Mobile App Development with Mendix: Building Cross-Platform Apps

Cross-platform apps have gained popularity over the past few years. Their ability to run on several mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS, enables you to save development costs by about 30% to 40%. Also, they reduce the development time, helping you deliver apps faster and meet changing market demands and customer needs. But did you know Mendix supports the development of cross-platform apps?

As a leader in low-code app development, Mendix provides the easiest and fastest platform for building cross-platform mobile applications. This platform offers numerous tools and a visual, integrated development environment (IDE) to help you deliver cross-platform apps faster and more efficiently. This article will review the process of building cross-platform apps with Mendix, why you should choose Mendix for cross-platform app development, and more.

Steps to Follow When Building Cross-Platform Apps with Mendix

It’s no secret that cross-platform apps are beneficial, as they can run on different mobile platforms with the same codebase. Here is a step-by-step guide to building cross-platform mobile apps with Mendix:

1. Plan Your Application and Define its Requirements

Like any other application development approach, planning your app is crucial. It helps you define what you expect to achieve with your app, including key features and functionality. Doing so lets you stay within the scope and deliver a cross-platform Mendix application that perfectly meets your needs.

Mendix provides tools that support you through application development, from ideation and requirements definition to testing, deployment, and maintenance. When you plan and define your app requirements, you get a clear idea of what your application should do and the target audience.

2. Develop Your Application’s Data Model

With requirements set, you can now model your applications based on the outlined requirements. This step involves defining data entities, relationships, and attributes. Fortunately, you don’t need advanced coding knowledge to build the data model for your app with Mendix. This low-code development platform lets you use visual tools and a drag-and-drop interface to create your data model. This makes the process simpler and more intuitive.

3. Design Your Application’s User Interface (UI)

The next step is designing how your cross-platform app will look like. Mendix lets you build your app’s UI using a combination of a WYSIWYG page editor and a drag-and-drop interface. Also, you can use the Mendix Studio Pro IDE with the Atlas UI framework, an open-source, fully responsive, and extensible design language that promotes a design-thinking approach to developing user interfaces.

Typical page patterns, such as dashboards, data views, wizards, and searchable lists, are available as starter templates. Customize these templates to your style and brand requirements. This accelerates the development of richer, consistent, and standard user interfaces across multiple mobile platforms and devices.

Also, consider following the best practices for designing user interfaces with Mendix to get the best out of your UI.

4. Add Functionality to Your Cross-Platform App

Designing the UI is just the tip of the iceberg. The Mendix platform provides solution modules and add-ons designed to add functionality to your application. For instance, it offers pre-built widgets and modules for adding standard features, such as mapping, social media and email integration, and authentication. These widgets and modules are open-source and available in the Mendix Marketplace.

You can add custom code using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to build more complex features if you have advanced coding expertise.

5. Test and Deploy Your Cross-Platform App

Testing is a crucial aspect when developing a cross-platform Mendix app. It helps you find and fix bugs in your application and deliver a stable product. Also, it prevents the embarrassment that arises from unsatisfied customers.

Fortunately, Mendix simplifies the app testing and deployment processes. For instance, it provides preconfigured tools for testing Mendix apps on different platforms and devices. Tools such as SoapUI, UnitTesting, and Selenium IDE lets you test various aspects of your cross-platform app, including web service integrations, microflows, and acceptance. Once your app passes all unit and functional tests, you can deploy it to the app stores for iOS and Android platforms.

Mendix supports app deployment in several ways. For instance, you can deploy them to a local machine for testing, Mendix cloud, SAP Business Technology, Docker containers, Azure, Cloud Foundry-based platforms, or even a server you configured yourself.

Tips for Building Cross-Platform Apps with Mendix

The following tips will help you deliver cross-platform apps with Mendix faster, securely, and more efficiently:

  • Keep user experience consistent across all platforms that your app runs
  • Ensure your app’s functionality and design are easy to use and simple
  • Use pre-built connectors to integrate the app with other platforms and systems
  • Constantly monitor and analyze your app’s performance using Mendix’s built-in analytics tools. This will help identify areas of improvement.
  • Test your app on multiple devices to ensure compatibility
  • Optimize your application’s performance for each platform.

Why Choose Mendix for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development?

It Adopts Visual Model-Driven Development

First, you don’t need advanced coding experience to build a cross-platform mobile app. Instead, you can use the platform’s drag-and-drop interface to visualize and add UI elements and functionality to your app.

It’s Collaborative

As we look into the future, the collaboration between IT and business teams will continue to be key to bridging the gap between these two areas. Mendix supports visual development, implying that business users can visualize the app being built and ensure everyone is on the same page and talking the same development language. Also, it offers collaborative tools that fast-track mobile app development and delivery.

AI-Assisted Development

Mendix supports AI-assisted development and has two bots that help you at different stages of mobile app development. These bots provide context-based recommendations and can help you identify and fix application issues. As a result, they enhance efficiency and accelerate cross-platform mobile app development.

Faster Delivery

Gone are the days when coding everything from scratch was the norm. Mendix provides numerous built-in tools and components to help you model and deliver your cross-platform mobile application faster. Also, instead of writing textual code, you can simply drag and drop features and elements that add functionality to your app, simplifying the development process.

Final Thoughts

Cross-platform mobile app development has been made easier with Mendix. Thanks to its extensive tools and components, you can build a cross-platform app quickly. The development process is straightforward, and some tips can help you create the app more efficiently. You’ll enjoy many benefits from developing cross-platform apps with Mendix, including visual, model-driven, collaborative, and AI-assisted development, accelerating app delivery.

So, why wait? Start building cross-platform apps with Mendix today and enjoy a streamlined, fast, and more efficient development process.

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Author: Indium
Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.