Overall Satisfaction with Mendix
Kermit is a SaaS solution for hospitals to manage their knee, hip, spine and cardio implant spend built on Mendix. Kermit is the second business where I've used Mendix; the first was for custom application development of a customer billing application in the logistics industry. Our current Mendix application supports our hospital customers by analyzing vendor invoices being created by implant utilization in the operating room, but prior to their arrival in purchasing for payment. Kermit informs hospital supply chain and purchasing about the accuracy of invoices through price audit and contract compliance business and clinical rules. Kermit also categorizes all implants used and we feed the audited and categorized data set to another third party business intelligence tool to create data visualizations and analytic views. We commercialize the Mendix app by charging a subscription fee to our customers for access.
- Mendix is a good solution for those that have a business process and distinct workflow that can be replicated by custom application development, especially for those building a startup business or just getting started with application development for internal solutions because of its "low code" environment.
- You will find that developing on Mendix will cost between 40% to 60% less than traditional development because the environment doesn't require highly specialized technology experts to code the application.
- Mendix lends itself well to an Agile development methodology and SCRUM. The platform allows for iterative, rapid development. With Kermit, we release updates weekly and can rapidly prototype, test and deploy anything from bug fixes to new features.
- Because Mendix is a platform as a service, your team can concentrate on your niche and business expertise rather than adding a group of IT staff to manage hardware and software infrastructure
- Mendix would be well-served to build a roadmap for the traditional developer to move from hand-coding to the Mendix app platform and their Developer app environment. When we had to replace a lead developer, we had some hiring challenges looking within the traditional custom app development skill set for new people. Hard core developers typically see platforms like this as a "less-than" solution and not a true development environment.
- Mendix is somewhat mature in Europe, but in its infancy in the US. As such, it can be very difficult to find experienced Mendix developers in the US. A number of the experienced developers are managing their own consultancies rather than being available for full time employment (probably because it is far more lucrative for them). We had some success in hiring someone with basic custom app dev skills and training them on Mendix (4 months), but have also had some failures in this area.
- Upgrading to new full release versions of Mendix has been an issue for us because we have developed a number of detailed workflows and customizations to other developers' widgets from the Mendix App Store. At each major release, we need to carefully think about and test for issues prior to and after migration.
Because of my initial success in another business using Mendix, I did not search for competing solutions when I built the Kermit application.
- Amazing solution for internal custom app development to solve a business workflow problem (automation, data collection/storage/retrieval) where little to no budget exists and few technology resources exist, as long as the business problem is well-defined from an engineering and workflow standpoint.
- Beware of commercializing your custom application as a SaaS offering. In doing so, you will need to upgrade to a commercial license and have a sound plan and business model to cover the costs. They are dramatically different.
- Our application has been in use for 4 years and we have only run into a handful of instances where Mendix has been a limitation in moving forward. Not enough for us to have any remorse about choosing the platform and not insurmountable in fixing. In other words, the pros have greatly outweighed the cons.
- In the case of Kermit, Mendix allowed us to use subject matter experts to document the workflow and rapidly get our MVP out to market to establish a flag in the ground that Kermit is the first and best solution for the problem we solve. Spending our financial resources in the area of building a sound solution rather than acquiring, configuring, managing technology and a raft of developers was key for us as an investor-backed startup.