WEM has been designed to hide the complexity of software development and enabling subject matter experts to visually create applications. We call this rapid application modeling.
Before we dive into the WEM usage, 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:
- All the user interface components, like buttons, forms, pictures, tables, 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’
- All applications work with information, or data. Your application may need to store customer information, or enable users to buy a new pair of sneakers. All this information needs to be stored.
In WEM structured data are stored in ‘Lists’.
- 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’.
To define how your application works, WEM uses ‘flowcharts’.
- Integration with external systems and applications is something that is key in modern applications. That can range from using Facebook 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.
So, we have everything in place to help you build your own application, whether this is a desktop application or a mobile app.
Let’s get started, so we can build our own application. The steps to take:
- Create an account
- Start a new project (the WEM way of saying: let’s create a new application)
- Model your newly created application
Create your account
You need a WEM account to start building your own apps. And creating a WEM account is simple. Simply go to the WEM website and sign up for free. You can do this by clicking on
login in the upper right hand corner, followed by clicking on
Create Account. Or you simply enter your email address on the website, and click the “I’m in” button.
You are now presented with the page to create a new WEM account:
Fill in the form, hit the
Create account button, and you’re done. You will now receive an email asking you to activate your account. Once you have done this, your account is ready and you can get started on that first app.
The next step: log into My WEM.
By clicking on
login in the upper right hand corner, you get to the My WEM login page. My WEM is the central location from where you can access all your WEM information.
Read the My WEM documentation to learn more about the My WEM portal.
WEM Modeler introduction
When you have selected a project from My WEM, this project opens in the WEM Modeler, which looks like this:
The WEM Modeler, or simply ‘modeler’, is the environment that you use to create and model your application. This is what you will use to define the data you use, the flowcharts in your application, integration with external systems, etc.
When you look at the modeler, there are various sections that provide different functions, based on what you try to accomplish. Let’s look at the various components.
At the very top, on the right you find a small menu bar with several options:
Here you can:
- Create new projects
- Manage your widgets
- Manage your workspaces
- Access your account information
Every time you open a Flowchart or a User Interaction node, this is opened in a new tab. This way you can easily move between the various flowcharts or User Interactions that you are working on. When you close a tab, all information has already been saved, except for User Interactions: if you have made changes to a User Interaction that have not yet been saved when you close that tab, the modeler will ask if the changes need to be saved. The only tab that cannot be closed is the ‘Home’ tab. This one is always available.
This is the starting position for any project. What you see here are the main components that make up your application: flowcharts, data model, navigation, etc.
From the Home tab, you access everything that is needed to model your application. It is also the place where you can change the settings of your project. When you select one of the items on the left, you get access to all functionality related to that item.
You can easily switch between different projects: directly under the ‘Home’ tab, you will find the ‘Projects’ dropdown list. Here you can select the project that you would like to work on.
Note: all tabs that were open when you opened a new project, remain open. So make sure you work in the correct tab(s) when you open a new project.
How to build an application
Building an app with WEM Modeler is very straightforward:
- Create a new project. This is where you model your application.
- Model your application through the WEM modeler. You specify the data your app needs to work with, the workflows that apply to your app, integrate with external systems when needed and create the necessary user interactions.
- Test your application.
- Publish the application so it is available for all users.
There is a lot more that can be explained about all these steps and detailed information can be found in our documentation environment.
Also, make sure you take a look at the tutorials. They offer a great way to learn the basics of modeling your application with the WEM Modeler!