Mendix is constantly evolving and never stands still! Mendix 9 was introduced in March, and a lot has changed since then. Both the product and the company continue to focus on collaboration and community, which (luckily enough) is directly related to new technical possibilities! So, we've listed 10 of our favorite new technical possibilities.
Condition in a loop
The loop activity has been extended with a new function called "while loop" (looping through lists based on a condition). What this means is as long as the condition remains true, you will continue to loop through the list. If the condition has a ‘false’ outcome then the looping stops immediately.
Before this existed you had to use a decision in a loop and a break event. We also use this wonderful ‘while loop’ function to easily generate large amounts of test data.
Debugging in nanoflows
We’ve been waiting for this one for a while, but now it’s finally here! Just like in microflows, it’s now possible to debug in Nanoflows.
Before Mendix 9 there was no possibility to debug in a Nanoflow, which was very frustrating for many developers including our Low-code maniacs. Thanks to this upgrade, it’s now so much easier to solve bugs and see where things are going wrong.
The release of mendix 9 also brought us DataGrid2 (an update to the original DataGrid) - a standard component to show content in table form. This new and improved version gives you much more customisation. You can add widgets or custom styling to the tables along with several other useful functions.
With the original DataGrid none of this was possible as you had to use a listview for custom tables and change the styling every time. DataGrid 2 is a real time-saver and a nice consistent component that you can use for your custom lists.
Workflow is a visual "language" that allows you to build out business processes.
This made our list because it offers immediate value to many of the apps we’ve already built or are in the process of building. Workflow once again reduces the developer’s workload, which is precisely the goal of low-code (while of course still retaining the flexibility to set everything up just the way you want).
Also, the provided Workflow commons gives you access to a wide range of components such as dashboards, task pages/inboxes, comment sections, etc. In version 9.15 there’s also the option to add annotations to your workflow and abort failed workflows.
MxAssist Performance Bot
The MxAssist Logic Bot is designed to help improve your best practices. How? It detects anti-patterns and indicates where you can improve your logic. What’s more, the bot has been updated and improved regularly throughout Mendix 9 minor releases with more and more things it can take into account.
We at Apvine attach a lot of value to best practices, so we find this tool particularly useful as it helps us apply best practices in the most effective manner. It’s an extra check you can run before committing a new piece of code, ensuring that the quality of your application increases.
Task Queues ensure that microflows and Java actions can run asynchronously while you control the maximum load of tasks. It also allows you to run microflows with a retry mechanism, so if or when one goes wrong, Mendix will automatically retry it every x number of minutes (or on an incremental time scale if you prefer) until the deed is done.
With the release of Mendix 9 you’ll no longer need to search the app store for Task Queue as it comes standard when you create a Mendix App.
New Atlas UI Folder Structure (timeline + version)
Atlas UI has evolved considerably in Mendix 9, from needing Calypso to compile your SCSS files to editing SCSS and JS files in studio pro itself. From Mendix 9.12 onward you don't even need an external editor to adjust custom styling, as you can do it directly in studio pro. Not only that, it also comes with autocomplete and IntelliSense support for both SCSS and JS files, making it a lot easier for us as everything can be kept within studio pro.
New Merge Algorithm
The New Merge Algorithm is used for versioning - where you commit to the server and update. You also catch all merge conflicts here when you’re merging your branches. Before Mendix 9, if you and your colleague had changed the same page, but not the same object, you still had to choose whose version you wanted to override. But starting with Mendix 9 you can do this on a per-object basis and the work of your colleague doesn't have to be completely discarded. This makes working with other developers on the same app much easier.
Add-on and Solution Modules
Members of the Mendix distributor program can now create new types of modules that offer IP protection options. Because subscriptions for solutions, app services and modules are sold in the Marketplace, as a publisher you might often worry about IP protection. After all, you don't want other parties to take your logic and sell it along. At the moment, this functionality is only possible with the Mendix Vendor program. A very handy feature if we want to work with partners in a project, but we don't want to reveal all the logic.
Also one of our favorites is the new Dark mode. We've noticed that not all parts of studio pro support darkmode, which makes it look a bit weird at times, but we’re hoping this gets worked out in the future so we can embrace the darkness throughout the Mendix platform.
So as you can see Mendix is constantly improving the platform, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next release has in store to make our low-code lives more efficient, agile and exciting!