The low-code movement keeps gaining traction.

While the demand for software already outstrips supply due to the lack of skilled professional developers, we believe this will only accelerate.  Even in times of uncertainty due to the global health crisis we’re in, companies and organizations are doubling down on driving their digital agenda. Businesses need to rapidly experiment to find the right way forward. The promise of low-code is to unleash creativity and domain expertise, and rapidly build solutions to achieve business outcomes. For many businesses, it’s digitize or disappear.

The promise of low-code is clearly evident. In fact, Gartner reportedly tracks over 300(!) vendors active in the low-code space, supporting various types of low-code development. Of these, Gartner has recently evaluated the top 18 in Gartner’s 2020 Enterprise LCAP Magic Quadrant. I’m pleased to announce that for the second straight year, Mendix came out as the most visionary leader of the pack!

In my post about the 2019 edition, I highlighted the essence of enterprise low-code application platforms (LCAP) and laid out our vision that everyone will become a software maker.

Let’s look ahead again.

Low-Code Adoption

Gartner predicts that “by 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted an LCAP as one of their strategic application platforms.”

The use cases for low-code are expanding. In the “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms” report that was published in conjunction with the Magic Quadrant, Gartner identifies 5 common use cases:

  • Citizen development
  • Business unit IT application
  • Enterprise IT business process application
  • Fusion team composable application
  • Mobile and web application for SaaS and ISVs

Vendors participating in the MQ have been evaluated against a set of key capabilities, and through applying weighting for these capabilities their offering is matched against the use case. Mendix had the best all-around scores with 3 #1 rankings (mobile, business unit IT, and fusion), a #2 placement for citizen development, and a #3 showing in Enterprise IT business process applications. Suffice it to say, Mendix set the pace for all enterprise-grade low-code application platforms.

At Mendix, we believe low-code should be offered to developers of all types. Our dual-IDE approach–based on a single metadata model with Studio for citizen developers, and Studio Pro for low-code professionals–combined with a cloud-native platform architecture makes Mendix suitable for apps no matter the scale. Mendix users can automate a simple workflow at the department level, all the way to building mission-critical core systems based on a microservices architecture.

It’s More than Development Now

But it’s not just the range of supporting various levels of application complexity that organizations are looking for when they adopt an LCAP. According to Gartner, enterprises show “a high level of interest in ‘low code’ for both application development and other application-related uses such as integration and AI services.” Also, “the overlap with the business process automation vendors continues to grow.’

A number of technology domains are starting to converge, where a low-code approach is serving as a catalyst.

The principle of radical abstraction and automation as we have been driving for app development can also be applied to adjacent domains, allowing you to further increase developer productivity and decrease time-to-value for solving business problems with software.

That’s exactly where we are going. This year at Mendix World 2020, our annual customer conference, we announced our All-in-One Low-Code Platform strategy that’s coming together in Mendix 9.

all-in-one low code platform
This is what low-code platforms should look like now.

We are bringing a low-code approach to new types of software problems:

  • Data Integration – Discover data sources, understand the landscape, and instantly connect with secure data. Mendix Data Hub is the world’s first low code integration platform that abstracts the complexity of integration away for developers. The Data Hub Catalog provides a standards-based metadata repository of enterprise data that can be registered and curated. Deep integration with Mendix Studio and Studio Pro offers developers the possibility to discover and use data via drag-and-drop.
  • Intelligent Automation – Visually define (human) workflows, execute, and monitor them. Mendix Workflow leverages the full power of the Mendix Platform to handle data, define business logic and deliver consumer-grade user experiences. Based on the BPMN 2.0 standard, it supports all key constructs to build powerful business process solutions with options for in-app and cross-app task management. Combining Mendix Workflow with Data Hub makes for a powerful solution to grant different types of developers access to the right data without compromising security and governance stipulations.
  • Multi-Experience Development – Create consistent and coherent user experiences across a range of touchpoints and modalities. A Leader in Gartner’s 2020 MXDP Magic Quadrant, Mendix offers powerful options to build cross-platform native mobile apps and Progressive Web Apps from one and the same application model.
  • AI – Easily connect AI and cognitive services to your applications to make them smarter. Our vision is that developers should be able to leverage commodity services offered by hyperscalers out-of-the-box, or train data sets for standard services to get to optimized outcomes in their business context, as well as create machine learning (ML) models from scratch using a low-code ML pipeline. On the platform-level, we’re doubling down on expanding our AI-assisted development capabilities by adding more AI bots to Mendix Assist. We are seeing great adoption of the Logic bot, with 60% of developers in the community using the service. Over 40% of the business logic defined in microflows is created with help of Mendix Assist. Based on this success, we will introduce a Performance bot as part of Mendix 9.

From a deployment perspective, we are taking a similar approach. The concept of 1-click deploy is table stakes for low-code platforms these days. But it’s typically applied to a public cloud the vendor operates. At Mendix we acknowledge that enterprises demand deploying low-code apps on their cloud of choice. Some apps may run in public cloud, but other apps should run on a (virtual) private cloud or even on an edge device.

Mendix is front-runner in offering multi-cloud deployment, taking a “low-ops” approach for each flavor we support. Whether you deploy an app to our public Mendix Cloud, to Microsoft Azure using AKS, to RedHat OpenShift, or SAP Cloud Platform to name a few, the DevOps experience is consistently simple and intuitive.

The unified architecture of the Mendix Platform provides an ideal springboard for expanding low-code in adjacent software domains, enabling an ever growing group makers to build software that makes the difference.