Application Developers Give Boost to HTML5

By | Feb 24, 2014

A survey reported at InfoWorld finds that application developers are paying growing attention to HTML5, the updated version of the website design language that is optimized for mobile technologies. At the same time, developers are starting to back away from traditional PC-oriented platforms.

The growing interest in HTML5 reflects the central role that mobility now plays in both the app development ecosystem and the midsize IT departments that are major customers of app developers. The main driving force of this trend is the need for midsize firms to maintain a presence on the mobile Web, where their customers are.

No One System to Rule Them All

As Paul Krill reports at InfoWorld, a study of HTML5 developers commissioned by tool vendor Sencha found that application developers' active interest in the Web framework is growing. Of developers surveyed, 75 percent said that they intended to work more with HTML5 during 2014. According to Sencha CEO Michael Mullany, "We're seeing more enthusiasm for HTML5 and more HTML5 feature usage than we have in previous surveys."

Krill notes that the rise in HTML5 interest comes even in the wake of a Forrester report arguing that device-native application development remains generally superior to device-independent HTML5. Moreover, according to Forrester, HTML5 applications can take longer than expected to develop.

Underlying the growing interest in the Web framework is the fact that, in the mobility era, no one operating system or device type is dominant. Indeed, application developers must typically develop for five distinct environments: Windows, MacOS, iPad, iPhone and one or more Android devices. With so many environments in play, the platform independence of HTML5 can be a strong selling point.

In Pursuit of the Mobile Customer

For the IT community at midsize firms, procurement and management of applications has become a growing part of their overall role as a substantial amount of routine hardware support migrates to the cloud.

Many midsize IT departments are application developers in their own right. Nearly all midsize IT shops are heavy users of apps, regardless of whether the apps are purchased or provided as cloud services. One of the largest and most important groups of apps includes those that connect midsize IT and midsize firms with their customers.

It is no secret that these customers are increasingly using their mobile devices as their primary means of connecting both with each other and with their favorite brands. Reaching these customers starts with applications that run comfortably on all their devices.

When maximum performance is critical, native applications will have the advantage. Midsize IT must make them available, even if it means supporting several operating systems. In many cases, however, HTML5 can provide device-independent access so that customers can be reached across the Web no matter what device they happen to be using at the moment.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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