At its Mendix World 2019 conference, Mendix today announced it has now fully integrated its namesakes low-code application development platform with Kubernetes as part of an effort to make the platform available anywhere. As part of the initiative, Mendix also announced it is making available a managed instance of its platform on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.
In addition, Mendix announced it has developed a visual development tool that makes it easier for end users to collaborate with developers to create custom applications. What’s more, it has enhanced the level of depth it provides for building applications that can run natively on mobile devices.
Finally, the company is also enhancing its level of integration with SAP HANA databases, making available a second generation of the Mendix Assist artificial intelligence (AI) engine to enable development teams to build applications faster and providing access to data generated by internet of things (IoT) devices via integration with Siemens’ MindSphere platform. Siemens acquired Mendix last year.
Mendix CEO Derek Roos says a global shortage of developers is driving more organizations to embrace low-code platforms, which simplify application building. The shortage of those who can build containerized applications is especially acute, because the tools made available to developers on the Kubernetes platform are not that elegant. By employing Mendix to build applications at a higher level of abstraction, the rate at which containerized applications can be built and deployed on Kubernetes should increase substantially. In fact, notes Roos, in the age of digital business transformation, it will be increasingly common for organizations to drive unique customer experiences using thousands of applications, which inevitably will be made up of hundreds of integrated microservices. The Mendix platform, he says, will make it simpler to create and reuse those microservices across multiple cloud computing environments.
The core of the Mendix strategy assumes most of those applications will be built by end users and professional developers using an iterative approach that results in applications being developed better and faster because those who have the business process expertise needed to build those applications are working with developers. In some cases, many end users eventually will be able to use visual tools to build applications on their own within a set of guidelines defined by IT operations teams.
Regardless of who builds the application, the underlying architecture needs to provide an agile approach to building applications that reduces development time to days and weeks, not months or even in sometimes years. Of course, whether or how much organizations that have deployed Kubernetes embrace low-code platforms remains to be seen. One of the primary perceptions that Mendix is trying to overcome is that low-code platforms can’t be used to create complex applications that access large amounts of data. Now that its low-code platform is fully integrated with Kubernetes, there should many more opportunities for the company to make that case.