What is our primary use case?
In our biggest project to date, we replicated with somebody else. It took three years to do uncompleted, and we replicated it in about six months, to build an end-to-end application for customer use.
Traditionally, it's basically used for anything where there's not an out-of-the-box solution available. We don't recommend people use it for out-of-box solutions, as you're typically going to get better support and value by using something else. This, on the other hand, is something you can customize as you desire.
What is most valuable?
The solution is just very quick and responsive.
The initial setup is very straightforward, and those implementing the product do not have to be very technologically advanced in order to manage the process.
Their app store has been revamped in the last year, and it allows basically anybody who creates a widget or a module inside of it, to share it with the whole community. It's got a very, very robust shared community, which is amazing.
There are free online learning and certifications if a user would like to learn more and better understand the solution.
What needs improvement?
There's a new update coming soon, and that will be full of great items.
It's not so much that there's room for improvement on the product. They're creating some custom or some out-of-the-box modules that are going to be a part of it. In particular, they've got a workflow module that we could replicate-build ourselves, so to speak. It's probably a module that would take a couple of months, and then you can tweak it. To have that out-of-the-box potential for certain aspects is going to be really good. Having all that workflow prebuilt will be amazing.
There's no direct tech support. However, it's not the type of product you really would get tech support on.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been dealing with the solution for two years at this point.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We haven't had any issues with it. Internally, we support a very large infrastructure and haven't headed any issues, and our three larger clients haven't had any issues at this point. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's only scalable vertically until you get to an enterprise license. Then, you have horizontal and vertical scalability. I'd recommend in general that people get an enterprise license.
We use it internally for maybe 400 of our employees, however, depending on what its use case is, it could be everybody. My largest one has 4,000 people they supply using it.
How are customer service and technical support?
The solution doesn't offer technical support at all. There is a community around it, however, and it is quite robust. That's where we do most of our learning.
How was the initial setup?
The solution is very straightforward, due to the fact that it's all cloud-based infrastructure, and there's low-end stuff that a citizen developer could do pretty easily. For our onboarding, if we have new developers, people who were actually back with their schooling, compared to some other products, and typically they're on their own doing development within one month of starting training. This is compared to some of our more complex solutions. They may be shadowing and have oversight for six to seven months. The onboarding process to learn it is very, very quick. Therefore, a company shouldn't have any issues with the initial setup.
In terms of maintenance, we have a person on the team that creates a backlog of small work to do once a month, and that's it. There are no updates, or new deploying, or anything like that that is necessary.
What was our ROI?
In terms of ROI, the results totally depend on the client. With one particular client, it was much more about time. They had 4,000 people that have to submit documents, and they were submitting them in PDF, and having people transcribe them. They had no digital, and so they're changing everything. One of our other big ones, which is a public use case on Mendix's site, called Zmac, was shown last year, while the trucking industry was in decline, to have experienced over 20% growth. They had ROI in year one, for five years worth of costs.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Their licensing costs are on their website. It's easy to find out the overall costs. That being said, I'm under the impression they're getting ready to have a massive overhaul to that, which is going to be a really good thing for the customers.
From what I understand, they're getting ready to move to a lower platform cost, and it's going to be more focused on the users in terms of how the cost is. That should offer a lower entry threshold than it is currently. It may be as much as 50% lower, and the user base is what their charge will be based on.
What other advice do I have?
I work post-sales doing basically project management and solution design before it hits my developers.
We use a variety of different versions of the solution which we use. Mostly, it's version 8.3 on. That being said, if it's a new customer, they're going to have the most recent. If it's not, we update them as appropriate depending on how it's going to affect the existing environment. We're looking forward to 9.0, coming out this month actually. They're discussing a lot of good, new features we're excited about.
I'd recommend those considering the solution to take the classes, as they're worth it to make sure you understand the solution. It is all online learning. The other program we use with it has been extremely effective for us. There's a program called Datadog and it helps us monitor any kind of error logging at a much more granular level, which has been helpful in pinpointing anything that potentially comes up.
In general, on the platform overall, I would rate the solution at a ten out of ten, and on the pricing model, as it is now, at an eight out of ten. In general, for me, it falls currently at a nine out of ten. That may change once the pricing is adjusted in the near future.