Mendix is a low code software development platform where companies can quickly develop applications driving ROI, agility for their business users. We joined Mendix World last week. It is an event organized by Mendix on a yearly basis bringing together business and IT leaders to showcase and discuss the emerging trends – cloud, mobile, microservices, DevOps and many more. It is comparable to the ‘TechEd’ event of SAP. The event was a huge success and one of our SAP consultants wrote an article about it with the key takeaways!
Day 1 - Mendix for SAP HANA
"It was my first time here at Mendix World 2019 which took place at Rotterdam and I was excited to learn how this low-code platform is driving digital innovation. More importantly myself as an SAP Consultant, I was keen to understand the role of Mendix in SAP world. On the day one, I was happy to join the 4000+ participants for Mendix CEO Derek Roos’ keynote and we were welcomed with their new slogan called ‘Go Make It’ which represents the spirit of rapid application development.
Marc Geall, SVP Globa Head of Platform & Technologies Ecosystem at SAP joined Derek on the stage to talk about the strategic partnership between SAP and Mendix which is very promising. This instilled confidence in many that SAP and Mendix are working together to showcase Mendix as a promising solution extension on SAP Cloud Platform. Now coming to the best part of the collaboration of Mendix with SAP – Derek announces ‘Mendix for SAP HANA’ native integration with SAP HANA. Mendix applications can now be deployed using SAP HANA as the primary database. With this, the newly created application data will reside directly on SAP HANA and organizations can use the SAP HANA Data management suite for fast and real-time analytics processing. Derek restates the idea of SAP to keep the core clean and extend it by using ‘SAP cloud platform RAD by Mendix’.
Derek introduced us to their new tool called Mendix Studio which is a No-Code development environment for citizen developers – a term which I have heard for the first time. A citizen developer is a savvy business user with no formal background in computer science or software engineering. Their low-code development environment Mendix Modeler is now renamed to Mendix Studio Pro.
During the breakout sessions in the afternoon, thanks to the unexpected huge number of people attending this year’s event, participants were queuing to get into the session rooms with limited seating. I was able to grab a seat in a session to meet the CIO of an organization with the largest Mendix app portfolio. It is a company using apps developed with Mendix to help many of their front office use cases. I was curious to learn how they have developed a mobile application that enables their technicians at power stations to create back orders in their SAP ECC system. It was also interesting to learn about their challenges to strike a balance between their agile methodology of their front office Mendix applications and the traditional waterfall methodology of their back-office SAP systems.
Day 2 - The extension platform
On day 2, the CTO of Mendix, Johan den Haan presented the keynote by announcing a free edition with unlimited users (before it was limited to 10 users). He then made a very prominent announcement of Mendix Data Hub which is scheduled to be released during this year’s fall. It boasts about cataloging all data assets created in the enterprise using the Mendix platform and provide governance over the usage of virtually any data throughout the enterprise. These data assets are data, events, APIs, functions or even other apps. Mendix data hub can also be integrated with SAP API data hub.
The next biggest announcement was the introduction of building truly native mobile apps. This is said to be the industry’s first true native mobile + Low-Code. This enables the enterprises to build apps with an unmatched end-user experience on mobile devices by leveraging the latest mobile technologies like Face-ID, augmented reality, 3D visualizations.
Day 2 also continued with a couple of breakout sessions focussing on Mendix as solution extension for SAP. I have attended one of their sessions by Erno Rorive a senior product manager in R&D, Mendix. It was on using Mendix as the extension platform for the customers migrating to S/4HANA. He reinstates the slogan of SAP ‘Keep the core clean’ and proposes to use Mendix as the solution extension for the customers who are planning to migrate from SAP ECC to S/4HANA. Mendix is working closely with SAP to layout a migration mechanism for customers to migrate all their customizations from the SAP layer to the Mendix platform. He had also demonstrated how easy it is to import SAP OData API data model into Mendix application and build an application which can talk directly with SAP backend. Within 10 minutes he had created a simple input form from scratch which creates a sales order in S/4HANA cloud system. You can develop apps which resemble the Fiori UI framework to give a seamless end-user UI experience. This really impressed me.
Mendix also emphasized a lot about ‘Offline-first’ architecture in their sessions. This will ensure that the apps developed on the Mendix platform will function no matter what the quality of the internet connection is. This capability will be important to the organizations developing customer-facing mobile applications.
The key takeaway from this event is to bring business and IT together by using Mendix as a low-code development platform. The message is clear on how Mendix will play a key role in the journey of SAP. If you are an enterprise looking for rapid deployment of SAP solution in your organization, Mendix will be the most preferred low-code development platform to extend your S/4HANA, C/4HANA solutions by keeping the core clean.
GO MAKE IT!" - Article by Sandesh Kurumella, SAP Consultant at Amista
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