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Future of Enterprise low-code

Bart Tolen
Bart Tolen


This blog is about the 'The Future of Enterprise Low-Code' video, presented by Sheryl Koenigsberg and Gordon van Huizen. You can watch the video here.

This video, featuring Sheryl Koenigsberg’s interview with Gordon van Huizen about the future of enterprise low-code, addresses many of the new topics raised in the keynote speech. The interview goes from why low-code is booming to how low-code is being used and extended, along with a few examples. It gives context to the new features on the horizon. 

I've put together an overview of my main takeaways from the interview:

Low-code is the future of app development and now is the time to digitalize to remain competitive. Particularly during this pandemic, low-code is key to finding new ways to work with customers, partners, or internal colleagues. Low-code allows you to experiment and get solutions out quickly.

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Low-code was first used at the departmental level, but now we’re seeing a shift to innovation and experimentation and an evolution in the enterprise, with things like legacy replacement.

Low-code follows the trend on how people interact with systems - from desktop, laptop and mobile into new forms of interactions:

  • Conversational
  • Voice
  • Augmented reality
  • Wearable devices 

All brought together as multi experience. Not just additional channels, but users communicating simultaneously through channels, switching back and forth, with a backend system that is always there, doing things on their behalf. This really demands a new way of approaching the user journey.

The core principles of low-code are:

  • Abstraction, for example through visual modeling, and
  • Automation, a new layer with asynchronous workflows and of course new algorithms with AI

Which new domains can you tackle with low-code? What will a maker need to do moving forward? We’ll look at some aspects of enterprise IT:

  • Data is less and less part of the app. How to make it easier to discover and leverage data.
  • Workflow or process automation is the connection to multi experience and a new high level of abstraction to better talk to the business.
  • AI helps us with cognitive services, natural language processing, intelligent OCR, and a lot more.

When it comes to the low-code developer, Mendix removes the details they don’t need to worry about. We see they don’t build things from scratch anymore, but they instead build sophisticated solutions out of building blocks. These building blocks are not just widgets, modules or interfaces, but a complete set of features called app services that are valuable when contextualized to a specific domain, and even more valuable when multiple app services are bundled together in a template. And don’t forget that app services and templates are still customizable and expandable to specific domains, user needs, and new technologies to come.

Concrete examples of fine-grained app services to full-blown templates:

  • 3D visualization
  • Natural language processing
  • Document processing. Analyze, apply natural language processing, use workflow to determine where it needs to go next, human or machine.
  • A standard product life cycle (PLM) software product that will be launched in Q3 2020¹

Is this a big investment for Mendix and does Mendix have all the domain and technology expertise?

  • No platform vendor is ever going to cover all domains and technology
  • Mendix envisions an eco-system. Contributors can add app services and templates to a marketplace

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Mansystems/Flowfabric is currently in close collaboration with Siemens to develop PLM. It will be the first partner-developed product template within the marketplace for Mendix Industry Solutions. Gordon did not give a product template example in the interview, which is why I added the one I’m familiar with.
Bart Tolen

Bart Tolen

Bart Tolen has a master of engineering in applied physics and has worked with Mendix since 2010. He is a Mendix MVP, Solution Architect, and specialized in performance. Bart is the thought leader and designer of Mendix APD.

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