Editor’s Note: The following post was co-written by Ismail Habib Muhammad and David Hartveld, developers on the Mendix R&D team.
The introduction of the Mendix AppCloud was one of the big themes at Mendix World 2014. The AppCloud provides one cloud for all your apps and all your users, where each user has access to the apps available to your company, both internally and through our community App Store. Furthermore, all these apps are available through the end user’s Launchpad – the central starting point to use, share and build apps. With a single click, the user arrives at the app that he/she needs, is logged in automatically with Mendix single sign-on (SSO). Access control management for each of these apps and all of your users is at your fingertips. Lastly, navigation is made more transparent, consistent and easy by the introduction of the Mendix toolbar.
So how do you benefit from these services in your apps as a rapid app developer? We recently released the “AppCloudServices” module in the App Store, which provides access to the SSO service (and other AppCloud services). With a few simple steps, you can incorporate the AppCloud Services into your existing apps, enabling single sign-on for your users. It is now even possible to deliver a new cloud app with these services in just a few minutes! Continue reading this post to see how.
To create your first AppCloud-powered Mendix app and deploy it to the cloud, follow these very simple steps:
- Open version 5.3.2 or newer of the Mendix Business Modeler and create a new app using the “AppCloud Default Project” layout. This layout already incorporates the AppCloudServices module, and provides a fully functioning Mendix model out-of-the-box for new apps.
- Deploy the app to a sandbox. By default, each of your projects will have a sandbox node where you can deploy an app to the cloud. Sandboxes are free cloud environments that contain everything you need to run a Mendix app and share it with others. They are ideal for demos, prototypes or non-critical apps with a small number of users.
- That’s it! Now you have your AppCloud-powered app running in a sandbox! You can open the app directly by clicking on the “View App” button in the modeler or you’ll immediately find a new app icon on your Launchpad right when you login to Mendix. Btw – of course this goes beyond sandboxes and you can do the same with all your other apps that you may already have in test, acceptance or production environments.
You have just created an AppCloud-powered app and deployed it to the Mendix Cloud in just a few moments. It is now time to invite other people to your app, so they can use it, and for example, provide feedback on your implementation progress.
- To invite other users to your app, go to your app details page. You can reach this page by going to the Launchpad and clicking on the “i” icon next to your app’s name. Clicking on the “Invite Users to App” button will open the user invitation wizard. There you can determine who to invite and which role to assign to each of them. The available roles are those that have been defined in the Mendix app model.
- In order to gain access to the app, invited users will need to accept the invitation first. Once a user has accepted the invitation, the app will show up on his/her Launchpad alongside other existing apps.
The user can now log in to your app by clicking on the icon on his/her Launchpad. They get the opportunity to immediately try out the app – and quickly give you feedback on the processes you implemented!
- Finally, managing user access for AppCloud-powered apps is very easy. On the app details page, you can click the button ‘Manage App Users’ which will lead you to the following screen:
Here, you can manage the roles of the users registered with your app. You can change app user roles for users, or remove users from the app entirely.
This concludes this tutorial that demonstrates how to create your first AppCloud-powered app. As you have seen, it is very easy to kick start app development in the cloud in collaboration with your end users.
If you have any questions about this tutorial in specific, or the AppCloud Default Project and AppCloud services in general, do not hesitate to ask questions on the Mendix forum or contact customer support!
Enjoy the AppCloud!