the Apps screen.

Rules: Rules are a powerful way to control how your app behaves. They allow you to define the constraints an app must adhere to when completing tasks.

For example, you might want to prevent your app from generating certain types of content, or you might want it to follow strict rules about formatting or style. Rules can help you do all of this and more.

Context & Datasources

Context and Datasources help ground your app and help to prevent hallucinations. This is where we will provide the facts that it needs to keep in mind and connect datasources it can reference.

Context: Additional information your app should know to do its job such as company acronyms, product names, or other domain-specific knowledge. This will help your app generate more relevant content. Examples of helpful context for your app could be things such as company acronyms, internal jargon, product names, or other domain-specific knowledge.

Datasources: Datasources provide enhanced intelligence that your app will need to complete its tasks. If the Datasource you need to connect with has already been created, click the button to enable it for the app you're creating now. If it has not already been created, click "+ Add a new datasource" to create one without having to exit out of the app you are already creating.

You can enable one or multiple Datasources on an app, but you can also create apps that are not connected to Datasources at all.

Reference our Datasources article for more information.

Sample Tasks

Sample questions and tasks help your app's users understand what they can do with your app when they are starting a new conversation or viewing the app details screen. They also allow the "magic helper" in the new app creation process to use them to better adjust other settings and ensure your app will work as expected.

Security & Permissions

Filters: Filters ensure that sensitive information is redacted from data sent to an AI provider (like OpenAI, Anthropic, Cohere, or other provider that the app is connected to). Some filters may be applied globally to all apps by your administrator or on each individual app.

  • Redact Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - When clicked, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and addresses will be redacted from data sent to AP providers. For example, a message containing "respond to [email protected]" will become "respond to XXXXXXXXXXXXXX".

  • Redact financial information - When clicked, credit card numbers will be redacted from data sent to providers. For example, a message containing "CC 4917484589897107" will become "CC XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX".

Visibility and Permissions

Visibility: Apps have a Visibility setting which can either be:

  • Private: Only you and users you explicitly share the App with can use or edit it.

  • Public: Everyone in your company will be able to see and use this App but only editors will be able to modify it.

Apps allow you to add users with one of two roles: Viewer or Editor. Viewers can use the app, while Editors can modify the app's configuration. The Owner of the app is the user who created it and has full control, including the ability to delete the app. For more information, see the Roles and permissions article.


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Advanced

These settings should only be changed if you are familiar with the AI provider's documentation and have a good understanding of the AI model's capabilities and limitations.

Instruction Template: Instructions use Jinja's template syntax and we validate your template is valid before saving. You can use the following variables in the template:

{{ name }}

{{ description }}

{{ context }}

{{ rules }}

Provider & Model: Select the AI Provider (Open AI, Anthropic, Cohere, or others that are enabled for your account) and Model (ChatGPT 4, Claude 3 Opus, etc.) that the app will use.

Try It

As you build your app, you can click "Try it" to test a chat message without leaving the app creation screen. The app will respond using the settings you currently have configured. This is a good way to quickly test whether the settings will provide the responses you're expecting. If not, you can adjust the settings and try again. You may also want to test different AI Providers and Models to see how the quality of response changes along with each model's capabilities.

Editing Apps

App owners and users with Editor roles can edit apps.

elvex tracks changes to apps over time and will note which version of the app is currently in use. If you edit an existing app, elvex will automatically note which number version of the app is currently in use. You will see the version of the app in the chat interface and the Log.

Remember that when an app is edited, all users, including any use cases where the app is being used via the elvex API, will be forced onto the most recent version of the app.

Starting a New Conversation

There are two primary ways to start a conversation with an app.

From the Apps Screen

Find the app you want to use and click the "message" icon. When the chat window appears, start chatting! If you clicked the wrong app, you can click the correct app before you begin your chat.

From the Playground

The Playground is where you can view prior conversations or chats you've had with any elvex App. To start a new conversation from here, click the "Start a new chat" icon. When the chat window appears, start chatting! If you clicked the wrong app, you can click the correct app before you begin your chat.

Also from the Playground, you may want to continue chatting in a prior conversation. In this case, when you click the conversation you'd like to reopen, you'll be brought straight to that conversation. This allows you to use the historical context of the conversation in your upcoming continuation of the conversation. Meaning, you can ask for clarification on a prior response, provide more information, reference back to data that's already been provided in the chat, etc.

Contact Us!

If you still have questions or need help, please reach out to us at [email protected].

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