Largest Virtual Low-Code Event of the Year
Author: Damien Kes
As with previous editions, I have been looking forward to the announcements, interaction with other Mendix professionals, and the great environment that Mendix World always offers. Even though this year was quite different, as pretty much everything in our daily lives is due to COVID 19, I have not been disappointed with Mendix World 2020.
To be honest, the combination of web-based live and on-demand sessions and slack channels for interaction proved to be an amazing substitute for a real live event. From the comfort of my own home, I could calmly attend sessions, that could normally be very crowded, on times when I had the time to do so.
One thing that stayed the same in this edition as in all the others, where the awe-inspiring announcements made for Mendix release 9 as the all-in-one low-code platform.
Below I will give a recap of the twenty, yes you read that right 20, new and innovative capabilities of this upcoming release.
With various Nanoflow improvements, you can now call microflows from within nanoflows, enabling you to leverage online data and connections in an otherwise offline-capable app for the first time.
When being able to do so much more with nanoflow logic running on the device you also need more capabilities to debug this logic. With nanoflow debugger, you now can, directly from studio pro without having to resort to on-device logs or debug popups. Data synchronization improvements give you more control over which data to synchronize to and from the device at the moment you want it to.
Besides these improvements, Native mobile 2.0 really becomes a very powerful concept through configuring and building of your native app binaries straight from within Studio Pro. Updating your icons, backgrounds, splash screens, and required modules will become a breeze.
And to round out native mobile 2.0 even more, Mendix will add Out-of-the-box Augmented Reality tools. With a standard set of widgets for native mobile that enable you to create AR user interfaces using 3D objects, images, and more simply within your Mendix native application.
Also with Mendix 9 low-code has now come to the world of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) as a replacement for your phonegap based mobile applications. One that is simply configured as an extension to your Mendix responsive web applications.
Finally, a major update to the Mendix UI framework is being made. One that has better templates to let UI developers extend them easier than ever before. Including Light and Dark modes for web and mobile applications. And with a more up-to-date and modern look feel. As well as a number of other changes that make Atlas UI 3.0 the most adaptable and user-friendly UI framework Mendix has had up to now.
Data is the basis of every application but can be quite hard to get access to sometimes. This is mainly because of 3 challenges; Find the data and get access to it, understand the data, and only then can you use the data.
Data Hub solves these challenges. Data from "any" source can be connected in Mendix low-code way using the Data Catalog in all of your Mendix applications. Without the need of creating REST, SOAP, ODATA, etc. integrations to various data sources.
Data from external sources will show up in your Mendix application as Virtual Entities as easily and intuitively as if they were data objects from within the application's own database.
Data Hub itself has a number of Out of the box Connectors that enable a quick data connection to various systems without difficult actions to take on the developer's part.
By introducing a new Workflow modeling language you are now able to create a workflow that will execute various automated steps and checks and where required will wait for user input.
User input can be handled as in any Mendix application by using existing pages and smart forms with the full extension capabilities available in the Mendix UI.
This workflow's update even comes with a premade Central Task Inbox that can be added to any of your Mendix applications so end-users are able to quickly act on any outstanding tasks independent of the application they are currently using.
The Mendix cloud platform as a stateless, horizontally scalable, lightweight, and able to run everywhere Cloud-native solution is already available in the current Mendix release. But with release 9 you now get full control over Task Queuing and how sub-activities have to be executed, being in parallel or sequential in a fully low-code fashion.
All without you having to worry about the proper low-level implementation of concurrency, parallelization, and asynchronous execution methods.
No matter how well Mendix runs in the cloud, sometimes it is not feasible to deploy an application to an external cloud because of various reasons (data volume, network availability, regulations, etc.).
For these situations, applications need to run on the edge and as of release 9, Mendix together with Siemens industrial automation, have developed Mendix for Industrial Edge. Through it containerized Mendix applications can run on Siemens embedded devices or on dedicated industrial PCs.
As we can see Mendix never sits still when it comes to the cloud. As you might or might not know the platform already has got a number of security certifications; • ISO 27001 • ISAE 3000 • ISAE 3402 • SOC 1, 2 and 3 • CSA Star
But to be able to cater to even the most stringent large industrial companies and governmental institutions, Mendix is now also qualified for the following 5 certifications • ISO 27017 • ISO 27018 • Cyber Essentials • PCI DSS • HIPAA
This amounts to the most comprehensive set of security certifications of any low-code platform!
To make development even faster and enjoyable for both citizen and hardcore developers a number of new capabilities will be added both to Studio and Studio Pro. Such as Deep integration with Mendix DataHub and the Integrated Workflow editors. Or the enabling you to choose the backend version control tool of your choice. Whether that is Mendix's repository or your own enterprise Git system, the choice is now fully up to you.
If you have ever had conflicts with changes some of your colleagues made while using Studio Pro you will be happy to know that change and conflict handling is now handled on a more detailed level. Where you previously simply had an entire document change this is now divided up into multiple changes on the element level. In the end, this will prove to make collaboration easier and solving conflicts faster and more robust with less rework.
We all use and love, I do anyway, the "Pair Programmer Bot" that advises us as a developer on meaningful next steps to add to our microflows.
As from release 9, we will now get access to the "Performance Bot" which will analyze your project to show you which parts can be improved or restructured.
More importantly, it won't just show you, it will even tell you why and what the exact steps are that you should fix and/or improve. And if that isn’t great enough, in most cases it can even automatically perform these fixes for you!
Through this, the AI in Mendix 9 will enable you to build high performance and robust applications faster than you ever could before.
Besides these 16 improvements to the Mendix Platform stated for release in version 9, there are also 4 exciting announcements for the Market and Ecosystem as a whole.
Through Mendix Industry Solutions pre-build solutions, app services and application templates for industry specific use cases will be made available. You can view these as packaged business capabilities to address common pain points in your specific industry or business domain. As with any Mendix solution, these contain powerful customization and personalization options for you to tailor them to your requirements.
The first beta release of these Industry Solutions will be "Field Service Management" containing functionality like Spare Parts Ordering, Workflow Management, and Technician Enablement. Expect to see more great industry specific solutions to be released in the coming year.
A full rebranding and expansion of the current app store into the Mendix Marketplace will be taking place within the next few months.
This will enable you to freely provide Mendix components as you already can in the Appstore. But more exciting it finally enables you to provide paid components with fully controllable pricing, metering, and billing setup.
To make sure the community can get the most out of the new Mendix Marketplace the Marketplace Vendor Program will be created. Through this program, Mendix will provide tools, pricing, and support to enable you to quickly get up and running with monetizing your solutions build with the Mendix platform.
And last but certainly not least the Startup Accelerator Program will be an easy and fully supportive way for Startups to get a head start. So as to enable them to grow and expand quickly through free licenses, free training, and free support for the Mendix Platform as well as access to a vibrant network of startup and SaaS experts to assist them along the way.
Another well experienced and very informative Mendix World in a slightly different format. But with the same great outlook for the future of the platform.
Of course, I have only touched the surface when it comes to these announcements. If you want to find out more visit the Mendix World website for the full presentation and experience Mendix World 2020 for yourself.
Disclaimer: All information is based on my personal experience of Mendix world. All images sourced from the Mendix World Event website and are Copyrighted by Mendix.
Before you go
Feel free to ask us any question, ask for more information or simply say hello in this contact form.