Mendix targets technical debt avoidance with PaaS release

Mendix aPaaSApplication platform as a service (aPaaS) vendor Mendix has launched a new Application Quality Monitor service, in partnership with software quality advisor SIG. The cloud-based service will initially monitor the upkeep of Mendix applications.

Bimodal IT specialist Mendix claims to help companies create a two-tier service, combining the basic foundations of a reliable but conventional IT infrastructure with the option for ‘Mode 2 capabilities’ to provide better speed and agility. According to Mendix, many CIOs fail to pay enough attention to detail when implementing Mode 2, which can lead to mistake on refactoring and ballooning ‘technical debt’.

Technical debt is defined by researcher Gartner as the loose ends that need resolving and the refactoring required as a result of the development process. The debt may take many forms, from design debt, to documentation debt, to unused and duplicated code. Addressing technical debt will be one of the big challenges of the cloud, according to Gartner. A new genre of cloud vendors will be needed to ensure that software is well-designed, well-written and maintainable, it says.

“Anyone can go faster; the challenge is doing so sustainably,” says Gartner analyst Mary Mesaglio in an April report released by the firm.

The Mendix Application Quality Monitor performs a daily monitoring of software quality, improving maintainability and cutting lifecycle costs. The cloud service is powered by SIG, which performs a static analysis of Mendix application models according to ISO 25010 standard for maintainability. The analysis covers key aspects of the application such as the ability to analyse, modify and divide it into modules. It rates the applications on values such as volume, duplication, unit complexity and dependencies. A dashboard offers the quality rating on a scale from 1 to 5, and highlights potential areas for further investigation. The ratings are based on benchmarks of thousands of projects.

There’s a strong correlation between the cost and effort of handling issues and enhancements and the maintainability rating of an application, according to Joost Visser, head of research at SIG and Professor of Large Scale Software Systems at Radboud University. “Issue resolution time and enhancement effort increase exponentially for applications with lower ratings,” he said.