Developing web applications with Box and Mendix

Our partner Nokavision has developed a Mendix module for Box Platform. Using this module, developers working in Mendix can easily incorporate secure content collaboration features from Box and Box Platform into web and mobile applications that they develop.

Why Box Platform and Mendix?

In today’s pursuit of digital innovation and rapid application development many organizations turn to modern cloud development platforms such as Mendix. Mendix accelerates agile application development with full social collaboration. Using Mendix, developers can design and develop at the same time to create beautiful apps.

Mendix can be used to develop your application, but what about content? Many enterprise business processes depend on being able to securely deliver and render content in a variety of file types on a range of devices. Box closes these gaps, offering a suite of services around content, from viewing 120+ filetypes (including not only office documents but also industry vertical file types like 3D and Dicom), rich metadata, sophisticated search, versioning, mobile document and photo capture, along with enterprise grade security, governance, and auditing.

Nokavision has developed the Box Module for Mendix as an extensive and robust solution. It encapsulates the entire Box API functionality in Mendix. The module can be used by both Box Platform and Box Enterprise users and will be maintained and enhanced for future versions.

Using Mendix, your Box environment can be enriched with advanced workflow and integration capabilities like sharing photos or scanned documents from the Box Capture app on your mobile devices and putting them in workflow applications and self-service portals that are connected to your core systems.

What does the Box module for Mendix do?

The Box Content API gives access to secure content management and content experience features for use in your own app. Box Module for Mendix makes this available in Mendix by the use of Mendix Java Actions.

Instead of only making these features available the Box Module for Mendix leverages the Mendix Java actions by combining them into functionalities through a single Mendix Java Action.

For example, uploading new files in a folder: in this integrated function the Box Module for Mendix extends the basic functionality by checking for existence for folder and file. In this way a Mendix Business Engineer is only using functionality for Box instead of building functionality for Box from the ground up. Integrating Box Advanced Document Management features in Mendix will be as simple as calling a few Java Actions.

Advanced capabilities and behavior of Box, like refreshing authorization tokens will be done automatically by the Box Module without needing to add any additional code. The Box Module for Mendix uses the authentication and authorization rights of the active user, by using the OAuth2 capabilities in the Box API and thus applying the right access rights.

Demo

Nokavision launched the Box Module for Mendix at Mendix World 2016, with a demo application that shows how you can create a custom magazine for a user through a Mendix application, and deliver it via Box.

The first step in the demo is to use the Box Capture mobile application (available to download from the Apple App Store). Capture is a app that can be used to take photos, video, audio, or scan documents, and upload them directly to Box without storing on your phone. Using Box Capture, a photo of the Mendix World conference attendee is taken, and uploaded to Box.

Mendix Box Capture Demo

The photo is then uploaded to the Box environment of the user:

Mendix Box Capture Demo

When the user clicks on the ‘Generate Magazine’ button in the Mendix application, a magazine is being created by our back end process and returned to Mendix. Mendix then uses one function called uploadNewFileInFolder to save the document in Box.

Using this Java action the Box Module for Mendix checks if the current access token is still valid and refreshes if needed. After this, Box checks for existence of the folder, and when needed the folder will be created. The file is then uploaded and in case the filename already exists, the filename will be extended with a suffix, i.e. (1).

Box Viewer capabilities are available within Mendix for, in this case, viewing the generated personalized magazine.

Mendix Box Capture Demo

The Nokavision team had a lot of fun building this app, and attendees enjoyed their personalized magazines. While a fun demo, this showcases just how easy it is to add secure content collaboration to the Mendix applications you develop. You can access the Box Module for Mendix from the Nokavision site.

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