Mendix 10 Prepares Enterprises for Low-Code Composability

Mendix announced the general availability of Mendix 10, the most powerful release of the industry-leading low-code platform. Mendix 10 introduces a host of innovations that empower organizations to meet unprecedented demand for software by enabling shifts in enterprise-wide digital solution delivery.

Organizations across all industries are faced with the challenge of delivering business outcomes in the face of rapid change. Many are turning to new models to deliver innovation at speed and scale. Visionary enterprises are forming teams of professional developers and business technologists, arming them with a platform for composing digital solutions, and curating sophisticated libraries of capabilities and data from across the enterprise and extended ecosystem. The new Mendix 10 platform supports this shift to what Gartner calls the composable enterprise. Mendix 10 also includes many additional powerful and innovative features including the latest AI and machine learning capabilities; new tools to foster business-IT collaboration; a streamlined developer experience; expansion of cloud deployment options; and a modern approach to governance and control.

“Mendix 10 is designed to enable organizations to approach new digital delivery models like fusion teams and composition with a trusted, reliable platform,” Tim Srock, Mendix CEO explained. “Mendix 10 is transformational. Our customers are trying to balance the relentless demand for digitalization with legacy technology and organizational structures. Mendix 10 enables organizations to approach heady topics like composability with a practical and accessible toolset and an ecosystem of expertise.”

Members of the Mendix ecosystem agree. Impact Networking is a national managed service provider with over 14,000 customers. Jon Evans, vice president of managed digital transformation, said, “Mendix consistently delivers major releases with new functionality that pushes and motivates our teams. Mendix Connect, Workflow, and AI have taken our capabilities to the next level. This innovation has continued through the acquisition by Siemens, who has invested heavily in R&D so there is a comprehensive product roadmap.”

The most powerful low-code IDE, packed with productivity enhancements

Mendix 10 was built by developers, for developers, to provide the most intuitive and powerful low-code integrated development environment (IDE) on the market. Beta customers have been energized by numerous capabilities, such as version control based on the ubiquitous Git product, updated REST and database connectors, and numerous quality-of-life enhancements such as visual data filters, rich properties, and design controls; Start from Spreadsheet; and PDF document generator.

James Payne, senior software engineer at Toyota North America, said, “I downloaded the Mendix 10 Beta specifically to test out the ‘Spreadsheet to App’ function and demonstrate the ease-of-use for our business contributors to begin creating applications. This feature will have a profound impact on enabling our users to more quickly build the right apps they need to do their jobs.”

Later this year, Mendix 10 will also introduce a beta for a MacOS-based version of the Studio Pro IDE. Also coming is an extensibility framework that enables developers to tailor their Studio Pro experience with plugins, wizards, editors, and third-party product integrations.

Bringing AI and ML from buzzword to business value

Mendix has been at the vanguard of bringing AI and ML to low-code audiences, and Mendix 10 continues this leadership. Mendix developers who have been using Mendix Assist to accelerate and advise their development will be treated to the latest ‘bot,’ which generates validation logic for data entry. Later this year (and previewed at the Live Launch Event) Mendix Assist will include Mendix Chat, the first generation of generative guidance during development, a large language model (LLM) built into the IDE and trained on Mendix-specific expertise from documentation, forums, and support. Early next year will see the first beta programs for generation of application elements with AI.

The other area of investment in AI/ML is for developers working with AI services and ML models to deliver “smart apps.” While numerous Mendix customers have built sophisticated solutions using popular 3rd party services, others are eager to embed their own proprietary ML models into Mendix apps. The new ML Kit included in Mendix 10 enables developers to do just this: deploy a ML model built using common ML frameworks into the Mendix Runtime. Models trained with various frameworks, from scikit-learn to PyTorch to TensorFlow, can be converted to Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), an open standard for machine learning models, then directly integrated into Mendix apps, ensuring high performance, data security, and favorable economics.

Scott Gaydos, low-code team lead at Impact Networking, said, “We’re really eager for the upgrades around machine learning that Mendix is bringing forward in Mendix 10. Our aspiration for the ML Kit is to develop our own internal tools that can learn based on user feedback, which will help us offboard legacy tools and support, which is where we’re moving as a business.”

Together, these capabilities ensure that developer productivity and software quality are optimized, and that data is actionable and delivers value for the enterprise.

Preparing for the Composable Enterprise

Low-code has shaken up the software development industry in ways that would have been unimaginable in the past. Mendix predicts that composability – that is, creating and re-assembling tailored application experiences through a combination of internal and external building blocks – is the next big wave of change coming to delivery of digital solutions. As such, Mendix 10 includes key innovations that support the adoption of a composable enterprise strategy.

For instance, Solutions Kit is now generally available, serving both traditional enterprise customers as well as independent software vendors. Solutions Kit is a collection of capabilities that enables the delivery of solutions that can be customized and extended without sacrificing upgradability or maintainability. Solutions Kit includes IP protection in the form of granular control of the adaptability of modules, and lifecycle management, in the form of modification preservation through advanced version control. Later this year, Adaptation Insights will be generally available, providing insights into adaptations across implementations.

