Application Development Blog Post

How to Rapidly Build Apps Without Coding

How to Rapidly Build Apps Without Coding by Daniela Field

Low-code/no-code is the next step in the evolution of coding. Platforms like Mendix add another layer of abstraction to underlying code and it makes developing apps easy in multiple ways. First, you can build apps without coding and showcase them to your stakeholders faster. Secondly, the stakeholders can see a demo and provide more details and feedback. Hence, the gap between business and IT is closer and both teams are working together to solve a real business need. Lastly, application maintenance is just as critical as application building. There is one certain constant in life – change. Business rules and needs change and applications will need to evolve and change as well. If you are using a low-code solution, you can make changes and meet future needs with ease.

How does Mendix help enterprise companies rapidly build apps without coding?

It’s easy. Instead of worrying about what kinds of databases to pick, what kind of coding language to build your app in or what kind of UI/UX components to use, all of it is abstracted. The platform allows for anyone – from expert developers to business consultants with no coding background – to build applications.

Focus on entities instead of databases

The database structure is simplified into entities, attributes, and associations. Entities are the traditional database tables. Attributes are the columns and data types. Associations cover the cardinality between two relationships. Instead of worrying about proper table joins, in Mendix you only worry about the relationship between entities. Is it one to many – for example, one customer with multiple orders – or one to one (1-1) or many to many (*-*).

Build Apps Screenshot

Build Pages with Templates instead of Code

After your database is built with simple steps of drag and drops, you can start building your user interface. Instead of worrying about finding out about HTML, CSS or SASS or Bootstrap or javascript, you can start building pages with the easily guided templates.

Create Apps Example Screenshot

Pages are comprised of a navigation layout, and out-of-the-box templates and widgets. There are lots of reusable, out-of-the-box widgets to speed up development. For example, do you need to have Google maps in your app? You can download Google maps and more from the Mendix app store. You can create responsive or device specific pages and re-use the database and microflow logic already build. Thus, you can extend your apps with mobile and table apps with little effort. You can easily change the look and feel of your app with our theme creator. Everything you need is available out of the box and customizable.

Bridge the Coding Gap with Microflows

Lastly, the business logic is critical. You want an app that does calculations, integrations and much more than just opening and closing of pages. Microflows bridge that gap. A microflow is the business logic based on Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and it allows you to visually see the logic you are building. Here is an example of code vs. microflow.

Microflow Example Screenshot

Even if you are an expert developer, it still takes you time to just read the code and understand it. Whereas a microflow, anyone can visually see it and understand it. You can build microflows with simple drag and drops and change them as the business rules change.

Here at Mendix, we have taken best development principles and design practices and turned them into the Modeler, the tool you need to build any applications rapidly. In addition to the Modeler, we have our Project Portal. In the Project Portal, you can manage your team, your user stories, share your code and handle the full application life cycle from beginning to post-production and live date.