Mendix 9.0: Where It All Comes Together
Mendix 9.0: Where It All Comes Together by Koert Hagoort
If you pay any attention to our release blogs (you’re missing out on the fun if you aren’t), you’ll have seen a trend throughout our most recent Mendix 8 releases where we talk about collaboration and community. In other words, working together.
There are many reasons why we chose this reoccurring theme. When our world was besieged by the global pandemic, we felt it was necessary to stick together, even if we couldn’t be in the same working space. Also, collaboration is and always will be at the heart of our product. Finally, not only is collaboration vital for success, but the need for technologies to work better together is so prevalent today, we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t address it.
This brings us to Mendix 9, where you’ll find capabilities and features that foster collaboration and empower you to better blend together all the technologies it takes to build robust, scalable, and complete software.
A Little Re-Modeling
For you to make truly complete applications, you need an IDE that meets your needs. It’s just the start of things, but we’ve been doing a little remodeling in Studio Pro to further improve your developing experience.
With Mendix 9, we’ve given you a new look and feel. Most notable among this update is a navigation top bar. This gives you the sense of one experience, no matter where you are in the Mendix Platform, from Studio to Studio Pro to Dev Portal to Cloud Portal to Blank App to the templates when you create your new Mx 9 apps.
On top of that, we want to make your experience as smooth as possible when you’re building others’ experiences, so we’ve upgraded Atlas UI with changes to page modeling, page templates, and new widgets, like Data Grid 2.0, that come with many of requested-by-you features like personalization, widget support, row & cell coloring and many more.
And to make it easier for your citizen developers across your organization, we are introducing the new Mendix Assist Performance Bot to further guide you as you create, build, and make.
Of course, those experiences need to be available on a number of platforms and devices, which is why we’ve included best-of-breed support for web and mobile.
With Native Mobile, you’ll find the exciting nanoflow debugger, which lets you fully debug and inspect the logic that runs on your device or in the browser. You’ll also find the native mobile builder. Building your mobile apps is now even better with support for managing app permissions, configuration profiles, and options to build locally, all from one simple interface.
We’ve also improved offline sync capabilities. You’ll also be able to build for progressive web applications. To guide you in your decision what to build, we added an initial decision tree on PWA versus native mobile too.
At last but not least, we have updated the underlying version of React Native for the latest enhancements and released a new Make It Native app, with an improved developer experience and look and feel, including some showcases to get you inspired.
With these additions, we aimed to give you a better developer experience so that working together, no matter the device, is a smooth experience.
The Business of Building Business Processes
There’s no better example of working together in development than when it comes to building business process applications. Developers need to collaborate with end users, systems need to integrate with each other, and business processes need to flow in a seamless manner top optimize users’ day-to-day work.
So, without further ado…highly anticipated ever since the Mendix World announcement and now it’s here! With Mendix 9, brand new workflow capabilities have become available in public beta. You can use the new workflow editor in both Studio and Studio Pro to quickly add process logic to your app. This new visual language is fully integrated with other languages such as pages and microflows.
Here’s the editor in action.
Moreover, we’ve provided optional helper modules to get you on your way in no time, with out of the box pages and templates. On top of this, the runtime now understands long lived processes natively.
We will be supplying a number of workflow templates for common business process applications like service requests, travel reimbursements, or employee onboarding. One such a template is the Approval Template. Need someone to approve your request, or do you need to approve a colleague’s request? This template is your perfect starting point and you can start using the app right away. Simply go to “Create an App” in Mendix 9, and it’s the first template visible on that page.
In private beta projects, the new workflow capabilities have already proven to be hugely powerful tools in the developer’s toolbox and we are happy to make them available to the community today. We can’t wait to see what you will build!
How about a Little Ctrl?
To better foster collaboration and system integrations, you need to set up some guardrails. With Mendix 9, we’ve got a few new capabilities that will help you put up those guardrails so you can more easily integrate, better define development processes, and make it easier for your citizen developers to build their own apps.
Take Control Center for instance. Control Center replaces the Company Admin functionality in the Developer Portal. It centralizes visibility and security across your Mendix application portfolio. It provides a complete overview of the administrators, members of your team, their application projects, and cloud environments. Now you can understand who is working on what at any given moment. And what’s even better: it now also has the recognizable Mendix 9 topbar navigation that you can experience across the platform!
While we were at it…
If Workflow, Control Center, and mobile upgrades weren’t enough, we thought we’d make a couple of other improvements while we were at it.
For example, we added While loop support to make it easier to repeat a task as long as a condition is true.
Text templates are more powerful now because they allow for expression in the parameters.
Keep Working Together
The power to build truly game-changing software comes when you break down walls. We wanted to remove any friction in Studio and Studio Pro that prevents you from building quickly and at scale. We want you to be able to break down walls (physical or digital) between departments and geographies that you can build the applications people need and need now.
There’s more to come—always—but for now, keep working together.