Mendix 8 To Build Enterprise Apps At The Speed Of Ideas

In this global era, every organisation utilises applications to bridge the gap between their customers and services. With the accelerating prevalence of digital technologies, however, many companies find it challenging to track their performance without well-equipped apps. The need for responsive and reliable apps to support internal and external operation codes for the years ahead is evident; however, the path to attaining optimal results is full of obstacles. Obstacles that low-code development platforms aim to knock out with their innovative solutions. But what is a low-code platform? And what is low-code development?

Low code development is a visual approach to software development that streamlines the code development process and saves time. A recent survey revealed that about 77% of enterprises in six countries have already turned to low-code development. And approximately 75% of IT leaders and developers believe it is a trend they must take advantage of. 

What is Mendix low-code application development?

Mendix is a low-code application development platform for developing web and mobile apps. It is an automation-based solution that speeds up the lifetime development of apps. As a result, Mendix provides excellent scalability and speed, accelerating business growth exponentially. 

Mendix works with three core values- Speed, Collaboration, and Control; and reduces the burden on the IT team and developers and enables them to focus on high-priority tasks. It assists in building applications with little-to-no coding and benefits amateur or newbie developers. It streamlines the development process and enhances productivity. As a result, over 4000 companies have joined with Mendix to boost their business. 

Mendix low-code development platform has designed more than 235,000 applications across 25 industries. Some of the features it comprises are:

  • Provides a simple technique for business domain expertise to create intuitive and visually appealing software.
  • Professional developers can use low-level control and scalability to use other programming languages, integration capabilities, debugging capabilities, and an open meta-model. 
  • IT teams can manage their application ecosystems while allowing business domain experts to design apps.

Why did you choose Mendix 8?

Whether a business user or a professional developer, Mendix low-code development platform lets you create the finest apps possible and automates work processes and application workflows. It efficiently tackles extensions and augmentation creatively and uniquely. Some primary Mendix app examples include customer portals, claim management apps, student service applications for universities, and agent/broker portals. Instead of adding additional code to your application, Mendix extends the modeler. As a result, you can always ensure that your model and custom code extensions operate properly by augmenting the modeler’s capabilities. 

With considerable advances in resource management, why would you not want to take advantage of it? Some of its perks are: 

1. Top-notch user experience using truly native technology

Mendix presents an ideal solution to design and bundle native iOS and Android apps without requiring specialized hardware to submit them to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

  • Mendix Make It Native app ramps the development process for native developers and allows them to preview applications even in the on-progress phase. 
  • More than 50 pre-built connectors to mobile device features, including camera, geolocation, biometric identification, Bluetooth enablement, and next-generation services like voice interfaces and conversational chatbots, for example- Alexa and Siri.

2. Reliable and fast through an offline-first approach

Offline-first apps function without a connection to deliver a continuous experience. Pages and logic interact with the device’s offline database and sync the data with the server. It leads to a more responsive user interface, higher dependability, and longer battery life. 

  • Mendix facilitates the development of offline-first applications for native and hybrid mobile apps. It stores the data on the device in a local database and maintains the files on file storage.
  • Offline-first design develops robust apps that retain a pleasant user experience across good to weak to none network connectivity levels.
  • Native mobile applications are always offline-first, whereas hybrid mobile apps depend on the configured navigation profile.

3. Great and powerful developer experiences

Mendix 8 accompanies Mendix Assist with AI-enabled guidance. The latest version of Mendix Assist encompasses data culled from almost 5 million application models from multiple industries over 10 years. As a result, it manifests every feature software developers want for simplified low-code development

  • Mendix Assist delivers a prompt learning curve for newbie programmers and developers and guides on next-step tasks and previous logical processes, maximizing productivity. 
  • Mendix ascertains whether your working copy is locked when performing a version control action like Update, Commit, or Merge. You can unlock it before proceeding. 

4. State-of-the-art and future-proof technology: React Native

Mendix 8 integrates native mobile development using React Native. It implies that low-code developers of all skill levels can design consumer-grade UX on mobile apps that include the native, device-specific gestures, animations, and micro-interactions that consumers expect. Besides high-quality components from the broad and vibrant React Native open-source community, you can avail of,

  • Maps, tab containers, progress circles and bars, sliders, and barcode scanners are among the many pre-installed UI components.
  • It expedites communication and debugging processes.

New Features of Mendix 8

Mendix 8 provides you with new functionality. Mendix Studio Pro, previously known as the Desktop Modeler, grants developers control while remaining incredibly flexible. Mendix low-code examples range from automating manual processes to rebuilding core legacy systems. Mendix’s low-code development platform delivers state-of-the-art applications in less time. And with the new features and multiple Mendix use cases available, the remedy to faster and quicker development and deployment never seizes. Mendix 8 brings the following novel features for developers across the world:

1. Native Mobile

Mendix now allows you to develop authentic native mobile applications just as seamlessly as you design other applications. These native mobile apps provide quick speed, improved performance, smooth graphics, animations, intuitive interaction patterns such as swipe motions, and enhanced access to all native device features. 

  • Mendix allows you to build native mobile apps without an internet connection owing to its offline-first feature.
  • Its Atlas UI framework composes the native theme and style. In essence, it allows you control over the style and assists in building out-of-the-box applications. 
  • The app template is pre-packed with plenty of attributes to get you going quickly. 
  • It offers a predefined native navigation profile, a wide range of mobile-specific widgets, and nanoflow activities, allowing you to leverage your device’s capabilities.

2. Native Builder

The Native Builder is a command line input tool that can transform your Mendix project into a native mobile app for Android and iOS, simplifying the build process. This way, the IT team can focus on core tasks. 

