Mendix is one of the largest players on the market and listed as a leader for Low-Code application development platforms by both Gartner and Forrester. It actually consists of several tools. One of them, Mendix Studio, is a No-Code tool. There is also the Mendix Studio Pro, which is a Low-Code tool that I will review separately.
So this Review is about Mendix Studio. It runs in the cloud and I tested it with Version 2.0.645. I tested Mendix Studio for several days, to get a good impression of how it works and what is possible using it.
Free Trial: Right after registering I received an email to verify my account. I have 4 weeks to test Mendix for free.
Easy Access: I don’t need to install anything. Mendix Studio runs in the browser!
Guided Tour: When I clicked on the link of the registration mail, I got redirected to Mendix Studio already. at this Point Mendix created an App which actually was a guided Tour through Mendix Studio. That’s awesome!
Clear structure of modules: In Mendix Studio there are only a view modules available. This results in a clear structure where you’ll find everything you need very fast. But since it is a very limited set of modules, compared to others, I can only give half a star for this.
Uncertain about the Concept : This may be because I’m used to work with portal solutions, where there are multiple apps and workflows, working together. Mendix doesn’t seem to support that. When I first looked around I only found apps that are isolated and don’t work together. But nowadays everything should be able to be integrated somehow.
Intuitive Development: Thanks to the Guided Tour, building Apps with Mendix Studio is very intuitive. No matter if it’s Pages, Domain-Model (Data-Structure), Microflows or the Theme.
Is it MVC? Pages(View), Domain-Model(Model) and Microflows(Control?) are strictly separated. This will be good for Citizen Developers so they can concentrate on one topic at the time.
Which record am I working on? Somehow Mendix manages to show me the right record. In the Studio however I have now clue how I can configure a button to either create a new record or stay on the same.
Where do I come from? When editing a page, I don’t know how the user got there. especially when there is more then one other page linking to the current one, I’m lost.
Documentation: While developing I wondered if Microflows are running on the server or on the client. Or maybe even both. This question was answered very quickly by the documentation.
Teamwork: The developer portal of Mendix has many features that support developing as a team. But inside Mendix Studio, the functionality is limited to communication.
User Management: Although it is possible to create and assign roles to Pages and Microflows, user-management and security inside Mendix Studio is very limited. I have no access to the user-management and cannot assign certain users to the roles from before to test my application.
Connectivity: I wasn’t able to find out how I could access the data of an external system or even another app. For example, if I have a CRM and a Helpdesk, I want to connect the tickets to the customer. Otherwise I can’t see what level of support the customer can get. Probably if I were to dive deeper into Mendix I would find out how this works, but for now I didn’t even get a hint.
Configuration and Administration: As I’m used to be the developer as well as the one who keeps apps running, I’m very curious about how I can configure and administrate my app after I published it. However, I cannot see any of these things in Mendix Studio.
Combination with Studio Pro and Developer Portal: Event though I rate them separately, the combination of Studio and Studio Pro is really great. They complement each other very well in terms of usability and depth. The combination with the Developer Portal makes it even better.
Configuration and Administration: Weird huh? First zero points now extra-points. Well Mendix isn’t an all-in-one solution. It consists of several tools each having its purpose. Configuration and administration of apps is part of another tool. That’s why I cannot add it to Mendix Studio directly, but add it in this category.
Native Mobile Apps: This is really great. With just a few clicks I’m able to create a native mobile app from my Mendix App. This is something basic for Mendix in total and is not so much something that is special for Mendix Studio, but it is really great and deserves an extra point.