Mendix has introduced Mendix 9, said to be the industry’s first all-in-one low-code platform. This most advanced iteration of the pioneering platform extends the core low-code principles of abstraction and automation to data integration, artificial intelligence, workflow, process automation — essentially all the technologies needed to drive enterprise digitalization.
The release of Mendix 9 comes at a time when enterprises of every description are compelled to radically accelerate their digitalization initiatives. A survey by McKinsey finds that, globally, the pandemic and its coming aftermath have catalysed companies to accelerate their digitalization initiatives by three to four years and their digitally enabled products by seven years. Mendix 9 puts ever-more-powerful tools in the hands of professional developers, while also giving more capabilities than ever to citizen developers, thereby equipping enterprises to achieve the velocity they need to succeed in the post-pandemic world.
In addition to dozens of new technical features and fixes the all-in-one Mendix 9 platform features the new Workflow Editor; the new Data Hub; the new Control Center for centralized governance; best-of-breed mobile options; and the new AI Performance Bot and other developer tools.
Workflow Editor: A low-code approach to process automation
Workflow Editor brings all the advantages of low-code to process automation. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, business users and developers can visualize business processes and easily design and build workflows that incorporate human and automated actions and relevant logic. These workflows can be delivered to users as standalone tools, or as part of larger Mendix-based solutions.
“Workflow Editor is a massive time saver,” said Jean Henning, Director of Software Engineering, from Aculocity, a Chicago-based global software and data integration company. “Our current workflow modelling system has been a bit of a puzzle, to put it politely. With the Workflow Editor, being able to see the process visually and drag-and-drop workflow components is a massive timesaver that results in a much better finished product. Maintainability will be easier, too. It would have easily cost double for us to create this kind of capability from scratch. Frankly, I was surprised to see how powerful Workflow Editor is. It already has a prime spot in our toolkit.”
Workflow Editor is part of a platform that brings significantly greater capabilities to process automation than standalone RPA or workflow tools. Developers can access virtually any data source, incorporate AI services, and create consumer-grade interfaces. Workflow Editor includes customizable pages, logic, and starter templates for widely used workflows to jumpstart the process automation.
Mendix Data Hub is a breakthrough in data access and integration
The new Mendix Data Hub empowers citizen and professional developers to find and use the right data for their applications via a curated catalog that enables IT to maintain control over data access and use. Data Hub exposes internal and external data resources to appear as if they are local, where they can be incorporated into applications via a drag-and-drop interface.
“With Data Hub, we can now build modern end-user portals right on top of our legacy systems, reusing data from our main data sources,” says Leon Schipper, Information Technology Advisor, of the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “Our residents have fewer forms to fill in and their overall experience is greatly improved. From an operations perspective, we’re able to eliminate data duplication, more easily comply with regulations, and reduce our dependence on external contractors. Data Hub is an all-around win for us.”
Native app or PWA: Best-of-breed mobile choices
With Mendix 9, developers have a choice of best-of-breed mobile solutions to fit their mobile strategy. True native mobile applications built with the React Native framework give users a rich experience that makes the most of their device’s specific capabilities, even offline. The progressive web app option is accessible to users on any mobile platform without need for an app store intermediary. Both solutions share models, microflows, nanoflows, and Atlas design components.
Control Center enables managers to control and secure data
The new Control Center in Mendix 9 gives IT managers a comprehensive view and centralized oversight over the entire Mendix landscape — users, applications, and resources. With granular role-based security, audit trails, and visibility into resource usage, Control Center consolidates the tools IT needs to maintain enterprise-level control and governance over applications, data, and users, including citizen developers who play an important role in application development but are less equipped in matters of security, privacy, and system integrity.
Mendix 9 spikes developer productivity
Mendix 9 introduces the Mendix AI Performance Bot, a developer’s intelligent assistant that ensures apps follow design and performance best practices. More than 60% of Mendix developers already use the artificial intelligence capabilities of Mendix Assist to accelerate modeling. The new AI Performance Bot automatically identifies anti-patterns and provides step-by-step recommendations for fixes, or the option to resolve quickly with automatic refactoring. Mendix’s artificial intelligence tools help developers work more quickly and with fewer errors to deliver high-performance apps with quality user experiences.
Visual Conflict Resolution is another developer productivity enhancement in Mendix 9, enabling easy resolution of differences and merging of changes when large teams of developers work in numerous parallel branches.
Rounding out key features of Mendix 9 is a significant update to Atlas, the Mendix UI Framework. Atlas3.0 provides a default design system out of the box that is sleek and modern, for web, native mobile, and PWA. And the Mendix UI Kit equips designers to work in Mendix development teams using their preferred tools including Figma and Sketch.
“Mendix 9 is a significant and important leap for Mendix and Siemens,” said Mendix CEO Derek Roos. “We continue to push the envelope not just for enterprise-grade low-code, but for enterprise digitalization overall, regardless of platform. Providing a comprehensive platform for intelligent process automation, democratizing access to data resources, applying AI to development — these are the capabilities that enterprises need to address their mandate for rapid development of digital capabilities.”