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Mendix, a Boston-based Siemens (Munich) business and provider of enterprise low-code application development solutions, has announced the launch of its expanded all-in-one low-code platform. The vendor says the new launch extends the reach of low-code into new domains, empowering developers of all skill sets to solve an ever-increasing set of business problems. Mendix describes the platform as building on its foundation of model-driven development, enhanced both by product innovation and a curated collection of pre-packaged industry-specific offerings that accelerate the delivery of solutions for common use cases.
The vendor characterizes Mendix 9 is the first all-in-one low-code platform on the market and applying the core low-code principles of abstraction and automation to adjacent domains. As a result Mendix Makers can now easily access data from across their enterprise; leverage expanded AI tools to improve application quality; compose “intelligent automation” applications quickly; and offer multiexperience solutions on the full spectrum of devices and touchpoints, all delivered on a flexible, cloud-native architecture, according to a vendor statement.
Mendix 9 includes complementary industry-specific pre-packaged solutions that the vendor says will accelerate time-to-value for enterprises. “These solutions will enable enterprise development teams to benefit from the collective knowledge of Mendix and Siemens, and their extensive ecosystem, to solve common problems within their industry,” the statement says.
The vendor asserts that the Mendix 9 release expands the universe of what developers can accomplish via the platform’s newly minted all-in-one architecture. The benefits accrue to the full spectrum of “makers,” including professional developers, business domain experts, and anyone else with access to Mendix’s low-code tools, the vendor says.
Mendix 9 also offers data integration with Mendix Data Hub. Data Hub is designed to reduce the complexities of data integration and transforms how people across the enterprise discover, understand, use and govern data for application development, data analysis, and other activities, the vendor says. Data Hub’s key functionality is the ability to expose data and services into the searchable Mendix Data Hub Catalog. “For developers, this makes a set of rich metadata discoverable inside Mendix Studio and Studio Pro; entities from remote systems appear as if they are local, and can be incorporated into projects via drag-and-drop. Data Hub connects to data from Mendix applications, SAP, Siemens Teamcenter and Mindsphere, and many other common data sources.
Mendix 9 also offers the easy creation of Intelligent Automation solutions. With this capability, and accompanying starter templates, developers of all skill-sets can digitize workflows, eliminating paper processes and standalone tools, the vendor says. Further, the Mendix statement addsdevelopers can incorporate any platform feature into these solutions, such as AI-based services, consumer-grade UI, and data from any enterprise source, making these solutions not just digital versions of legacy processes, but smart and scalable solutions optimized for a variety of use cases and end users.
Enterprises can also deliver the engaging mobile application solutions with Mendix 9, the vendor asserts. End users have come to expect a range of mobile applications, from rich native mobile applications with iOS and Android device integrations, to lightweight progressive web applications that don’t require App Store downloads.
“Until now enterprises have struggled to deliver all these variations, which require staff with specialized skill-sets and redundant development efforts,” the company statement says. “Mendix 9 allows developers to automatically deploy both React Native mobile applications—for iOS and Android—and progressive web applications (“PWAs”), without duplicating work. These solutions are built on a single application model, sharing frontend design and backend logic, and can be built by developers without mobile expertise.”
Augmented Reality Tools
Native mobile capabilities were also enhanced to address a specific challenge faced by early adopters of augmented reality: the steep learning curve for developers, according to the vendor. Mendix 9 incorporates Augmented Reality (AR) tools out-of- the-box, a standard set of AR widgets for native mobile now enables developers to easily create a user interface, including 3D objects, images, and marker detection. “With this capability, enterprises can now finally build solutions that realize the promise of augmented reality for enterprise use cases like enabling field technicians, optimizing warehouse operations, and enhancing consumer retail experiences,” the vendor claims.
Mendix Assist Performance Bot
Mendix Assist, the AI-augmented development feature which the vendor says has already been adopted by more than percent of professional Mendix developers, now includes what it calls another major capability. The Mendix Assist Performance Bot enables developers to create highly performant Mendix solutions by analyzing applications against known best practices, the vendor says. The bot can suggest changes, or automatically refactor applications, to ensure solutions don’t fall into typical anti-patterns that deprecate application performance, according to the statement.
Mendix 9 also includes improved collaboration capabilities for version control and change management, the vendor reports. The solution’s visual conflict resolution feature shows granular differences in team members’ contributions to a project and then allows teams to choose which changes to merge, with a single click, the vendor says. The feature gives development teams visibility into how each developer approached a piece of the solution differently, and a simple way to implement the one that best meets the goals of the project, according to Mendix.
Pre-Packaged Industry Solutions
Mendix reports that Industry Solutions is a new unit within the company charged with developing and sourcing pre-packaged solutions that address the needs of specific verticals.
The first solution being launched is for Field Service Management and is designed to provide visibility and actionable insights to teams responsible for field service management, the vendor reports. Additional solutions slated for release span industries and use cases, including an adaptive insurance portal, CAD/CAM analytics, and customization of “one-off” product lots for consumer retail manufacturers.
“Mendix 9 is a major evolution in the world of low-code application platforms, bringing key functionality into what is now the industry’s first All-In-One low-code platform,” comments Johan den Haan, CTO, Mendix. “Mendix Data Hub solves one of the stickiest challenges every developer faces—data integration. With Mendix Data Hub, all of an enterprise’s data resources are at the fingertips of the development team, with appropriate enterprise control and governance.”
“This, plus advanced AI and workflow capabilities, industry-leading options for mobile, augmented reality, and more, make Mendix 9 a major step forward to help enterprises create and deliver every kind of digital product and experience they can imagine,” den Haan continues. “I’m also very excited about the pre-packaged Mendix Industry Solutions we’re announcing today, and looking forward to helping our customers digitalize their operations faster than ever before.”