How Agile Can Work For You – ALM in Detail

How Agile Can Work For You – ALM in Detail

As consumer-driven technology continues to set the speed and quality standards for its enterprise equivalents, the capacity to enable technological change is now a vital necessity to stay ahead of the competition.

Enterprise technology needs to be developed so that it is fast and adapted easily in order to properly support scaling organizations, all while maintaining strict security and integration requirements. Defined concisely by Kent Beck, originator of the Agile Manifesto, “Agile software development is a group of software development methodologies based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross functional teams.”

We are Mendix, the leading provider of enterprise class platform-as-a-service (PaaS). For those of you unfamiliar with Mendix, we recently made some news by announcing the release of our latest version of the Agile Business Platform. This version 3.0 simplifies the full agile application lifecycle management process by further enabling rapid development, deployment and management of enterprise applications in the cloud.

From day one our team set out with the goal of increasing collaboration between business and IT by simplifying the way that business applications are planned, developed, deployed and managed. In order to achieve this, we listened to our customers and created a complete, application management lifecycle that addresses any of the communication gaps and issues previously associated with application development.

For us, the proof is in the pudding. We have over 20,000 users worldwide of some component of our Agile Business Platform. We have proven application deployment at a rate five to ten times faster than traditional deployment, along with decreased time-to-market for developing, deploying and managing applications that are able to seamlessly integrate with existing systems.

 

So how does this all work for my business?

As mentioned previously, we look to connect the current disconnect that is in place between business decision makers and IT. Through the different parts of our application lifecycle management process, we have provided our customers with the necessary capabilities to address their current needs in a scalable option that is cloud-based.

sprintr (capture) – sprintr was created with the idea that current collaborative tools did not address the specific requirements of project teams. While project teams have adapted other social media-based technologies to seemingly meet many of the necessary needs for application development, there seemed to be significant gaps left behind. sprintr was created by developers with an eye on the needs for project teams, from note taking to capturing user stories and software requirements. Also, since it has many features built into it that are inherently used in today’s social media landscape, we have reduced the learning curve that can add unnecessary delay into ongoing projects.

The response for sprintr has been incredible from day one, we knew that we had created an online collaboration space that truly identified the requirements necessary to make an immediate impact with project teams. What has resulted is a creation of a space that encourages idea sharing from a vast variety of channels, including an embedded feedback widget. With sprintr, users can collaborate in similar ways that they share information over popular sites like Facebook or Twitter.

If you think about it, sprintr truly embraces the technological and communication needs that we have grown to expect. Project managers ideally want a collaboration platform that doesn’t involve e-mail backtracking or storyboards that are unable to be amended. With sprintr, collaboration doesn’t have to be confined to certain hours or limits. Instead, the team’s ideas and thoughts are gathered in a single platform that can be supported by anyone and at anytime.

AppFactory (develop, deploy) – The next step in our application lifecycle management is the AppFactory, a visual way of creating applications that continue to increase the collaboration between all members of a product team. This is where the dreams begin to take shape into realities, and where business ideas turn into flexible business applications. The visual modeling studio allows business users to understand the application’s data structure and layout, and a one-click deploy feature shows the application coming to life, enabling the developer to receive immediate feedback. This is real business-IT collaboration.

The AppFactory is comprised of three different elements, that when all combined together, create a unique integration with sprintr, and allows app developers to increase their productivity in delivering complex enterprise applications…

Mendix Business Modeler – Designed to deliver enterprise-level Service-Oriented Business Applications (SOBAs). Built-in features include items like a multi-tenant security model, internationalization, flows, rules, and an advanced approach to extending the model with Java code. Applications built using the Mendix Business Modeler can run standalone but are also easy to integrate with your existing application landscape. With one single click, each process in our lifecycle can be previewed with a single click.

Team Server – Created as a plug-in to sprintr, Team Server is designed to make the life of a business engineer easier. The Business Modeler is tightly integrated with the Team Server in creating a new project (including a model repository), updating, committing changes, merging model versions, all by continuing the theme of single click preview and deployment.

AppStore – Our customers are very comfortable in using the AppStore format that is widely used by developers looking for existing templates that will tremendously decrease the need for additional coding and efforts. With just one click, this community marketplace allows individuals to share best practices along with the ability to share and download business templates, widgets, themes, and other components.

 

How Agile Can Work For You – ALM in DetailMendix Platform as a Service (iterate, manage) – With our latest release of Mendix 3.0, we have brought together the best of all worlds. For the business managers that need their applications under increasingly tight deadlines, and the IT staff that have to address applications with business-focused ramifications, the Mendix PaaS is the core of our innovative cloud platform. The Mendix PaaS gives you the ability to provision your applications in the cloud and manage them from a central dashboard. The Management Dashboard is easy to use and provides an interface to the power of the advanced Mendix multi-tenant cloud architecture.

With the Mendix PaaS, we have continued our single click theme to reduce the time that it previously took to deploy an application. The application model is provisioned in one of the available AppContainers and converted into a working application by executing it on our advanced run-time engines. The Mendix Cloud Dashboard provides users with an easy transportation workflow to move application model versions up to the chain from test to acceptance to production, without ever having to touch the model.

The Mendix PaaS does a nice job of providing an open platform that is advanced through security and access controls. We have created a PaaS that is designed to truly run everywhere – from existing infrastructure that can be on-premise or as a service, to new forms of infrastructure that can scale over time. Due to the advanced multi-tenant architecture the platform utilizes your infrastructure resources in an optimal way.

To learn more about Mendix, please visit: www.mendix.com. If you would like to learn more about Mendix 3.0, please visit: http://www.mendix.com/product/new-in-3-0/

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