The latest trends in software development from the Computer Weekly Application Developer Network.
The low-code/no-code cognoscenti (arguably) don’t need to tell us that the pandemic highlighted just how acute the shortage of traditional software developers is… as if to form some sort of hors d’oeuvre to prelude their latest announcements. But they do.
They don’t need to tell us about digitalisation, automation and the democratisation of software development through low-code/no-code. But they do.
They don’t actually need to use terms like ‘expanded digital ecosystem’. But they do. 
Neither do they need to talk about the ‘rich set’ of curated building blocks and components that they have created to make low-code/no-code a reality. No, wait, that’s the actual bit that they do need to talk about.
After the requisite padding and platitudes, low-code stalwart Mendix has detailed some of the virtual-only goings-on that occurred as part of its Mendix World 2021 event.
With what is claimed to be some 250,000 members now forming the so-called Mendix Maker community, this is not just about assembling code building blocks, this is about giving software application development teams the ability to ‘merchandise’ these building blocks themselves.
As Derek Roos, Mendix CEO and co-founder, suggested in his Mendix World 2021 address, the global disruption also brought innovation on a massive scale across virtually every business sector as enterprises responded to the emerging digital-first economy.
“The line between consumption and creation is blurring. Brokering more collaboration between low-code makers and low-code consumers unlocks new business opportunities, enabling the commercialisation of new digital capabilities and the data that flows through them,” said Roos.
Mendix has extended its platform with what it is calling Industry Clouds (CAPS intentional) as a branded offering to bring together industry-specific best practices, reusable templates, industry partners and customers into a developer community for each key industry.
The company’s first tangible steps in this areas are the Mendix for Manufacturing Industries and Mendix for Financial Services cloud brands.
“Each cloud comprises a rich set of curated building blocks and components specific to addressing challenges found in that industry, including connectors to data sources and systems of record, APIs, AppServices, workflows, templates and adaptive solutions,” noted Roos and team, in a press statement.
Roos also introduced several specific new solution templates at Mendix World. 
These templated solutions can be extended and personalised to build customer experiences that align to each organisation’s brand and differentiation. 
For the financial industry, Mendix is introducing templated solutions for Credit Rating, Claims Management and Portfolio Management. Addressing the needs of manufacturers, Mendix is launching solution templates for Smart Warehousing, Predictive Maintenance, and Smart Workforce Planning to jumpstart the digitisation process.
Additional vertical Industry Clouds targeting the public sector, education and healthcare are set to launch next year.
Also this year Mendix announced extensions to its platform, including the aforementioned AppServices Framework and Solutions Platform.
The company says that AppServices are a cornerstone of the composability and assembly factors that organisations are seeking to alleviate some of the pressure on software development.  
New AppServices from Mendix include capabilities for automated document processing, cognitive/AI services and messaging. 
For organisations who want to productise their own services as capabilities in the Mendix Marketplace, Mendix announced the AppServices Framework, which includes the provisioning, metering billing and security necessary to merchandise.

 
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