activate & publish


Updated: October 20, 2020

Publishing your automations allows them to be duplicated and/or bought by other legal service professionals. You have total control over how and where your automations are published.

Publishing is separate from activation. You must activate your App in order to use it in a real context. You do not need to publish.

You can publish Apps and Workbases. You can't publish Client Portals.

Community marketplaces

In Afterpattern, the marketplaces where you publish your automations are known as "Communities." There are two types of Communities:

  • Private: Accessible only to members.
  • Public: Accessible to everyone online.

You can publish your App / Workbase in multiple Communities at once.

If you publish your automation, you'll have to write a "marketing page" for it. This is how other legal professionals will learn about your automation and decide whether or not to duplicate / purchase it.

Create a marketing page

For an App, create a marketing page in the App Builder under Publication > Edit App Page: 

For a Workbase, create a marketing page in the Workbase itself under the Publish tab:

A marketing page must include a title, short & long description, and tags for the relevant jurisdiction and legal taxonomy for the automation.

How to publish

After you've created a sufficient marketing page, you can publish your automation by editing the "publication settings".

Step 1

Select Communities under the Publication Settings tab:

Step 2

Choose one or more marketing communities to list your automation under. The public Afterpattern community is the best way to reach the most people.

Note: you can easily create your own marketing communities.

Step 3

Add permissions which determine what your listing provides (i.e. what can people do with your published automation?). You can allow people to run your App or not, and you must decide whether your automation is available to duplicate or subscribe.

  • Duplicate: People to create a copy of your App / Workbase with which they can do whatever they want.
  • Subscribe: People still create their own version of your App, but they can't edit it as they wish (they can only edit those pieces you've designed as editable).


Your App / Workbase is now published and ready for business.

Open source your App and activate it for free

Activating an App may require a paid Afterpattern subscription. If you publish your App such that anyone can duplicate it for free (thus effectively making your App open source), you can activate it for free*.

*A few caveats. The following features can't be included: Google Sheets, Clio, LawPay, or sending emails to 3rd parties.

Why do we do this? 

We believe legal automation software should be allowed to grow and thrive, and by encouraging cross-pollination through "open source" Apps, we're increasing the likelihood that an App can be duplicated from one jurisdiction to another and edited with local rules.

More legal automation software is better, for everyone.

It is understandable that to people in the traditional economy, software eating the world sounds like a relentless war between technology and humanity.

But exactly the opposite is the case. Technological progress, unlike war or Wall Street style high finance, is not a zero-sum game, and that makes all the difference. The Promethean force of technology is today, and always has been, the force that has rescued humanity from its worst problems just when it seemed impossible to avert civilizational collapse. With every single technological advance, from the invention of writing to the invention of television, those who have failed to appreciate the non-zero-sum nature of technological evolution have prophesied doom and been proven wrong. Every time, they have made some version of the argument: this time it is different, and been proven wrong.

Venkatesh Rao, from the Software as Subversion essay in Breaking Smart

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