How I used Mendix to develop my own mobile app to stay up-to-date with the World Cup 2018

As a moderate football-lover, I was reluctant to dive deep into the sea of information that engulfs the average spectator during the six week period of the world cup.

I decided to spend a sunday afternoon building my own hybrid app that would allow me to stay up-to-date with only the information that I needed: Fixture dates, daily schedules, result scores and a possibility to add these into my phone’s calendar. Mendix enabled me to do all this!

First I went searching for an API that I could use, and found one that would let me request 50 updates per minute for free :) I love the web.

I used the Call REST microflow action to retrieve my data from the API address in JSON format.

Then, I went about the task of converting the JSON string that my API address returned, into usable Mendix objects by applying import mapping. Now I was ready to use the data in my app.

Domain model

I store the data in only 2 entities, fixture and result, and update the data every time someone visits the homepage, or uses the pulldown widget to refresh the page.

Datasource microflow

Next, I went about designing the look and feel of the app. It had to be simple, attractive and intuitive.

Homepage

I chose to use listviews for displaying the matches, due to their beautiful design, excellent search functionality and ease of scrolling.

To solve the problem of displaying the Enum values of the country flags in the listview, I decided to use the ‘Enum Toggle’ widget, and to add the dates to my phone’s calendar, I imported the ‘Add to calendar’ widget into my project and added it to the listview. Publishing my app using the PhoneGap build, allowed me to use my phone’s native functionality.

To refresh the data, I added the ‘Pull to refresh widget’ to the project, giving the app the ‘standard’ functionality that users have come to expect.

Once I had decided on the general look and feel, all I had to do was some refinement, such as adding Bootstrap classes and deciding on fonts, and the product turned out just as I had hoped; a lovely and simple tool to make my world cup just a little more fun!