Mendix 10 Solidifies Enterprise Low-Code as the Key Enabler for Composable Digital Solution Delivery
June 2023 by Marc Jacob
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.