  • The Native Builder uses MxBuild, GitHub, and App Center to ease app development.
  • It significantly focuses on fine-tuning the app development experience with its constantly evolving tool capabilities.
  • The tool aims to streamline your app development experience by automating the setting and configuration of these processes.

3. JavaScript Actions

Studio Pro 8 facilitates platform extension with JavaScript actions. JavaScript actions are a new and innovative feature in Mendix 8. You can develop custom activities for nanoflows in JavaScript. Further, it allows you to access device or browser APIs, conduct sophisticated computations, extend nanoflows with custom logic, and probe other possibilities.

  • You can now use JavaScript editor to enhance mobile applications without leaving Studio Pro.
  • It furnishes different parameter values. JavaScript exposes a nanoflow activity in the Studio Pro Toolbox and simplifies the dispensing and packaging via the private or public Mendix Marketplace.
  • JavaScript’s code tab includes a sophisticated editor built on the Monaco editor. In addition, it drives the IDE, Visual Source Code.
  • The editor delivers an exceptional user experience by supporting intuitive context-aware auto-completion, embedding documentation on the web and Mendix APIs, code-friendly shortcuts, and accurate indentation.

4. Pluggable Widgets

Mendix 8 introduces an innovative and uncomplicated approach to creating widgets with pluggable widgets. It enables you to create widgets using React and leverage simple and robust Mendix APIs. The new pluggable widget API’s primary benefit is that it is entirely reactive. Furthermore, it employs additional and more advanced property types. For instance,

  • You can use the text template property type to pick text templates. The widget will receive a property that expands the parameters in the text template.
  • You can select an action type property, such as call-microflow or open-page. The widget then gets a callback to perform the specified action.
  • The key Label systemProperty enables the widget to have a label like the text box. 
  • You can easily configure an expression using the expression property. The widget receives the result of that expression as a property.

5. Sub-Nanoflows

Nanoflows are widely and frequently in use in low-code development. Their usage continues to rise as the requirement to share logic becomes more prominent. Further, their increased utilization has made the demand for reusable nanoflows apparent. Nanoflows come with Custom error-handling capabilities; you can pick Custom error-handling from an activity’s context menu and then apply the $latestError variable in your error flow. 

This function allows you to sync offline applications without a network connection. Earlier, these processes typically resulted in the nanoflow failing and displaying a notice to the user by default. Mendix 8 has skillfully tackled this issue by equipping nanoflows with various features: 

  • Allows you to conveniently call a nanoflow within a nanoflow with its Call Nanoflow action. 
  • Effortlessly configure the nanoflow to call, fill in the parameter entries, and record the return value using this action.
  • Drag and drop a nanoflow directly from Project Explorer into the nanoflow editor.

6. Design Properties

Mendix 8 puts Mendix Studio’s design properties in your hands. You can find them in your theme folder in a customizable settings.json* file. Suppose you are using a class name in several places and decide that it will be better to leverage a design property. In such case, you can extend the settings file and follow the given steps to convert class names to design properties-

Project > Tools > Convert classes to design properties. 

Mendix Studio Pro, the upgraded version, already facilitates this conversion without requiring you to alter the configuration. Moreover, design properties are readily available in the Find Advanced dialogue box.

7. Structure Mode and Design Mode

The page editor’s Edit mode is now titled Structure mode, while the View mode has become Design mode. Structure mode lays out page widgets in an organized manner, ensuring that the logical link between them is clear. 

The Design mode no longer restricts you from simply previewing your app. You can now edit the page without switching modes. In Design mode, the context menu of layout grid columns features the option to add and remove rows. Further, it does not display an endless loading spinner for pages containing them and now properly accommodates any modifications made to custom widget settings.

8. Drop-Down and Radio Button Improvements

The drop-down and radio button widgets now incorporate the following enhancements: 

  • Deleted enumeration options in the database are accurately displayed. However, you cannot select them anymore. 
  • Screen readers can access drop-down buttons, and end users can navigate and choose values using the keyboard using the 8th version.

9. Breaking Changes 

Mendix 8 introduced many breaking changes to optimize the low-code development. For instance,

  • You can not operate system entities other than User, FileDocument, or Image as generalizations.
  • The 8th version employs the latest CLDR specifications for representing dates and numbers. 
  • Some parameters for custom widgets are no longer available with the modification in the date formatting API.
  • Helvetica replaces the previous fonts- Arial and Tahoma, automatically once you upgrade to the Mendix version. However, you can provide custom fonts as an alternative.

10. Known Issues

Mendix 8 addresses and ceases the persisting issues using cutting-edge tools and solutions. Some of them are:

  • Studio Pro gave incorrect results for XPath queries whenever you compared the same entity member against unlike values.
  • Bottom bar captions and page titles were not translatable in native mobile applications.
  • Non-administrative users with permission to handle users were able to escalate their privileges, often making the system vulnerable.
  • Deployment of a project in native mobile took approximately one minute longer than usual, as it built a cache. 

Summing Up

All in all, low-code development is a way to open the door to many opportunities for your business. You do not have to rush to convert your Mendix low-code development platform until you are ready. Mendix 8 supports and provides hybrid mobile applications hand in hand. You can build your native mobile applications employing a novel and easy-to-use navigation profile. It is available next to the Hybrid mobile. However, switching to the new model will elevate your productivity and efficiency. The novel Native Mobile Quickstart application contains several features and benefits ranging from a navigation profile to the nanoflows to the widgets for optimized device integration. 

But how to build a low-code platform? If you are unsure or hesitant about initiating the process, no worries! Creating adept mobile and web applications for your business does not have to be easy and manageable. Parangat offers optimal Mendix low-code development services to individuals and organizations seeking assistance. Our professional team has expertise in developing and deploying highly-responsive mobile applications with Mendix use cases to help you flourish your venture.

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