I’m Ed Hadley, one of the newest members of the Mendix team. I spent the last two and a half years at Neolane, a cross-channel campaign management vendor that was recently acquired by Adobe. While marketing technology might seem like a far cry from application platform as a service — to be honest, most of it is — I did find some common ground between campaign management and the model-driven development capabilities of the Mendix platform that I thought would be useful to share.
Before campaign management technology existed, the marketing organization was heavily dependent on IT. Campaign targeting and segmentation—the process of determining which customers should receive which marketing messages based on what the company knew about those customers—required complex SQL queries that direct marketers lacked the skills to write. Campaign management software abstracted this code behind a visual interface, empowering marketers to visually define the business logic and flow of sophisticated marketing campaigns. Campaign cycles shrank and marketers were much more efficient. Success!
The way I see it, model-driven development accomplishes many of the same things. Traditional application development was a complex, lengthy process that required manual coding by highly-skilled developers. Business users were heavily dependent on IT, and would often wait months for applications, only to see the market (or their requirements) change before they ever touched a prototype. Similar to campaign management technology, platforms like Mendix abstract the coding process, so that both IT and business users can visually design business logic, no matter how complex. Development cycles shrink literally to days or weeks, and users are more efficient because they get what they need. Success!
As you can see in the screenshots above, campaign management technology and model-driven development environment both offer visual interfaces that abstract code and business logic, simplifying complex processes. The result is more empowered business users, shorter execution time frames, and faster time to value for the business.
That’s my initial outsider’s perspective on the Mendix App Platform. Do you have other parallels or analogies that help put the technology into context? Feel free to leave a comment below.