September 11, 2019

Mendix Low-Code Application Development Platform: What It’s Capable of and Why It Has Skyrocketed over the Last Few Years

This year, Forbes listed Mendix as one of the top ten companies disrupting industries through technology. So is Mendix really a game-changing technology that’s opening a new era in software development? 

Anna Rud
Blog Editor of HYS Enterprise

Founded in 2005, Mendix has reached an impressive 4,000+ companies using their platform. As of 2019, Mendix low-code developers have built more than 235,000 apps across 25 industries. This year, Forbes listed Mendix as one of the top ten companies disrupting industries through technology. So is Mendix really a game-changing technology that’s opening a new era in software development? Let’s figure it out.

We talked to our Mendix developers to find out what Mendix is, what it’s capable of, and why it has become such a hot topic. This post will answer all your questions about this technology so you can decide if Mendix is the right choice for your business.

Mendix changes the way software is delivered

Working as a freelance developer in the 2000s, Roald Kruit (one of the founders of Mendix) noticed one fundamental issue that always hampered development: no matter how hard the development team tried to understand the customer’s requirements, there was always a gap between business and IT. Business people couldn’t always explain their requirements clearly, engineers often got them wrong, requirements would change every day, and even lengthy meetings and detailed documentation couldn’t solve these problems entirely.  

The idea behind Mendix was to create a single fully integrated no-code / low-code platform based on Agile and DevOps best practices. The platform was designed to bridge the gap between the business and technology sides and align their expectations, increasing development efficiency and accelerating the delivery of web and mobile applications at scale. 

Mendix provides a visual model-driven development environment, that combines the no-code Mendix Studio and the low-code Mendix Studio Pro. By providing these two solutions, Mendix unifies non-tech business contributors and professional developers for an interactive, seamless development process and rapid application delivery. 

The no-code Mendix Studio enables business domain experts to clearly express the features and logic of an application using visual building blocks. These blocks are then automatically converted into a working application by the pre-built development suite. This approach benefits all kinds of non-technical business professionals, from business analysts to stakeholders, getting them deeply involved in and giving them a thorough understanding of the entire development life cycle, thereby reducing the chances of ending up with unexpected results. 

The low-code Mendix Studio Pro is tailored for professional developers, providing extensive and robust opportunities for low-code customization, cross-platform integration, and rewriting parts of the system without losing the benefits of visual model-driven development. To avoid limitations and issues that may come with off-the-shelf solutions, the Mendix team extended the capabilities of the platform by integrating Java.

Mendix is based on three principles: speed, business/IT collaboration, and control. The platform was the first to combine a multi-persona development experience, advanced integration options, and excellent cloud-native architecture support. 

Mendix capabilities: What can you build with Mendix?

Mendix provides a full-stack visual development suite that’s well-equipped to support the entire application development life cycle from ideation through development, testing, deployment, and management. This no-code / low-code platform has opened a wide range of opportunities for all kinds of businesses to create web and mobile applications at any scale, for any industry, and to meet any requirements.  

However, Mendix is most helpful for projects where the scope is not completely defined or is expected to change during development, as well as for projects with a high level of customization and planned changes in the future. 

According to the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, Mendix is a best-in-class no-code / low-code development platform for enterprise-grade applications that can add significant value to existing systems and amplify app development productivity.  

Here are some examples of what you can develop with Mendix:

Customer engagement applications (customer portals, self-service apps, claims management apps). Mendix provides an integrated UX framework with out-of-the-box widgets and blocks that allow developers to build user-centered, intuitive, multi-channel applications even if they’re strangers to UX design. At the same time, the cloud-native architecture of Mendix allows the app’s customer base to grow and the app to remain flexible. 

Operational efficiency apps (SCMs, billing and invoicing, order management). Since only domain experts know all the ins and outs of operational processes, Mendix is a perfect choice for developing such apps. Thanks to the low barrier to entry, experts can quickly build prototypes themselves or be involved and give feedback from the beginning all the way to delivery to make sure an app complies with business requirements and significantly accelerates processes and operations inside the company. 

Legacy migration. With Mendix, legacy apps can be modernized quickly and carefully, focusing first on key systems and components while keeping all business processes running, causing minimal disruption to the business. Mendix enables companies to build a continual process for creating a flexible, agile digital ecosystem.

Innovative solutions like IoT, AI, machine learning, and blockchain. Innovations are always risky. They usually start as bold ideas with loose requirements and lots of uncertainty. Often, they need the active involvement of business analysts and other stakeholders. Being a low-code platform, Mendix allows for a test-and-learn approach, enabling you to develop functional prototypes quickly and affordably. Offering visual model-driven development, Mendix allows stakeholders to easily collaborate with the team throughout each step of the process. Once the idea is proven, Mendix also allows you to scale quickly and outpace your competitors. 

These are four of the most common use cases of Mendix. Check out the gallery of Mendix-based projects for more examples. 

Mendix advantages: Let’s sum it up 

End-to-end low-code development experience. Mendix covers each step of the product development life cycle. 

One-click deployment and continuous integration. This approach enables you to build agile processes, deploy as soon as a feature is ready, and detect and fix bugs faster. 

10x faster time to market. Offering visual model-driven development with lots of off-the-shelf building blocks and widgets, Mendix allows for building applications 10 times faster and with 70% fewer resources compared to traditional software development. 

Bridges IT and business. Visual development allows business managers, analysts, and stakeholders to easily collaborate with development teams and build clear and understandable processes so all parties are happy with the result.

Cross-device app development. Native mobile features allow for building responsive applications that can run across multiple devices and can be deployed directly to multiple app stores. 

Innovate faster than the competition. With pre-built connectors for IoT, machine learning, predictive analytics, and other disruptive technologies, Mendix is the optimal choice to address all the needs of innovation-driven projects. 

Is this really the future of software development? 

A Forrester report notes that “In our survey of global developers, 23% reported using low-code platforms in 2018, and another 22% planned to do so within a year. Digital businesses’ demand for ever more software ever more quickly is the big driver of adoption.”

Indeed, low-code platforms like Mendix help businesses develop innovative solutions faster, and that’s the main reason such technologies have become so popular. Low-code development is easier to manage and is more accessible for everyday business users, providing a common visual language to ensure that expected value is delivered and a pre-built environment to dramatically speed up time to market. 

We asked the lead of our Mendix teams to share his opinion on whether Mendix really is a game-changing technology:

Yes, it might be. This platform has two undeniable advantages: rapid development and a low entry barrier. Mendix provides a visual app modelling studio, where anyone can develop an application without any code. Since out-of-the-box solutions are often insufficient, Mendix offers an opportunity to integrate Java to customize existing solutions and develop missing functionality. This translates into faster time to market, and the faster a product hits the market, the faster it starts to pay off and bring profits. 

Mendix is on track to become a great solution for enterprise-grade, introducing more and more innovative features for large companies.

  Dmitry Mustafin, Mendix Team Lead 

Have questions about Mendix development? Contact our team to find out how we can help! 

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