ISVs find this capability compelling, as it enables them to provide SaaS solutions that better meet their customers’ needs. And large enterprise customers have used this capability as they begin to execute on composable strategies. For example, a multinational retail grocery chain sees this as how they will scale across geographies and business units. It will enable them to leverage knowledge and experience from teams across the business, while enabling central IT to govern core capabilities and keep total cost of ownership in check.

Massive upgrades to the Mendix Connect integration suite in Mendix 10 are another major investment supporting composability. With enhancements to the data catalog and an ever-expanding set of connectors and services delivered by both Mendix development teams and trusted ecosystem partners, developers operating in a composable environment have easy access to the data and services they need. Further, Mendix 10 introduces support for event-driven architectures, including Business Events and an Event Broker, to ensure developers of all skill sets can create software that promptly responds to typical activities and occurrences.

A big leap forward for continuous collaboration

Mendix 10 builds on its significant history of advancing business and IT collaboration with a new standard for building and delivering solutions together. With Mendix 10, organizations can prioritize, plan, track, and optimize portfolios of applications, much as they would during a consulting engagement, in the platform’s new Portfolio Manager. Traditional teams of developers, or more modern fusion teams comprising developers and business technologists, can manage requirements, track progress, and align with Agile methodologies with Mendix Epics. And teams wanting to leverage their existing investments in Jira can track story progress and versions directly from Mendix with the new Jira connector.

“Collaboration doesn’t stop with the people writing the software,” said product manager Jelena Golubovic at Mendix. “This is why we’re introducing App Insights, which enables development teams to manage the user experience directly with users.” App Insights includes the revamped Feedback feature, which enables users to communicate ideas or issues to developers, and enables developers to communicate to those users, and turn those comments into stories for backlog. The other new capability within App Insights is mini-surveys, which prompt users on particular pages or as they are completing specific activities with single-question prompts to proactively gather usage data.

Multi-cloud capabilities

Gartner estimates that by 2025, cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for more than 95% of new digital initiatives. Mendix 10 brings numerous capabilities to enterprises that ensure they can realize the value of cloud-based application architectures.

First, Mendix 10 offers a robust implementation of Webhooks, which enables DevOps professionals to integrate with existing CI/CD pipelines. For organizations looking for a more low-code approach to CI/CD, Mendix Pipelines will debut in beta at the end of the year. Also coming later this year is self-service management of cloud resources, and multi-region cloud failover for applications deployed on Mendix Cloud, which is soon to be available on six continents.

In a recent webinar, the Chief Operating Officer Mohammed Kaka of South African bank Al Baraka, commented, “The move of the cloud to South Africa is a huge benefit for us. It is going to improve what has already been a successful Mendix implementation. And our customers’ experience is going to get so much better in terms of response and the richness of that response.”

For customers with an investment in AWS, another key capability is available in Mendix 10. Mendix 10 offers Private Cloud customers a reference deployment and accompanying Terraform module to enable simple configuration of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) Kubernetes Clusters. This automates deployment of over 95 AWS services, and can reduce the setup time from 40 hours to 30 minutes.

Mendix 10 also sees the introduction of the Private Mendix Platform. Currently in beta, Private Mendix Platform addresses the unique needs of customers who want the speed and agility of the Mendix platform, but adhere to policies or regulations that require fully self-controlled environments. Private Mendix Platform enables enterprises to deploy Mendix in this capacity, coming out of the box with platform services and connectors to popular software development lifecycle tools (e.g., version control and CI/CD). This joins the recent announcement around FedRamp In-Process Certification to continue driving value in even the most secure cloud deployments.

Governance and control

In Mendix 10, governance was re-imagined to better support composable architectures and larger portfolios of deployed applications. Extended members of Mendix development teams – such as compliance officers, CISOs, and IT executives – will find a significant investment in platform- and portfolio-level governance.

Many customers have existing identity providers (“IdP”) which they’d like to use to control access to Mendix development environments. With Mendix 10, customers can avail themselves of “bring your own IdP” for this purpose. The new Landscape Overview capability addresses operational risk management for enterprises. This overview will give portfolio owners visibility across their portfolio, complete with application health metrics such as CPU usage or network connectivity. A companion capability in dependency governance addresses security risk management with an accurate inventory of released software components.

Hamzah Asmall, Al Baraka’s general manager of digitalization said, “One of the plus points for us with a small security team is that we don’t have an army of security experts around to go and configure things from the ground up. With the Mendix environment it’s very easy for us to migrate our security standards, protocols, and setups to a new environment.”

To learn more about Mendix, visit the website HERE.

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About Author

Taylor Graham, marketing grad with an inner nature to be a perpetual researchist, currently all things IT. Personally and professionally, Taylor is one to know with her tenacity and encouraging spirit. When not working you can find her spending time with friends and family.