New motherboards, new enclosures
Following the success of the first "professional" aluminum enclosure I worked with Daub CNC in Germany to develop an industrial-class enclosure. As I also switched to a new, smaller version of the motherboard we had to modify the design considerably - thanks to mr. Mario Galić and his colleagues this went very quickly and very well. This week, the first batch of enclosures arrived here, for further assembly at home.
The build quality is very high, including the blue finish on the inner edges of the cutouts in the front and rear panels, as well as the laser engraving of text and logo. Now I can produce enough units for alpha customers!
Goodbye Mendix, hello Django
Earlier this summer I visited Mendix World: a showcase symposium concerning this professional development platform. Hoping to be able to produce the customer-facing portal quickly and efficiently with this platform, I arranged a license and started studying and working. The main problem I ran into was that the integration with the Amazon Services I need for this project was severely lacking. Even with the help of very experienced (Java) programmers I couldn't get a clear conversation going. None of the consulting firms I engaged, nor Mendix themselves could really help me out, so after 3 months of work I decided to ditch Mendix.
Based on my experiences with Python in the development of the TANC Field Units (which communicate almost exclusively with the Amazon Services I am now investigating the Django web framework. In addition to its huge native functionality there are many many extensions to help me construct the customer portal. As with the TANC units, I know how to write reasonable Python code which interacts with AWS using the Boto3 library - so I have high hopes.
Over the last few months, the TiNC Works! virtual team has expanded and contracted - just like a real company: Ralf is working on the TANC Operating System, as is JeroenS; Matthijs has been gracious enough to follow the Mendix certification training to prepare for development on that platform - but was quite vocal in the decision to ditch it in favor of Django. Erik has tried to help me with Mendix as well - but to no avail. Leon has been my guide and coach for the past few months in the development of the "official" business plan for TiNC Works, to develop a financial plan and to create the pitch deck I need to convince investors to part with a bit of their money to get this project to market.
And finally Roman, who is more or less my first (remote) employee: through the services of SoftGroup, Roman is working on the quality and stability of the TANC Scheduler application. Later on, he can also work on the Django platform to create the customer portal.
In preparation for presentations to potential business partners in The Netherlands, I found that the official TiNC Works! website couldn't be in English only. While quite logical in view of the presentations at The Next Web in June, many businesspeople in The Netherlands prefer to read this stuff in Dutch.