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Customizing and Extending Mendix With Widgets and Modules

by Team Techager
Widgets and Modules

Mendix has established itself as a leader in the low-code application development world. Its numerous out-of-the-box features and functionalities make it stand out from the rest. One of the major strengths of this low-code development platform is the ability to integrate your Mendix apps with different systems, thanks to the Mendix Marketplace. The Mendix Marketplace has all kinds of adapters and connectors to help you customize and extend your Mendix apps using widgets and modules.

But what are widgets and modules in Mendix? And how can you use them to customize and extend Mendix? Join us as we give you an in-depth guide to customizing and extending Mendix with modules and widgets.

What are Widgets?

Mendix Solutions provides numerous built-in components, including widgets. A widget is a pre-built component created using CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. You can add widgets to your Mendix app to modify its appearance, integrate with external services, or provide additional functionality. In Mendix low-code platform, widgets are created by the Mendix community or developers and are available on the Mendix Marketplace.

Perhaps you’re wondering how you can add widgets to your Mendix app. Well, the Mendix platform uses a model-driven development approach, implying that you can simply drag and drop widgets onto your Mendix Modeler page and integrate them into your application.

What are Modules?

A module is a package of reusable code that you can add to your Mendix app to deliver additional functionality. Like widgets, Mendix modules are built by the community and developers and are available in the Mendix Marketplace. To apply modules to your Mendix applications, simply import them into the Mendix Modeler and connect them to your app.

How to Customize and Extend Mendix with Widgets and Modules

It’s no secret that widgets and modules save your precious application development time and cost. You no longer need to build components from scratch to customize or extend your Mendix application’s functionality. Instead, you simply need to download them from the Mendix Marketplace, import them to the Mendix Modeler, and modify them to suit your app’s requirements. But how do you customize and extend Mendix with widgets and modules?

Here are quick tips to help effectively customize and extend Mendix using widgets and modules.

1.     Understand Your Application’s Requirements

You cannot create, customize, or extend Mendix with modules or widgets if you cannot clearly define your app’s requirements. Therefore, understanding your application’s requirements is key as it helps determine which functionality should be extended or added.

To clearly understand your app’s requirements, collect as many details about the app as possible, including user needs, goals, and any gaps that may exist in the functionality. Doing so lets you discover what application needs you should address, helping you deliver custom widgets or modules that meet your app’s requirements perfectly.

2.    Use Built-in Widgets and Modules

Mendix has significantly simplified application development by availing numerous pre-built, reusable components in the Mendix Marketplace. Therefore, before creating custom widgets or modules, consider searching the Mendix Marketplace to check whether the available ones meet your application requirements. Using pre-built modules and widgets saves application development effort and time as you don’t need to build them from scratch.

But what if you cannot find built-in widgets and modules that match your app’s requirements? Check out the next step.

3.    Create Custom Widgets and Modules

Mendix provides development kits for creating custom widgets and modules. For instance, the Mendix Widget Development Kit (WDK) is used for building custom widgets, while the Mendix Module Development Kit (MDK) is used for creating custom modules.

The WDK offers a set of libraries and tools for building widgets, including a user interface (UI) framework, a development server for testing widgets locally, and a JavaScript API for interacting with the Mendix runtime. As a developer, you’ll use these tools to create widgets that customized widgets that extend your app’s functionality. Upon building your widget, you can add it to the Mendix application’s page by dragging and dropping it from the widget palette. What’s more, you can reuse the custom widget you built across different application pages.

On the other hand, the MDK allows you to create custom modules that add data models, integration capabilities, and business logic to your Mendix applications. This kit provides a module editor for defining microflows and data models and a deployment API for connecting with other services. Once you’ve built your custom module, you can integrate it into your application by adding it to its module dependencies.

Note that: Building custom widgets requires you to know JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

4.    Publish Widgets and Modules to the Mendix Marketplace

Mendix is constantly looking for ways to simplify application development. Therefore, as an open-source low-code solutions development platform, it allows you to publish the custom widgets and modules you just created into the Mendix Marketplace. This allows other developers to find and use them in their applications while extending Mendix Marketplace’s pre-built components.

5.    Integrate the Custom Widgets and Modules into Your Application

Once you have created and published the custom widgets and modules, you can now integrate them into your application. This involves adding them to your Mendix application’s pages, microflows, and data models as required.

Mendix allows you to use the drag-and-drop interface to add custom widgets and modules to your application pages and integrate them with microflows and data models. What’s more, you can customize the look and feel of the widgets using CSS to match your design guidelines and the application’s branding, giving it a personalized appearance.

6.    Test the Widgets and Modules

Whether you integrated the pre-built modules and widgets or created custom ones, you must test them to ensure they work as expected. This way, you’ll ensure your app works as it should and delivers the desired functionality.

Final Thoughts

Customizing and extending Mendix with widgets and modules enables you to achieve more functionality, better user experience, and integration capabilities with your application. While it may sound daunting, with the steps provided, you can easily create, customize, and extend Mendix using these two components.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started with widgets and modules available on Mendix Marketplace, or build your own to attain greater functionality with your Mendix app!

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