At its core, cloud computing is about managing IT at a higher level of abstraction and then automating the management of it. Speaking at Mendix World 2014 today, Mendix CTO Johan den Haan says the time has come to start applying those same concepts to applications.
“Writing code is sluggish; we need to apply abstraction and automation,” says den Haan. “It’s time to focus on what really matters: applications.”
To achieve that goal, den Haan says organizations need to empower business users and “citizen developers” in a way that allows them to build applications using a model-driven platform as a service that eliminates the need to write low-level code. Unleashing of the creative potential of those people is critical for companies that need to compete in the digital age, say den Haan.
“We are blurring the line between user and developer,” says den Haan. “These people are composing applications for the business that are built by the business.”
To accelerate the process Mendix this week unfurled the Mendix AppCloud, a new service layer on top of the Mendix App Platform that abstracts the complexity of designing, building, sharing and even selling applications. As part of that cloud service, Mendix is providing customers with an unlimited number of sandbox development environments to build and deploy applications; a Launchpad capability that provides a single point of entry through which they can access all their applications; and an App Store through which they can share, publish and sell their applications.
Among the first applications to be published in Mendix AppCloud are a housing application developed by Capgemini; a case management application developed by Pink Elephant and an IT service management application developed by Mansystems.
As Mendix AppCloud continues to evolve, den Haan says that additional services will be added by both Mendix and a number of its partners as part of an effort to create a connected universe consisting of applications, app services, data and users.
“We’re removing all the technical and financial friction to building a new application,” says den Haan. “Every application by default should be multichannel capable of running on multiple platforms that can be managed from a central platform.”
That approach not only simplifies the development of the applications, den Haan says, it also reduces the complexity of cloud computing environments where the artificial lines between what is infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) often does more to complicate rather than enable cloud application development.
Because of all that complexity, den Haan likens developing applications today to the “Groundhog Day” film in that developers often find themselves doing the same things over and over again.
“We need to enable the digital enterprise to accelerate innovation,” says den Haan. “It’s time to start innovating your way out of Groundhog Day.”