Designing HTML5 reporting tools: What's most important?

Many enterprises have started to reap the benefits of leveraging HTML5 reporting tools for both organizational and customer-facing applications. The potential of HTML5 as a design standard has begun to crystallize, and many leading companies are riding early-stage adoptions to success. Of the top 500 mobile retailers, for example, 46 percent utilize HTML5 in their mobile applications, according to Internet Retailer. Many of these companies undoubtedly rode more intuitively designed and compatible mobile websites to substantial windfalls during the recent shopping season. As consumers place higher expectations on the functionality and responsiveness of mobile apps - nearly half of consumers expect a Web page to load in two seconds or less, KISSMetrics reported - virtually anything less than perfect is guaranteed to drive users away.

In the enterprise, things are a little bit different - but not by much. Of course, business end users may not abandon a slow-loading Web page or app, but this decision is at least partially due to not having a choice. The frustration that a user can feel when a program does not "work right" is just as real when he or she is utilizing a business application as an e-commerce one, for example. The annoyance may be even more pronounced, since a repeatedly under-functioning app can curtail an end user's productivity and make him or her feel stuck.

It is crucial to avoid this issue when designing HTML5 reporting tools. To do it, programmers should focus on what is most important. This may differ significantly for companies, depending on the types of reporting they need to do, the data they use and the types of media that will be incorporated into the apps. However, there is some common ground for all developers tasked with programming interoperable, platform-agnostic applications.

HTML5 reporting tools: 3 important features
There are a lot of new components in HTML5 development that can have a significant effect on the ease of design and accelerate the time needed to get it up and running. contributor Bipin Joshi recently highlighted several of the most important tools for HTML5 reporting development. Many of these are part of advancements in the application programming interface, especially in relation to JavaScript. Here are three of the most significant features Joshi discussed:

  • New input types: HTML5 reporting tools will certainly benefit from the addition of several input types, which provide shorthand and oversight for some of the most common types of data entries. New HTML5 input types include number, date, url, email, tel, range and color. Having these input types on hand simplifies the application development process, as well as places additional boundaries on the information users enter. This can help end users eliminate errors and better convey information.
  • Additional form features: Several form features complement the input types. These also help provide parameters for end users and improve input handling. Among the most useful of these features are the "required" attribute, which makes certain inputs required, the "autofocus" attribute, which positions initial focus on that field, and the "pattern" attribute, in which data in an input field is compared with a control expression to ensure it makes sense.
  • Audio and video elements: One of the most important additions to the HTML5 toolkit are the audio and video elements, which make it possible to embed audio and video files into a Web page without the need for a plug-in. Add-ons such as Silverlight are necessary to utilize any multimedia in HTML4, but their occasional incompatibilities and irregular and sometimes frequent update schedules can make them a thorn in a developer's side. While not all data reporting tools may require the use of audio and video, some reporting tools may utilize data from these sources. They can also work as tools to provide insights and add another dimension to reports.


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