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New Goodies for Mendix App Platform Users: Mendix Business Modeler 4.3 Release Today

on December 12, 2012

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As mentioned last week, we added and updated a bunch of terrific features in Mendix Business Modeler 4.3. This release features great new goodies for all Mendix users just before the holidays. Here are the highlights:

Debug Live Apps in the Cloud

We redesigned the debugger from the ground up, and not only integrated it with the Business Modeler, but also with the Mendix Cloud. How cool is that?! You can actually debug your apps right were the error occurs – in test, acceptance or even production environments in the cloud.

Execution is halted at activity with the red border.

With the new debugger you can now work right inside the microflow editor. You’ll see where a microflow is halted and of course you’ll have all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a debugger: setting (conditional) break points, going step-by-step through microflows and inspecting the values of variables.

Inspecting values in the new Variables dock.

Version Selector

Do you have more than one Mendix version installed on your system? Do you have projects built with different versions? If so, you’ll find the new Mendix Version Selector helpful. You can install multiple versions of the Mendix Business Modeler side by side and automatically associate your apps with the right Business Modeler version.

The version selector associates itself with Mendix project files (.mpr) and Mendix packages (.mpk). Double-clicking such a file will start the version selector which will choose the right Business Modeler version automatically. If the right version is not available, it will make it easy to open the project in a newer version or to download the appropriate version from the Mendix App Store.

Note that when installing older Mendix versions (< 4.1.0) you’ll have to uncheck the “.mpr” file association option in the installer to keep the association to the version selector intact.

If a version is not found, you can install it or open in another version.

Photos for Mobile Apps

We also have a nifty new way of snapping pictures right within your mobile apps. You can take a picture with your phone’s camera or choose an existing photo and include it in your app. This neat new feature has many use cases across all kinds of mobile apps: for example insurance adjusters can take a picture of a damaged car or health care professionals can take a picture of a body part. The picture then can be easily enhanced with additional information and used across your app. All of this works directly from within your Mendix mobile app without needing PhoneGap. For this reason, it requires compatibility with the mobile browser and is supported on iOS 6 and Android 4 at this time.

We’ll even interpret the orientation information in the pictures (EXIF for techies) and rotate the picture accordingly so that portrait pictures stay upright when you look at them on a desktop computer.

Take a new photo or upload an existing one.

And more…

This release includes a number of other items such as improved branch management, a new encryption algorithm, and more transient object functionality:

  • The ‘Team’ menu now offers an option to manage branch lines, allowing you to create and delete branches. And if you have a lot of branches, you can more easily clean up the branches you don’t use anymore.
  • Mendix now supports a new default encryption algorithm: BCrypt. It is computationally more intensive, making it harder to crack passwords.
  • Also, the admin and runtime ports can be closed off to other machines – now the default setting for all projects. (Note: If you want to view a mobile app on a mobile device, you will need to open the runtime port.)
  • The result of an export-to-XML action can now be stored in a string variable (in addition to a file document).
  • And last, but not least, we have improved working with transient objects: you can sort lists in microflows and you can use export to Excel/CSV buttons on grids that have a microflow or an association as data source.

As always you can view the complete list of changes and download this release in the App Store.

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Arjan van IJzendoorn

About Arjan van IJzendoorn

Arjan is a member of the Mendix R&D department. He started developing the Mendix Modeler a long time ago and is still working on that application most of the time. Currently, he focuses on the modeling side of pages and widgets, with the occasional excursion into the rest of the Modeler.

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