Mendix Experience From a University Perspective
December 16, 2016

Mendix Experience From a University Perspective

Noah Clay | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Mendix

The Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania is a state-of-the-art research building located in Philadelphia. It provides open access to equipment for fabricating and characterizing devices and materials at the micro- and nanoscale. In mid-2014, we employed Mendix in the cloud and built an application that encompasses lifecycle management of our researcher affiliates. The application, which we named IRIS (instrument reservation & interlocking system), is utilized by approximately 600 researchers from industry and academia for accessing equipment in our Center. Previously, we utilized primitive notebook and spreadsheet systems when managing, for example, monthly billing of researchers. The latter task required days of manual data entry and working with antiquated scripts that were not robust. Within a few months of deploying IRIS, we were able to complete this task in a matter of minutes in a completely automated fashion.
  • As a dynamic organization, we are constantly enhancing our application and deeply appreciate the low cost of making changes in the platform.
  • Along similar lines (previous point), we are able to deploy changes and bug fixes rapidly.
  • With cloud hosting, security updates and general version enhancements are seamless to us.
  • I think Mendix does a great job and have few areas of concern.
  • It would behoove us to have Mendix deployed at other universities. Co-developing with other universities would be a tremendous boost for our operations and others.
  • We are very interested in improving our game in the way we continue to develop our application. More on-line tutorials by expert staff, even if they required payment, would be preferable to sending employees to Boston or the Netherlands for expert training.
Our financial department is considering development of an application in Mendix that will allow them bundle together disparate business systems. In my estimation, Penn's financial systems work well, but integration in a new application based on Mendix would bring them to the forefront in the university space.
Prior to our first sprint, we created many user stories which greatly helped in focusing the development process. As such, the Mendix implementation engineer worked with three core developers from Penn and was able to prioritize the process of building the initial databases, modules and related business logic. As mentioned, the initial build-out took about eight days and, afterwards, we tweaked the application over the ensuing weeks/months before rolling into production.
We evaluated off-the-shelf products for handling the aforementioned tasks. None of them were a good match; there were three primary reasons:

1. Poor mobile viewing experience. Not one of the evaluated products used responsive design or would consider and adaptive approach without tremendous costs incurred by us.
2. Cost of change was expensive and time consuming. The turnaround time to make even simple changes was days to weeks. With Mendix, we make simple changes in minutes and deploy to production.
3. Cloud hosting was not an option. None of the evaluated products supported cloud hosting. We are all tired of on premise servers crashing, not getting updated, requiring down time, etc.
Rapid development and deployment: our application was deployed in a matter of days in beta test and in a matter of weeks for production.
Low cost of change: On-site staff can roll out changes quickly and with little cost.