Mendix’s Chief Technology Officer, Johan den Haan says that all those companies, which includes software at the core of their business like Uber, Netflix and Airbnb are scaring traditional companies, which are unable to innovate rapidly. Hence, the mission of Mendix is to provide help to such organizations by making app development faster as well as more accessible. It is said that the Mendix cloud-based platform is based upon capabilities in order to integrate Watson, Amazon Web Services machine learning, Watson, AWS IoT and several other cloud elements so as to build applications. Their focus is helping developers to create smart apps.
When talking about smart apps with him, he has a lot of things to tell us so we sat down with him to know his views. Listed below are some questions and answers of Johan den Haan.
Qs. What is the purpose of Smart Apps?
Ans. The main motive of such apps is to help accelerate innovation in enterprises by developing software with a suite of applications, allowing people to build software at a much rapid pace and with 70% less resources. It involves a mix of people, which includes technical people and some non-technical people for handling UI building and business logic etc.
Our company make use of visual models in order to specify the elements in order to turn these into apps. All those who are using our platform are aware of their objectives and for them, there is no need to know the ins and outs of a programming language.
Qs. Can you describe the infrastructure behind smart apps?
Ans. At Mendix, we use our own mobile languages, which is known as DSLs or domain specific languages and we put these in their runtime environment with a built-in Scala Runtime Engine as well as Java VM, which runs on Cloud Foundry. All these interprets the business model and converts it to an app. Later on, we put the whole app layer on top, allowing you to push your source code. It will use the Java elements in order to combine your code, convert it in binary and finally drop into the container. This paves the way for scaling, high availability as well as health management. The apps we facilitate can easily run on all operating systems, Windows, Linux and Mac.
Qs. which is most popular, mobile app or web?
Ans. Mobile is not showing any sign of slowing down. When people build a new app, they want it to work on mobile devices and this is where some people go wrong. Any app in the enterprise is considered as a multi-channel and should be accessed from a tablet/phone/device or even from a desktop or laptop. We feel that the world is multi-channel and so, build apps that can be accessed from any device in a hassle free manner.
Qs. Can you give some examples of smart apps?
Ans. First example is an airline application, which illustrates from building through innovation to executing great ideas and saving money. This particular airline company conducted maintenance on airplanes in three buildings with specific equipment. When engineers look for the equipment they need, this takes a lot of time to find. Their app tags all the equipment and effectively connects them to a smart app with the help of a low-energy IoT network. There is no exaggeration in saying that the app saves a good amount of time as well as million dollars every year.
Another interesting example involves an insurance company in the UK that build web based portals to integrate into their back-end systems in order to process insurers. Earlier, it used to take more than 12 months to get a new product with a self-service portal, but now it takes only six weeks from an idea to self-service.
Qs. Do you provide service-level agreements?
Ans. Our company offer enterprise level SLAs and on the basis of your contract, you can have basic or platinum level SLAs with specific DR policies and cloud security certifications.
Qs. Can you describe the security?
Ans. We ensure technical security, which means safety from query injection and OS vulnerabilities etc. On the other hand, the data is secured with user-role-based access which are explained in an app and integrated.
Qs. Can you tell us your business model?
Ans. Free version is limited to only 10 users with unlimited apps, whereas the paid edition charges by platform licenses according to no.of apps or users.