Mendix Moves to Simplify Mobile App Development

Mendix today moved to simplify the development of mobile applications with enhancements to its cloud platform that enables developers to tie components together to create a mobile application that can be instantly deployed on any number of mobile computing devices.

Gottfried Sehringer, vice president of marketing for Mendix, says the extensions of the Mendix App Platform consist mainly of components for different classes of mobile computing devices that developers can mix and match to create mobile applications.

In addition, Mendix is making available tools that developers can use to create their own components that can be published and shared via the Mendix App Store. Those components can then be used to create applications that invoke Mendix APIs that provide access to a variety of back-end services, including user management, authentication, security and messaging.

Sehringer says the goal is to allow developers to be able to leverage a single code base in a way that still allows them to take advantage of the native functionality of a particular mobile computing platform by leveraging a preconfigured component that invokes that function. That not only reduces the amount of time it takes to build that application, it means developers no longer have to make a trade-off between having a single code base and the unique functionality of a particular device, he says.

At present, most organizations are struggling with a backlog of mobile application development projects. As a modeling tool for building applications in the cloud, Mendix could already be used to create those applications faster than by using lower-level tools. The addition of reusable components means that developers of almost any skill level can now create those applications, which Sehringer says should go a long way toward helping reduce the backlog for developing mobile computing applications.

Mendix is also making available, via the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Microsoft Windows Store, Mendix Developer App software that allows developers to quickly pair their mobile devices with their development environment simply by scanning a QR code. Sehringer says that approach allows developers to instantly test their mobile apps, including their native device functions.

The latest release of the Mendix platform also includes one-click integration with PhoneGap, an open source framework for quickly building cross-platform mobile apps. By leveraging the Adobe PhoneGap Build service from within the Mendix App Platform, developers can automatically create packages for their apps that can be published in the Apple, Google and Microsoft stores, says Sehringer.

Given the strategic imperative that most organizations are putting on mobile applications these days, any effort to reduce the time and complexity associated with building applications is likely to be welcome by internal IT organizations. The next challenge once all these mobile applications find their way into production is integrating them into the larger overall API economy.

Michael Vizard

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