Mendix Creates Platform for Building Smart Applications Faster

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    More innovative technologies are available today that organizations can invoke than ever. The downside of all that innovation is that building an application has never been more complex.

    To help reduce that complexity, Mendix at the Mendix World 2106 conference today announced Mendix 7, an update to its model-driven programming environment that makes it possible for developers to more easily invoke advanced cloud services such as IBM Watson and the machine learning service created by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

    Mendix CTO Johan den Haan says the next step in the evolution of applications will be leveraging these types of services to proactively bring applications to end users the instant they need them. By adding that level of context to applications, their value dramatically increases because they come pre-populated with relevant data drawn from the Internet of Things (IoT). In contrast, den Haan says, most existing applications can’t add any value until end users start manually entering data.

    In addition to Watson and AWS IoT, Mendix 7 is now tightly integrated with cloud services that include AWS IoT. Mendix plans future integrations with services from Microsoft and Pivotal, a unit of EMC that provides a distribution of the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment.


    At the same time, Mendix 7 includes support for MQTT, a lightweight messaging protocol for sensors and mobile devices, and LoRaWAN, a low Power Wide Area Network designed for IoT applications.

    Mendix 7 also sports a range of new application integration options. It will be able to natively connect to any database using connectors that Mendix has decided to make available as open source code, and Mendix models can now be accessed by other applications using REST APIs. Mendix 7 also supports JSON mapping, which allows code to be copied into the Mendix platform from external sources.

    Mendix has revamped the Mendix Web Modeler software to create a cloud-based integrated development environment through which users of all skill levels can participate in the application design and development process. The implementation of Mendix Web Modeler is based on React user interface programming tools based on JavaScript that was developed by Facebook and open source MobX code developed by Mendix to optimize the performance of React applications, says den Haan.

    Finally, Mendix has redesigned the way Mendix applications interact with mobile devices to make transferring data back and forth more efficient.

    Mendix is clearly trying to leverage a model-driven application development environment to not only speed the development of applications, but to make it feasible for both citizen and professional developers to either collaborate on building applications or enable them to build those applications independently of each other.



    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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