This is the first in a series of summaries of our monthly “Techday” events. We organize them because we like to stay sharp and have fun. Check out our previous blog post about why we do techdays.
The first techday of 2012 was about Mendix. Mendix is both a company and a Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool. FraternIT demonstrated how simple it is to create a new application in Mendix. After a short introduction, we got to try it out for ourselves.
The test case was made up of a stock and catalog system. The idea was to connect the catalog of a sales organisation to the stock information of a wholesale trader through webservices. Basic screens and functionality were already provided. Our task was to make quick changes.
Automatically adding 50% to the wholesale price in the catalog? Just create a simple process flow, click some entities together, add a simple formula and you’re done! No programming required.
In no time you put together an application. Menu-items, webservice coupling, user management, security, everything is put together with just a few clicks. If you need to implement advanced functionality that requires programming, the tool is flexible enough for you to add your own Java module.
Of course, the tool also provides possibilities to change the styling of your web application, like colors, logos, icons and so on. But it remains a generated web application which has fixed defaults and standard components. This means you will have to make compromises regarding the look and feel of your app.
It is amazing to see how fast you can put something nice together. And even though the tool only runs on Windows, the artifact of the deployment is a WAR-file that can be deployed in any web container on any platform. Therefore the end result is deployable to any application server, taking advantage of its performance improvement options, scalability possibilities and so on.
Even though making quick changes is relatively easy, you would still want to have people with an IT background to maintain your application. You still need some basic knowledge of all the technical components that are in there.
If you use Mendix for a web application we’d love to hear about it or if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section.