HTML5 for enterprise: Confusion the biggest barrier #AppsWorld
For enterprise application development, choosing to write in HTML5 is an extremely big call to make. And, according to an expert panel at Apps World Europe, there’s still some way to go before the open standard is ready for the enterprise.
“The overwhelming perception I get from customers is utter confusion about what they’re doing,” he noted.
“If you pick a noun and add .js or .io, you’ll probably get a library. It’s extraordinarily confusing, and that’s the biggest problem,” he added.
Colin Eberhardt, the CTO of ShinobiControls at Scott Logic, added that using HTML5 is not in line with how large corporations conduct their business.
“The way enterprises generally work, they want a partner, Adobe, Microsoft; they want someone who they can give a lot of money to and get a shrink wrapped offering,” Eberhardt said.
He added: “With HTML5, there are very few companies you can go to, to solve all your HTML5 problems. That’s how enterprises work.”
Akka concluded that “as a reliable development tool for the enterprise, it will not be ready for another 2-4 years.
“Until then, HTML5 will remain best suited for the consumer applications and a ‘work in progress’ for the enterprise projects,” he added.
Yet Eberhardt noted that, in the midst of Mark Zuckerberg’s quote that Facebook’s biggest mistake was betting too much on HTML5, many forgot – or chose to ignore – the rest of his quote, whereby he said the company would come back to it later.
This sense of optimism was picked up on by the panel – but the overall feeling was that the positives about HTML5 doesn’t link in with the strengths of the enterprise.
HTML5, as Beeby noted, “lends itself very nicely to rapid development” – indeed, if you’re going to enter a hackathon, it’s not the worst bet to write in HTML5. But is that appropriate for enterprise, with stringent quality control? As Noel Massey, Motorola solutions architect put it: “it’s too easy to write bad code.”
One of the more pertinent statements in the session came from Eberhardt, who noted: “HTML5 is a compromise, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
“But compromise isn’t a bad thing – if it saves you a lot of money, compromise is great.”
With the archetypal image of CIOs and CFOs nervously looking at their balance sheets in mind, it’s certainly something of an advantage.
Yet the big takeaway, for enterprises who did still want to develop in HTML5, it’s all about testing and ironing out the kinks.
“For any enterprise HTML5 development, I would strongly urge people to prototype it, give it to the stakeholders, give it to the users, do user testing,” said Eberhardt, adding: “The user experience is typically where HTML5 apps suffer.”
Do you agree with the panel’s analysis?
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