app builder

Test and debug apps

Updated: December 16, 2020

It is 100% free to build and test apps. You also have available to you a series of tools for quickly testing large apps to discover the effects of your edits.

Test mode

All apps begin in "test mode." You can confirm your app is in test mode by observing this badge in the App Builder:

It is 100% free to build apps in test mode. However, while in test mode your apps are restricted in certain ways:

  • Documents produced by the app include a watermark;
  • All emails, regardless of who they're address to, are sent to you, the account holder;
  • Payments made via Stripe or LawPay payment blocks are not real. You can use test credit card numbers like 4111 1111 1111 1111 for Stripe or these test card numbers for LawPay;
  • HelloSign signatures are not valid; and
  • We may apply other restrictions based on usage and circumstance.

To remove these restrictions, simply activate your app.

How to quickly test edits to your app

If you click 'Build and run' from within the App Builder, your app will run in Developer Mode:

In developer mode, you get access to tools that help you quickly test and find issues with your app (known as "debugging"). Note, these tools are only every visible to you, the app author:

How these tools work:

Save snapshot

When you click the "Save Snapshot" button, all of your inputs for that app session are saved under the Snapshots tab in the App Builder. You can then re-run those saved sessions whenever you want, automatically advancing the app using the stored inputs. This makes it easy to rapidly test changes to your app or template logic.

Fast forward

When you run a Snapshot and go back in your app to change an answer, you can teleport back to the end of the snapshot by clicking the Fast forward button.


When you run a Snapshot, you can run it in Sandbox mode. This will suppress outbound webhooks and emails, letting you test your app without cluttering your database or inbox with fake data.

For more information about Snapshots, Fast Forward, and Sandbox, please watch the video below:

Active mode and your shareable link

To activate your app and remove the restrictions listed above, click the activation toggle in the App Builder:

Depending on your Afterpattern subscription, you may be blocked from activating your App until you upgrade.

After you activate your app (by clicking the activate toggle in the App Builder, thereby taking the app out of test mode), you get a "shareable link", a URL that can be used to distribute the app to end-users or with which to create a button/link on your website.

You must use this shareable link when distributing your app or creating a link/button on your website. You can't simply copy the URL from a web browser.

After you activate your app, you can find the shareable link here:

The shareable link is just one of three methods for distributing your app. Learn more about other distribution methods.

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