I share some observations and thoughts on how to be successful when adopting Mendix into your SAP shop!
Last week, I along with other leaders in our Rapid App Dev practice joined Mendix in Rotterdam for their #MxWorld2019 event. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll get a more play by play take on the event and the activities my teammates and I participated in leading up to, during, and after the event. I’ve had a few days to step back and reflect on the event and wanted to share my Top 5 takeaways with you. Let me know if you agree or had a different key takeaway (not surprising if you did as there were many announcements!)
With the event behind us, Matt, Danny, Rowan, Brandon and I headed to Dublin, Ireland to fit in some last minute sites and culture before heading home. We had to leave early in the morning to catch our train to the airport where Danny and I met up Matt and Brandon who took a later train. Rowan had a different agenda and met up with us later in the afternoon.
We took off without incident and had a chance to relax before a day of touring Dublin. Unfortunately I had developed heel bursitis based solely on Google and my symptoms (I’ll be checked by a doc back home) so my day started with significant pain and it only worsened. I managed 25k steps yesterday and each step was excruciating. As I write this the morning after with one day to go, my will to take in the experience is all that allows me move upright. I have genuine flashbacks to my trench foot experience in the Marine Corps and willing myself forward. But enough of that, we had fun so let’s check it out!
Arrival in Ireland
We were very hungry so that needed to be corrected immediately! We took a couple of turns and found this back alley cafe, almost like a tent, and decided to give it a try. I can’t recommend this place highly enough! The daily soup and sandwich combo was exquisite!
With no agenda in mind, we just walked a few blocks and were suddenly at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I might return there later as it is Good Friday/Passover and I’m sure decorated to the nines. It may not be quite as impressive as the Cologne Cathedral, but certainly as much if not more iconic!
A few blocks later and we were at Christ Church Cathedral! I took a lot of pics but here are a few. I couldn’t upload the panoramic unfortunately but it was a site to behold!
From there we headed down a road and marveled at the architecture and quaint feeling of the whole area. We took a right at one point to “cut through” to another area and were suddenly in the courtyard of the Castle of Dublin!
Our one goal for the day was to take the Jameson tour of the old distillery. We were not disappointed as this museum was rich in history, and taught us how to distinguish between whiskey types. I’ve always had a preference for Jameson but I never realized why until now! I just figured it was my Irish roots, haha.
On the way to meet up with Rowan for dinner, we stumbled across a church with a very orange hue to the brickwork (sorry didn’t get the name). Then we saw a large number of young people sitting by the canal laughing and drinking and wondered why that spot in particular was so popular. Turns out there were these massive beautiful swans that migrate for winter and will likely be leaving soon. You can sort of see them in the picture.
Dinner was at an Italian restaurant where the everything was made fresh that afternoon. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and dinner conversations, especially recounting Rowan’s experiences making it to that point in time from Rotterdam!
As we walked back to our hotel, I realized that Matt, Danny, and Brandon were all leaving for home in the morning so I took one last pic. What an adventure we have had! Four grown men traveled across Europe together for a week much like young men do at the start of their adult lives. We laughed the entire way and it will take weeks to process all we have done together. Our work carried us through Mendix World where we networked with peers we have spoken to on the phone so many times before but never shook hands until this week. We were there when the announcements were made that will most impact us for the next few years. But most of all, we’ve come out the other side best of friends.
Rowan and I have one more day in Dublin to take in all we can. I’ll hobble along as best I can and rest when I get home. I’m excited to see my family again; it’s been very long since I’ve hugged them all. I’m not sure if I’ll post a recap of today or not, but I’ll leave now to go see what I can find!
After an amazing day one at the conference, we arrived early at the Ahoy Rotterdam for day two. Johan (Mendix CTO) was set to deliver the keynote and we were excited to see all R&D had assembled for the show. But first, I needed coffee with my kids face printed!
We assembled in the main hall for the Keynote and Johan did not disappoint! First, he recapped Mendix Studio and Studio Pro, formerly known as the Web Modeler and Business Modeler respectively. Then the bombshells started dropping. The former Sandbox Edition, now known as the Free Edition, removed the user limit of 10 to unlimited. This means that users can create apps without restriction (other than the 90 minute spin down and restart upon a user requesting the webpage) and if IT deems it enterprise worthy, they can secure and support it by updating the app in the Studio Pro Edition and deploying to a licensed node in a few clicks!
