This blog is about the 'In Case You Missed It: Catching Up On New Features in Studio Pro' video, presented by Simon Black from Mendix. You can watch the video here.
The slogan for Mendix World 2020 was ‘Build the Future Together’, and as always, during the keynote session, Mendix CTO Johan den Haan and his team revealed fantastic new platform features to look out for.
But as the slogan and keynote have us focused on the (near) future, I'm trying to stay in the present moment and appreciate what is already there. The reality is that most of us aren’t working with the latest version of the platform or using all of the latest features. So it was with great interest that I watched Mendix evangelist Simon Black’s session, “In Case You Missed It: Catching up on New Features in Studio Pro”. In this session, he rates his top 10 features that have been released in Mendix Studio Pro in the past year.
- Native mobile
- Atlas 2.0
- SAP Hana database
- Copy & paste between different models
- Error indicators
- Carousel widget for mobile
- Real time collaboration
- Theme creator
- App store groups
I would like to highlight three of these features, since chances are you don’t use them because you either missed them, you might have ignored them, or these features have become more relevant over time than you think.
A feature that you might have missed is number 10 on Simon’s top 10 list: App store groups. (After hearing Derek Roos’ keynote, this will probably be renamed to ‘Marketplace groups’, so let’s use that name). My experience is that developers don’t share as much content through the marketplace as they could, because they want to maintain control, and their only option is to either share it with the whole community or company or not at all. So this new feature could easily be missed. With the introductions of groups, you now have full control over who you want to share your content with, within or outside of your organization. Features like these will help you develop faster by reusing instead of rebuilding.
In just a few clicks, you can create new groups and add members within or outside your own organization and assign them different roles.
At number eight, Simon mentions a feature that has become more relevant over time. This feature allows for real-time collaboration in Mendix Studio. At the time of release, the feature might not have seemed very relevant as you were working together with the business shoulder-to-shoulder, but as working remotely and online has become standard due to COVID-19, features like these will help you involve the business from a distance like you could when everyone was on site.
The changes the developer makes on the left screen are instantly visible to the team member on the right screen: in this case, the top input widget that has been added.
The last feature I want to highlight is number 6 on Simon’s list, error indicators. This could typically be a feature that you've deliberately ignored. Like Simon, as an experienced developer, you probably don’t need to be told what to fix and how to resolve it. But as a trainer, it has been fascinating to see how new developers use this feature as intended. In the beginning, indicators help them visualize all the errors they have created and help them develop their Mendix skills. But over time, when they are at the point that they understand they've created errors and know how to fix them, they remarkably keep using the error indicators. They have adopted a way of developing in which the indicators are seen as ‘enlighteners’ to help them build faster. So learn from the new generation and don’t see this feature as a know-it-all-criticaster telling you what to do, but think of it as your buddy who can help you develop faster and easier.
Here you can see how errors are visually represented in problem-solving mode. Indicators help you easily find and resolve errors.
I encourage you to watch Simon’s video and take another look at the latest Mendix features. Chances are you're not familiar with all of them and you can already put them to good use while you wait for Mendix 9.