App Development

1 How Does Mendix Support Different Developer Profiles?

The Mendix platform is designed for a variety of app developers, from business-oriented developers without any software development skills to very experienced technical developers with extensive software development and programming experience.

The Developer Continuum - Solution Focused vs Technology Focused

Business Analysts and Business Developers can directly use the Mendix Web Modeler to build, review, and collaborate on an app. The Web Modeler provides the tools to build the app, regardless of the user’s programming experience or background. Users familiar with the Web Modeler can also start using the Desktop Modeler if more advanced app features need to be added. The Modelers share the same concepts and terminology, which makes for a smooth user experience.

Developers with a technical programming background (for example, JavaScript, Java, or .NET) can use the Desktop Modeler along with CSS, Java, and JavaScript to build, customize, and extend a Mendix app.

For information on getting started with Mendix, have a look at First Steps with Mendix and Skills & Training.

2 How Can I Work with My Team Members on the Same App?

Business Analysts and Business Developers can work together on a single app model version in the Web Modeler. This means that all changes are directly available to all other Web Modeler users. The Web Modeler can also be used for stakeholders to review the app and place comments on the app pages, domain model, and microflow logic.

Developers using the Mendix Desktop Modeler can work together on the same app model via the Team Server version control repository. The models in the Web Modeler and Desktop Modeler environments can be brought into sync using the Team Server. For detailed steps on how to manage this, see How to Sync the Web Modeler with the Desktop Modeler in the Mendix documentation.

3 How Does Mendix Enable Model-Driven Development?

Web and Desktop Application Modelers

While both the Web Modeler and Desktop Modeler environments support the ability to build data models, pages, and logic, their target audiences differ, and their features are tuned accordingly.

3.1 What Can I Do with the Web Modeler?

The Mendix Web Modeler is our collaborative, no-code, web-based application development environment. It enables business developers and users with minimal coding or software development experience to create engaging web and mobile applications without having to know how to code. With the Web Modeler’s visual drag-and-drop interface for design, data, and logic, collaborative software development becomes accessible to a variety of stakeholders.

Business analysts and business developers use the Web Modeler to do the following:

  • Develop application user interfaces with styled building blocks and widgets
  • Create domain models for reading and writing data in an application
  • Visually model the interactions and flow control of an application
  • Leverage an enterprise design language to create engaging apps that conform to company standards beyond branding and theming
  • Foster collaboration and alignment with stakeholders in business and IT via a what-you-see-is-what-you-get environment, which is a key element of iterative software development

In short, the Web Modeler empowers these users to solve problems collaboratively, creatively, and quickly, maximizing the productivity of your organization and gaining higher end-user adoption.

Application Development Web Modeler

3.2 What Can I Do with the Desktop Modeler?

The Mendix Desktop Modeler is Mendix’s comprehensive low-code application development environment that allows cross-functional teams to turn ideas into production applications. A range of developers—from the seriously experienced to those with little previous exposure to coding—can build applications from the ground up by adding complex logic and building sophisticated integrations to create enterprise-grade, transactional web and mobile applications.

The Desktop Modeler is designed for (experienced) business analysts and developers to build applications from start to finish while they harness the power of collaborative software development. Users of the Desktop Modeler benefit from a wider set of functionality compared to the Web Modeler.

Within the Desktop Modeler, you are able to build extensions, add integration to underlying systems, manage branch lines, and manage security. What is more, the Desktop Modeler consists of an extensive set of domain-specific languages and associated modeling tools, including the domain model, page editor, microflow editor, integrations, debugger, and security configuration.

Application Development Desktop Modeler

3.3 How Can I Work Offline?

The Mendix Desktop Modeler has a Work offline mode in which you can continue modeling, running, and testing the app locally without an internet connection. In this mode, all the changes are still stored in the local version repository. When you want to share the changes made with the rest of your app development team, you can go online again and commit to the Team Server version control repository.

While working offline, online services like the Mendix App Store, Team Server, and and app project stories in the Mendix Developer Portal are temporarily disabled.

3.4 How Can I Deploy & Test Locally?

Rapid development requires developers to test changes quickly, particularly where UX/UI is concerned. To achieve this, the Mendix Platform provides one-click deployment to the user’s local machine. Local deployment works out of the box, no additional installation or configuration required. When deploying locally, a fully functional local working instance of the application with its own local SQL database is started.

The Instant Update feature in the Desktop Modeler provides the fastest way to quickly iterate on changes made in an app project. Only the changed parts of the app are pushed and updated to the locally running app, so you can directly test your change in the live app.

You can even test changes locally without the need for an internet connection using http://localhost:{dynamic variable port}.

3.5 Which Operating Systems Do the Mendix Modelers Support?

Most Mendix Platform features are browser-based, including the Web Modeler. These features are available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

The Desktop Modeler is a Windows-based application, which can also be run in a virtual machine like Parallels on MacOS.

Mendix, Win in a software-driven world.