Introducing WEM

The WEM No-/Low-Code Platform, WEM in short (and Web Enterprise Modeler No-/Low-Code Platform in its longest form), is an all-round powerful rapid application building platform that can be used by any person without needing specific programming skills. A true no-coding development environment, which enables you to build enterprise-grade applications, for use in any browser (as a web application) or as a native app on mobile devices.

About the WEM Modeler

The WEM Modeler (or 'Modeler') has been designed to hide the complexity of software development and application deployment, enabling (business) users to visually create applications. At WEM, we call this 'Rapid Application Modeling'.

Before we dive into the WEM specific details, let’s look at what an application exactly is. According to Wikipedia: “An application program (application or app for short) is a computer program designed to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user.

To build and use an application, there are several components that make up an application, and WEM supports them all:

  • All the user interface components, like buttons, forms, pictures, tables, input fields etc. These components exist in various application screens, or application pages and are the main interface for the user to work with. Within WEM we call these pages User Interactions manifested by Interaction Nodes in Flowcharts. The term Template is also used often, as it is often a template for a page where you can put placeholders that will be replaced with actual data when used by the end-users.

  • All applications work with information, or data. Your application may need to store customer information, or enable users to add information to the system. In WEM, data can be stored using Database Lists. The WEM Datamodel provides many types of specific Fields (e.g. text, numbers, date/time values, files and others) that can be part of a database list. These fields can be stored in and retrieved from a permanent storage, or that can be used to keep values just for the duration of the user-session (i.e. the period while a user is actively using the application - ends automatically when browser is closed or when user has not been active for a certain period).

  • Application logic: every application performs certain tasks and these tasks follow a certain application logic, or workflow. This is everything that happens ‘under the hood’, the engine that makes the thing work... To define how your application works, WEM uses Flowcharts: functional nodes connected by lines.

  • Integration with external systems and applications is very important in modern applications. That can range from using Azure or Google to log into your application, to using complex data from ERP systems. Or even using public services to get information like ‘where is the nearest public restroom in Amsterdam’. WEM has been built with integration in mind, so there are various ways to easily and visually integrate your application with other systems. SOAP, REST/JSON, Import/Export (csv, Excel, Json, XML), SAML, OAuth, OData all have a place in WEM for easy integration in both directions (WEM as Consumer as well as Provider of integration features).

In conclusion, WEM has just about everything in place to help you build your own application, whether this is an online web-application or a native mobile app.

Modeling an application with WEM

With the WEM Modeler, building an application is quite easy: you visually "draw" the logic of your application in flowcharts using the available Nodes and Connecting Lines; organize your own specific data structure using folders, list and fields; and let WEM turn this into an application. This is what we call "Rapid Application Modeling". You can design your pages or forms, define all the data fields you need, integrate your logic with external systems/data, etc.

All the applications that are built with WEM are HTML5 compliant, so they work with all modern browsers. Furthermore, all applications are fully responsive, so they also work on your mobile device.

Learn how to use the WEM Modeler, and you will be able to build any application you need!

Deploying an application with WEM

When you have created your application, or at least some of it, you want to check how it works. For this, the WEM Platform offers the Preview: you can start your portal or a specific flowchart from the Modeler to see your work in action as it would as a fully deployed application. Debugging options are part of the preview, as well as (almost) directly showing changes you make in the Modeler.

While the Preview environment is only available to you as user of the WEM Modeler, you may want to make your application available to other people to test and provide feedback before "going live". For this purpose, WEM offers the Staging Runtime environment. You need a hostname (a web-address to point your browser to) and a valid License Key to start the Publish Process. This publish process takes care of your 'deployment' and pushes your project from the Modeler to the Staging Runtime Environment. This Runtime Environment is the part of the WEM Platform that provides access via internet to your application with all the appropriate security and availability measures in place. And the only thing you need to do to 'deploy' or update your application, is to push the Publish button in WEM Modeler! No worries about systems, configurations, servers, databases, networks, security. Just push that Publish button. The Staging runtime environment is the appropriate environment to pre-test or present your application to other users for acceptance before going live.

If you want to 'Go Live': another Push on the Publish button does the trick, this will push the version that is available on the Staging Runtime, to the Live Runtime. You can even have your own hostname/domain linked to it!

Surely there are many more details to describe the specific Runtimes and all related processes, but at this point, the take-away is: deploying your application in the WEM Platform is only 1 or 2 publish actions, started by click on a button in the Modeler...

Next up is some information about MyWEM: the most important WEM User Portal (yes, it is created with the WEM Modeler!) where you can create your account, access your projects and the Modeler, exchange information with other WEM users on the Forum, get free online Training and Support, or even get Quick Starter Projects to get a flying start!

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