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Self-Service Online Academy, Automated Testing, App User Management, & Self-Service Cloud App Migration – the Mendix June release

on July 3, 2014

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It’s summer in Rotterdam, but that doesn’t prevent our engineering team from delivering great stuff with this month’s release. Here is what we have for you:

Free, self-service online academy

Online CoursesSince the release of the Mendix AppCloud, all our users log in and start their session in the Launchpad, where they’ll find a “Getting Started” app that helps new users take their first steps in Mendix. This month, we extended this app with a complete online academy that even helps you to get Mendix certified.

The online academy includes a self-service program consisting of 41 fun- and easy-to-use videos that guide users through a complete, 18-hour curriculum. It contains an overview of the Mendix App Platform, how to set up a new Mendix project, creating domain models and entities, user stories, microflows, multi-device layouts, security and more.

Improved support for automated functional testing

Many Mendix developers rely on tools like Selenium to automate their functional tests, to increase quality and reliability, and to raise the productivity of their teams. To simplify this process, you can now use class names to target elements on a page.

You can now set the Name property of a widget, and Mendix will create a CSS class mx-name-<name of the widget> at runtime. You can use this CSS class to reliably address the widget on the page. Even when you change your page in any possible way, your tests will stay usable as long as the element (e.g. button) is somewhere on the page. You can even reliably address specific parts of the UI like the rows in a grid. See the documentation for more details.

Virally grow the user base of your app

It is great to see how many of our users have the World Cup app on their Launchpad. If your favorite team is on the plane home we have good news for you; you can now leave the app and remove it from your Launchpad. Before this release, only the admin of the app could manage users.  This was perfect for our enterprise customers, but  with apps like the World Cup app, you probably want to be able to manage this as a user. From now on: just go to the app details on your Launchpad and hit “leave app”.

If you are an app developer your goal of course isn’t to have users leave your app. You probably want to grow your user base. We have good news for you! We now provide have an API on the invite and user management mechanism of our platform, so instead of adding users to your app manually you can automate this process by calling our API. If you update the “AppCloudServices” module in your app you can use this API by just calling the “InviteUserToApp” microflow.

What can you do with this API? Well, that depends on your creativity of course! Here are some suggestions: if your app is about sales contract management you can automatically invite a customer to the app to view the contract by adding his email address. If your app is focused on collaboration you can let users invite other users to their projects/groups/spaces. And so on!

Self-service migration for cloud apps

We are continuously upgrading our cloud infrastructure to be up-to-date with security patches and new releases of the software and operating system we use. On top of that we are rapidly adding new features. This sometimes requires a restart of applications to be able migrate to new infrastructure.

We vastly improved the process of migrating cloud apps to an updated infrastructure, by providing users with the self-service tools to migrate to an updated app node and/or database node whenever they want. As soon as new versions of app nodes and database nodes are available users get notified that they can migrate (in a couple of mouse clicks). These notifications are accompanied by a deadline for important upgrades. We always do upgrades by rolling to a completely new app node and/or database node.

If you are the admin of an app in the Mendix Cloud you will see notifications for this update appear soon.

Orange is the new black

As with earlier releases we continue our journey of making the daily life of our users more pleasant. This time an often requested and long awaited change: the domain model editor has been enhanced with multi-select; you can now select multiple entities at the same time, add/remove to selection with “ctrl + click”, and of course “ctrl + a” to select all. This means that keeping your domain model organized and readable is becoming easier.

As a bonus, the selection color has been updated to orange to bring it in line with the page editor. Of course, this change has nothing to do with the Dutch team doing so well in the World Cup.

As always: all features are automatically available for everyone online. To get the new features in the Business Modeler download the most recent version (5.6.0) here.

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About Johan den Haan

As Mendix’s chief technology officer, Johan leads the company’s overall technical strategy and research & product development teams. Johan speaks regularly at technology events and is a renowned blogger on a range of topics, including PaaS, Model-Driven Development, Scrum, cloud computing and software engineering. He earned a Master of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in Information Architecture from the Delft University of Technology. Keep in touch at @JohanDenHaan.

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