With last week’s shipment of Mendix 8 features, Mendix Studio saw the light of day. As the world’s most powerful no-code development environment, Mendix Studio lets people in the business easily build their first-ever app.
Today, I will cover the what, why, and who of Mendix Studio, formerly known as the Web Modeler. Also, we’ll take a look at five new and highly valuable features that are now available as part of the Mendix Spring Release.
Who is Studio for?
Mendix Studio is for makers that don’t sit in IT. The platform empowers citizens developers, the people across business departments that can use these tools to address business problems by building simple applications that support, automate or speed up their daily work.
We see these makers add value in three ways:
- Bridging the requirements gap by building functional app prototypes that serve to validate ideas with business stakeholders, before involving professional developer teams to complete the application.
- Contributing lightweight changes to existing apps, e.g. app users improving the user interface themselves, saving professional developers a lot of time while ensuring the right business outcomes.
- Building simple business applications from start to finish themselves. Some processes are vastly improved by a simple web app, built by the person that best knows the process.
New developer experience, same platform
Professional developers need a sophisticated low-code IDE that gives them control and is extensible. Mendix Studio Pro fulfills that role. People who have never trained to be developers, however, need a no-code development experience that is highly intuitive and simple enough to start building apps in minutes. They need a tool that speaks their language and helps them create their first-ever app easily. That’s why we’ve invested a lot of time and effort in creating a completely new experience, different from the experience that professional developers need. That’s Mendix Studio.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Imagine what this can bring. App ideas that were on the IT backlog for ages can now be materialized – and what about all those ideas that never even made it onto that wish list? Furthermore, when citizen developers are involved, apps that are developed have far better outcomes. That’s because these makers have unique domain knowledge — thanks to where they sit in the organization — that they naturally apply when building apps.
New in Mendix Studio
As part of the Mendix Spring Release, we released five new capabilities in Studio that citizen developers will hugely benefit from.
Develop. Preview. Repeat.
When you’re building an app and adding new features, you want fast verification of the changes that you made. This helps to get the job done quickly.
Also, the last thing you want is that changes are pushed to your published app before you finished your work, which might break the user experience of your app.
It’s these reasons why we have added a brand new and super fast app preview feature to Mendix Studio. While building your app, simply hit Preview to see the effects of your changes. Studio will show you the working app instantly so that you can see your changes straight away. Studio will also assist you in checking for any consistency errors by highlighting the items you may have overlooked.
Then, when you’re ready to share your changes with users of your app, hit Publish to push the latest version of your app to the cloud.
Your app should only show relevant data, so that you and other users of the app will not get confused. That is why we have made it very easy to configure filters on lists showing data.
For instance, in the app example below, if you would like to present relevant ‘Opportunity’ items which should have a follow-up today, you can now build data filters for that, e.g. all ‘Opportunities’ that have status ‘Open’ and are overdue and represent a person with ‘CEO’ or ‘CTO’ in the job title.
You can add one or more conditions in a filter, which can be combined using regular ‘and’ or ‘or’ statements. When grouped together with ‘and’, the conditions should all be met. When the conditions are grouped together with ’or’, at least one or more of the conditions should be met.
These new data filters are available for list views and data grids on pages, as well as retrieve actions in microflow logic. In each case, Studio users can use the same highly intuitive visual expression of filters. Professional developers will be happy to hear that under the hood, these new data filters will translate into extensible Xpath statements, which they are very familiar with in Studio Pro. This is another example of the benefits of different user experiences on a single enterprise-grade platform.
Security & user roles
With the Spring release, Mendix Studio will configure the security of any app that you create. That means your data is protected from public access and visible only for users whom you grant access. Moreover, you can configure different roles for different users so that you can optimize the user experience, making sure each user sees exactly what you want them to see.
How does this work? Don’t worry, we’re doing the heavy lifting for you. When you hit the Publish button to publish your app to the Mendix cloud for the first time, Mendix Studio will auto-configure security so that your data stays secure right from the start.
The result is that any user that wants to access your app must use login credentials. They will be logged in automatically in case your platform administrator has configured a Single Sign On experience for Mendix apps.
Now you are in control of the list of users that can access the app. Simply click the Manage Users button on the new Roles & Permissions overview under Settings. You can use the same Roles & Permissions overview to configure different roles, and differentiate (for example) page visibility between roles.
Auto-configuring security will be done for all apps with Mendix version 7.23.3 and higher that are accessed in Mendix Studio. If you’d like to learn more details, we’ve listed all there is to know in these two locations:
- For citizen developers: read how to use security and app roles in Mendix Studio here.
- For professional developers: read the details of model changes that are applied when Mendix Studio auto-configures security settings here.
We believe the best outcomes are achieved by a team of makers working together to reach a single business goal. That’s true for both citizen and professional developers, and especially powerful when individuals with completely different skill levels start collaborating using their development environment of choice, i.e. Mendix Studio and Mendix Studio Pro.
Multiple people simultaneously opening the same app in Mendix Studio will be able to see changes in real-time. One person will be editing the app, while others have view-only access. All involved can take over to start editing if required. This encourages true collaboration between makers in the business side of the organization.
Furthermore, for apps with Mendix version 7.23.3 or higher, we’ve completely revised the syncing process between Studio and Studio Pro, making it smooth and transparent. This allows professional developers and citizen developers to collaborate on a single app. For example, involving a professional developer to flesh out a working prototype in more detail. Or, involving a citizen developer to get the user interface for a specific page built right.
This is how teams of makers using the Mendix platform will accomplish more together than they can on their own. Read more about collaborative development in our documentation.
Jump start your own app with our starter templates
Not sure where to start your maker journey? Our designers have created templates for all kinds of everyday use cases. They’re great starting points, designed for you to easily adapt to your specific business needs.
For example, use our Forms template to capture information you need quickly. Or choose the Tasks template to improve your efficiency and share the workload across your team. Setting up an approval workflow, tracking office assets, sharing content across your organization, and more: we’ve got a fully functional starting point for you that gives you a jump start in minutes. Go check them out in our template gallery.
Coming soon: starting an app from a spreadsheet
Just a few weeks ago at Mendix World, we unveiled the next big feature for Mendix Studio: the ability to start an app based on your own spreadsheets. Goodbye ordinary spreadsheet, hello powerful and flexible Mendix app!
We will release this feature at the end of May 2019. For a sneak preview, watch the announcement in our CTO’s keynote session.
Get started in minutes
Don’t take it from us, try Studio for yourself and see what we mean by a highly intuitive user experience. Simply signup for free and get started in minutes. If you already have an account, simply create an app and start editing in Mendix Studio. There is no need to upgrade: all new capabilities are there so you can just Go make it.