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Siemens: No Coding Needed For MindSphere IoT With New Integration

Siemens wants to enable partners with no coding experience to build industrial IoT applications on its MindSphere platform, thanks to a new integration with Mendix. 'I think it was a good move by [Siemens], because it's one those cruxes they have to deal with,' one partner says.

Siemens is making it easier for channel partners to develop industrial Internet of Things applications on its MindSphere platform, thanks to a new integration with the company's low-code platform.

The German industrial giant announced on Tuesday that it has integrated Mendix — a low-code development platform the company acquired for $730 million last year — into MindSphere as a way to enable those with no coding experience to build applications on the platform.

[Related: AWS Exec Dirk Didascalou On Making IoT Development More Accessible]

"With technology from Mendix, we can empower customers, regardless of technology background, to use low-code development to transform the way they approach and solve business problems, " Tony Hemmelgarn, head of Siemens' Digital Industries Software division, said in a statement. "Adding the ability to create native MindSphere applications using the Mendix no-code/low-code approach can provide capabilities that are unmatched by any other industrial IoT provider."

The announcement was part of a larger spring update for Boston-based Mendix, which also announced a new integration with SAP HANA, support for multi-cloud strategies, the new no-code Mendix Studio for helping citizen developers develop business applications, and new artificial intelligence capabilities.

The company said Mendix's low-code solution for MindSphere will give companies "cost effective ways to quickly build industry-vertical IoT applications and leverage built-in connectivity with edge devices" while also helping them address the "dramatic shortage of development talent.

"By expanding the pool of human capital available in an enterprise to support the development process, and radically accelerating that process through the low-code platform, companies can achieve a faster, greater return on their IoT investment," the company said.

Siemens announced its acquisition of Mendix in August 2018. At the time, Klaus Helmrich, a Siemens AG board member, said the company saw Mendix as a way to entice customers to adopt MindSphere, Siemens' IoT operating system, "by accelerating cloud-based application development."

Shawn Sandoval, president of KAASM, a Seattle-based solution provider that primarily sells Siemens SCADA software, said Mendix has the potential to address the drought of coders in the IoT market.

"Unfortunately, we live in Seattle, so that type of resource is pretty difficult to come by because you're battling with Facebook, Google, Amazon [and other tech companies]," he said. "I think it was a good move by [Siemens], because it's one those cruxes they have to deal with."

KAASM mainly works with WinCC, Siemens' SCADA solution, Sandoval said, but the company is interested in exploring MindSphere, especially if Siemens can provide local demonstrations.

"At the end of the day, everybody is interested in some type of renewable revenue and that's from a services provider position," he said. "But if we're looking at what's best for the customer, they are looking at reduced IT infrastructure and reduced costs. Between those two barriers, they need to figure out a way to make it a win-win for everyone."

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