Moving to make their rapid application development platform as widely accessible as possible, Mendix today launched Mendix AppCloud. Announced at the Mendix World 2014 conference, AppCloud is an implementation of the company's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment that is used for rapidly developing applications on a cloud platform managed by Mendix. In addition, Mendix also announced that it is making available a free community edition of its PaaS environment that small teams of up to 10 developers can use to build applications.
The Mendix AppCloud is designed to not only provide access to a set of visual modelling tools that allow organizations to develop applications at a much higher level of abstraction, Mendix AppCloud also provides an environment where end users and developers alike can collaborate and even sell applications more efficiently using the single sign-on capabilities embedded in Mendix AppCloud.
One of the more exasperating aspects of application development is the continuous refinement of application requirements. End user tend to initially describe the features and functions they desire in loose terms; only to discover what they often want and need are in conflict with one another. Sehringer says RAD tools in the cloud provide a way for that process to more rapidly play out in a way that winds up bringing innovative applications to the business faster. To facilitate that process Mendix AppCloud also provides free sandbox cloud environments that help build, deploy and share applications and related updates with others application stakeholders.
Because Mendix AppCloud supports RESTful API services, the applications developed on Mendix AppCloud can more easily be integrated with other applications running inside and out of the Mendix cloud environment.
Mendix AppCloud also includes a Launchpad capability that provides one easy place for end users to access all of their business applications and application services via one consistent user experience across all devices.
RAD tools for prototyping and then actually creating and deploying applications have been around for a while. The rise of cloud computing, however, is making these tools more accessible to a broader number of not only developers, but also a whole range of end users that have developed various levels of programming skills. Regardless of who designs and develops these applications, the one thing that is for certain is that the number of programmable applications in the cloud is about to start increasing exponentially.