At the Cloud Foundry 2016 Summit conference this week, Mendix announced an alliance with IBM under which its application platform-as-a-service (aPaaS) will become available on the IBM Bluemix cloud service.
Mark Rogers, vice president of business development and ecosystems for Mendix, says Mendix saw an opportunity to give different classes of developers more access to a common pool of data in the cloud. While IBM has a raft of tools aimed at professional developers, Mendix provides application development tools that are more broadly used by so-called “citizen developers.”
The goal is to make it easier for Mendix developers to invoke software artifacts residing on the IBM Bluemix platform. In addition, Rogers notes, developers can gain access via Bluemix to advanced services such as the IBM Watson cognitive computing platform.
Of course, IBM has previously signaled its own RAD ambitions in the cloud. But in terms of overall reach among citizen developers, Mendix has already created a substantial base of customers. Using RAD tools, those developers tend to compose applications by stitching together existing components as opposed to writing lots of low-level code. The result is that applications are developed significantly faster by individuals who, for the most part, come from line-of-business units rather than the internal IT organization.
It’ll be interesting to see how well professional and citizen developers collaborate in the age of the cloud. But the only way to really find that out is to first provide them with a common venue to interact.