Next he showed off the ability to create an app directly from a spreadsheet upload, where Mendix Studio interprets Entities and Associations to build out your domain model.
He then spoke about AI and the progression of expected development and use. I joked that stage 5 was the T-1000!
Most excitedly we got a sneak peek at the Data Hub and this is potentially a game changer. I’ll write more about this in particular in the near future.
The release schedule was announced as follows for all of the goodies:
Johan then gave us a sneak peek at what they are innovating with AR. My colleagues and I came up with a few use cases that our customers would be interested in so I’m going to see about how we co-innovate with them.
Next was lunch and we couldn’t pass up the chance to grab a hot dog, French style. It was delicious!
We headed back to the show floor to speak with partners and clients It was great to meet everyone and share our stories of success at EPI-USE.
Finally, we ended the event with a speech by Bear Grylls and an after party. I missed out on the MVP dinner and they sure did rub it in!
The event was really great and I’m thankful to EPi-USE for sending us and to Mendix for hosting it. I hope we get one in the USA soon! Now we are off to Dublin for a couple of days of fun before heading home so stay tuned!
The day has finally arrived! After an exciting Partner Day where we got a sneak peek, we were excited to join the 5,000 other participants for Derek’s Keynote at the Ahoy Rotterdam. The crowd and venue did not disappoint and we were treated to the new Mendix slogan which I feel captures the spirit of Rapid App Development perfectly: Go Make It
Derek reminded us of the humble beginnings of Mendix and shared the exponential growth they have seen since starting the Rapid App Dev movement back in 2006.
Marc Gaell, SVP Global Head of Platfrom and Technologies Ecosystem for SAP, joined Derek onstage to discuss the strategic partnership between SAP, Mendix, and Siemens. Hopefully this assuages the fears some have about those relationships as they are confidentially working together as Mendix has already become the third largest SOLEX SAP Cloud Platform solution. (I believe he said largest but might have been fastest growing). The best part was the announcement of Mendix deployed on SAP HANA (cloud or on-Premier), which opens many possibilities our clients have requested for leveraging their investments and analytic platforms.
One the clients we have helped train and deliver Mendix solutions for ongoing is CanadaPost, the Canadian postal service. They are lead by Anik Dubreuill who joined Derek onstage to discuss what it has meant to revolutionize and update the technology stack so a 200 year+ company could compete with the like of Amazon. We’ve built some great things together and their team is very talented. I look forward to continued projects that transform the way parcels are delivered to Canadians and possibly change the way this works for others across the globe that follow suit!
Derek introduced us to a few new features that I’m excited to finally see announced! The Native Mobile allows us to develop apps with Mendix and bolster our offline/feature connectivity by leveraging React and React.js. This is a very big deal and I’m very curious to get some answers to our pressing questions about PhoneGap mobile app conversion pathing, iOS vs Android potential forks and codebase, and offline comparisons.
The Data Hub announcement is the new tool I am most excited for! I’ve been wanting to architect more microservice solutions but without a proper management tool for the services, I have been reluctant. I have a lot of ideas of what I hope this tool is or becomes, but this is definitely the step needed in the right direction!
In the afternoon, I was fortunate to speak with Ruben Fechner who is responsible for the great work (which was later awarded with a coveted Impact Award!) at Erie Insurance. They have faced many challenges and pressures in the insurance industry and found like many of our clients that Mendix allows them to deliver more value and better user/agent experiences with the same or even less resources.
I had to take a break in the VIP lounge and get a cappuccino with our logo made in edible ink!
The show floor was busy and hustling about were Mendix employees, partners, and clients. I’m told the ratios were 2:1 clients to the rest of us which is great to see that much enthusiasm!
They gave out Impact Awards to customers for various leadership and results. I was especially proud that one of the winning apps was one that we helped design and deliver with ConocoPhilips!
After the award, in typical Dutch fashion, a party was staged and good times were had by all. We headed out from there for a strategic dinner at a fantastic Indian restaurant and headed back to the hotel. Another late night and early morning, but we are ready for round two!