I’m really excited to present our new monthly release to you! Today, we launched a brand-new product that will change the way our users collaborate. We have truly changed the world of rapid application delivery by “freeing” our visual models.
The downside of visual, model-driven development
Nowadays, the use of visual models to drive application development and delivery is broadly accepted. Users of Rapid Application Delivery PaaS or Model-Driven PaaS reap the benefits of this new style of IT. Independent research shows that this approach delivers six times higher productivity and much more collaboration between business and IT.
However, the debate between visual (or graphical) vs textual model/code representations continues. The main argument for textual representations is that text is “fluid.” You can use and store it everywhere; you can always copy-paste it; and it is easy to share via email, websites, etc. This is something that could not be done with visual models…
… until today!
Mendix Model Share: share, copy-paste, search, and embed visual models
Today, we introduced Mendix Model Share. With Mendix Model Share, you can easily share live, executable models with others; embed them in websites, blog or forum posts; and instantly re-use them in other models. This allows you to easily collaborate with other developers, share your work with a single click, ask questions about it or re-use complete model parts from others. On top of that, these models are search-engine-friendly; just google a certain expression, API, or microflow name and see how others use it in their microflows.
Share live application models: a two-click experience
Easily share any microflow online by opening the microflow in the Business Modeler (5.14.0 and up; today a restart of 5.14.0 is required to enable the feature) and clicking the “Share” button. This will publish your microflow via Mendix Model Share and will result in a page like this one.
We do not just publish an image of your model; all the details of your microflow are there. You can click any element in the model, just like in the Business Modeler, and inspect all the underlying details.
Embed models anywhere
Now that your model has been shared, you can embed it anywhere. Copy the embed code from the Model Share page and paste into any HTML-compliant space: blogs, tutorials, forums, etc. This blog post wouldn’t be complete without actually embedding a model, so here we go:
See how you can interact with the model to inspect all the details? Just click on the elements in the microflow.
This will also be really helpful on our forum, as you can include an embedded microflow in your questions and answers by pasting the URL (not the embed code).
It is not just model “share”: re-use instantly
Did you notice the “Copy to Modeler” button in the embedded model above? If you click it and you open the Mendix Business Modeler (5.14.0 and up; today a restart of 5.14.0 is required to enable the feature), you can just click the paste button in the toolbar (or use Ctrl-V) to paste this microflow in your own modeling environment. Re-use has never been this easy!
The re-use mechanism is based on the URL of the model. Hence, you can also email, tweet, text, etc. this URL to your colleagues or friends and as soon as they paste it in the Business Modeler, the model will be imported in the same way!
More in this release
I hope you are as excited about Model Share as I am! On top of Model Share, we included a number of other improvements in this release. They all deserve a longer explanation, but I don’t want to make this post too long. So, I will keep it short with this brief overview of the highlights:
- We introduced a new datatype “Decimal.” Decimal supports higher precision than the current “Float” and “Currency” data types and can be used to represent non-repeating decimal fractions without rounding.
- For integrations, we now fully support XML choice elements with proper inheritance mapping. See this blog post for more details.
- We now support calling webservice operations with binary elements encoded as MTOM attachments.
See the release notes for more details. As always, all updates are immediately available the next time you log in, and the latest version of the Business Modeler can be downloaded from the Mendix App Store.
Our bonus “developer experience” feature for this month
The “Go to” feature (Ctrl+G) has been improved in several ways. First, it is more than ten times faster. Second, in addition to entities, associations and documents, you can also navigate to attributes, project documents like navigation, modules, and folders. And finally, you can enter multiple search terms separated by spaces and only those items will be shown that contain all search terms. For example, searching for ‘ac ov’ will match “Account_Overview.”
I wish you a productive month and look forward to seeing your application models on the Mendix Model Share site!