Back in 2009 a few customers of ours have asked us to build a native BlackBerry app for their business (yes, hard to believe but in 2009 RIM was the number #1 option for enterprise mobile apps).
We rejected and instead started our HTML5 journey. A successful one which made me summarize the below short, “10 reasons” styled list:
10 reasons why HTML5 is the right approach for enterprise mobile apps:
- Device landscape: iOS and Android are old news, but what about Windows 8, OS X? If you want to develop once and deploy everywhere then HTML5 is your only option. Otherwise you have to develop 3-4 times. At least.
- Alignment with the giants: Google, Microsoft, Adobe, are all investing in HTML5. It all means HTML5 will stay with us for long long time. Exactly what every enterprise IT manager wants to hear before making a decision.
- Learning from the past: 15 years ago I started my career as a young software developer. I used MFC/C++ and hated those semi-web-developers throwing useless text that doesn’t even compile inside simple notepad-like editors. I was wrong. They were right. The entire enterprise industry has switched from native technologies to web, simply because it fits the enterprise world and reduces costs. The same will happen to mobile: it will slowly move from native to web and eventually the ‘Mobile-Web’ will become the enterprise standard. It is already happening.
- Ease of deployment: distribution? installation? registration? activation? don’t make me laugh… they all belong to the 80’s along with Bananarama and Boy George. Give me a website I can refresh and enjoy the latest version.
- Ease of customization: “oh, you want us to change the colors of the app to fit the colors of your brand? that’s not a problem Mr. customer, just watch how I change it while we speak… “.
- Developers ecosystem: huge, wild, open, reachable, easy to integrate, a novice developer can achieve much more using open source web-libraries than with any other alternative out there.
- The web mashup: the mashup alternatives are so many that you can create a great looking app without coding, just by ripping off some widgets and snippets from the world wide web. It may not do a lot, but it will make the enterprise decision makes go “wow!” (and you haven’t heard it from me…).
- Offline storage: be it webSQL or IndexDB, offline storage exists in HTML5 apps and works damn good too! Just ask some of our enterprise customers storing tens of thousands of spare parts and assets on their web-based ClickMobile app.
- Cloud: it’s happening. Cloud is finally taking over even within the most conservative enterprise organizations. Cloud was born for web technologies and fits perfectly with web-based apps.
Well, there are more, and in ClickSoftware we are witnessing a tremendous shift from our “classic” solutions which are mostly native to our HTML5-based, modern, touch-friendly mobile platform. Our responsive web-based UI makes our mobile apps look and feel natural on any form factor regardless to the operating system. The performance is great and overall experience fits the business needs. HTML5 is serving us well in that matter and customers love it.