Webix in practice: WizXpert – summing up a year later

Today we have a rare opportunity to learn how the business of one of the most experienced Webix users is developing. We talk to Valery Kuznetsov, an author of the cloud platform for developing software solutions WizXpert. 

A year ago, we interviewed Valery. He told us about the experience of creating a new platform, his own version of the cloud IDE. Today we will discuss the changes and how the development of this project is progressing. 

Webix in practice -  Valery Kuznetsov

Valery, we are happy to see you again. What has changed over the past year?

We have made significant progress, and the functionality of our system (WizXpert) has expanded. Our customer base has also widened. In particular, I can mention large agricultural holdings HarvEast and MenorahAgro that have become our clients. We are still in good standing with our customers and despite the high competition, we successfully maintain our positions.  

How has the functionality of your cloud platform changed?

There are many changes. First, we have added multi-window support for working with source code. Now you can edit the module code with two editors in one window by analyzing the code and selecting widgets in it. To make it easier to navigate inside JavaScript code that is rich in interfaces, widgets are highlighted inside functions.  

We also have a library of our own components now, that allows us to quickly find and reuse successful solutions and modules. System modules can now be linked into complete solutions. 

In addition, we have added comments in the form of json objects. This allows you to comment on the code inside the module in a more structured way. When you add such a comment, the module text is analyzed and notes are extracted from it. Based on them, a certain structure of the document is built with the ability to quickly go to the note.  

Second, we have developed a single mobile application that covers the needs of all our customers through a universal approach, which we call WizXpert. This is our unique product that is in demand.  

For backend tasks, we have implemented a mechanism for working with scheduled scripts (cron). This allows us to conveniently manage them and get information about their purpose, schedule and business needs in general.  

WX SmartPlatform mobile platform

The WX SmartPlatform mobile platform has appeared as a separate project. This is a full-fledged environment for rapid development of hybrid mobile applications. WX SmartPlatform is based on Cordova, and Webix is used to create the user interface. Developers with no native part experience can use it to create mobile apps. Hybrid mobile apps created with Cordova combine the stability of a native mobile app with the advantages of a web solution. The system itself provides an additional bonus in the form of cross-platform and rapid implementation of solutions. 

Can you give examples of business tasks that customers set for you?

This can be anything, from quality and deadlines control, theft prevention and crisis management, to data accounting and post analysis, business intelligence and quick access to information. 

We provide full integration with existing systems and data in the client’s company. For example, with accounting and reference data of the 1C system, or integrated client’s ERP system, LDAP authorization services. 

ERP system

These are difficult and complex tasks. Let’s take, for example, the automation of controlling the processing of fields in an agricultural enterprise. This implies obtaining reference data from the 1C software package, importing information about the processed land area, time resources and fuel costs, and analyzing data for making management decisions. 

Sounds complicated and confusing! 

Yes, it’s not that simple. It should also be taken into account that in modern realities, the system should be as mobile as possible and accessible from anywhere in the world, from any device. And the new elements of the system, such as smart phones, require their own remote administration tools. 

Is WizXpert used by any third-party developers, or is it just your internal tool?

At the moment it is our own toolkit. Our colleague, Denis Stovbun, is involved in the development of the backend. We are developing and improving it to increase our work performance and reduce costs. When developing new solutions, all the specialists of the company actively use the system functionality.  

WizXpert turns out to be your main competitive advantage, doesn’t it?

It’s one of them I’d say. It gives us an undeniable advantage in terms of speed and flexibility over constantly changing business processes. 

Our expertise contributes greatly here as well. It has created a good reputation and the image of a reliable and experienced partner. 

Overall, undoubtedly, our methodology and platform architecture provide a unique approach to work. In practice this means a high speed of development and customization of solutions to meet the needs of our customers. In the shortest possible time we create mobile applications, web portals, and backend solutions. This is my own IDE ideology. It is somewhat similar to the FoxPro architecture. But the main business idea around which WizXpert was built is to bring a client and a developer as close as possible. We have reduced the waiting time between setting a task and ‘shipping’ new functionality to the client. Here we are talking about a full cycle of production and support of client-server solutions, starting from the server part and to the mobile application client. 


Are you still using Webix?

Yes, absolutely. The ideologies of Webix JavaScript UI Library and WizXpert are remarkably similar, both of these solutions perfectly complement each other. Webix is used both inside WizXpert and in WX SmartPlatform. 

Tell us more about WX SmartPlatform.

Using WX SmartPlatform, programmers without experience in developing JavaScript and PHP (Node.js) applications can quickly create working cross-platform solutions for mobile devices.  

We have selected the necessary functionality for working with the hardware of the device and creating user interfaces, and connected the Webix library. We have created a mechanism for loading javascript modules with the customer’s business logic into this wrapper application.  

We have developed algorithms for remote maintenance of mobile apps and devices. The result is a unique product. 

The mobile app itself is a hybrid, based on the Cordova platform, which combines the stability of the native app and the advantages of a web solution.  

I see great potential in this product and I would like to promote it as an independent project.  

The successful combination of Cordova and Webix allows you to quickly create mobile business applications much easier and clearer than it is done in Ionic, Telerik AppBuilder. 

Currently we are all experiencing the global consequences of the pandemic. Has this affected your business in any way?

The agricultural industry in our country is export-oriented. Due to the imposed restrictions, the work of seaports has been hindered, there have been delays in the shipment of agricultural products, as a result, this leads to a delay in payments along the entire chain of contractors. This has not happened before. But agribusiness is resistant to disasters. Its products will always be in demand. It just takes some time for things to get back to normal.