HTML5 widgets: Making the most of HTML5

HTML5 continues to be the subject of debate. While the nascent markup language has huge potential for driving progress in Web-based app development, adoption has not been universal. At the center of the discussion is the choice between HTML5 and native app development, with many industry analysts and programmers preferring to stick with native apps for their specificity rather than switch to HTML5 for its universal quality. However, the proponents of native app development may be missing out on disruptive approaches by not using HTML5. The depth and breadth of the HTML5 widget library is a good example of programming technology creating new opportunities in the field.

Mobility is the culprit, as it so often is these days. The variety of screen sizes and processing capacities can make developing apps within a non-native framework a tough task for programmers. The back-end design efforts can quickly spiral out of control. According to a recent Forrester Research report, more than 70 percent of cost, time and effort on responsive Web design projects is devoted to back-end development, despite the fact that these apps are needed more than ever for their front-end capabilities. In its survey, which compiled responses about enterprise mobility from 146 U.S.-based companies in a variety of industry verticals, the firm found that activities such as re-coding application programming interfaces, configuring middleware and integrating database management systems frequently occupied a majority of company resources. According to Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester principal analyst, mobility drives a need to re-examine development tactics.

"Tactical approaches [to mobility] are no longer sustainable, especially as more strategic methodologies like responsive delivery emerge that can underpin a comprehensive enterprise-weight delivery of mobile experiences," said Hammond. "There's considerable value in pre-existing business logic from your company's traditional website (and other existing systems). It's already tested and secured, and it can be opened up to the mobile channel."

Using HTML5 widgets to alleviate RWD issues
Recently, RWD has become a common factor in app development, wrote InfoWorld contributor Serdar Yegulalp. There are a variety of Web frameworks that make it fairly simple to create responsive designs that can be used on any mobile device. However, it is also important that development time and resources currently devoted to RWD can be diminished. The Forrester report noted that responsive framework functionality is still on the road to maturity, with a blended approach featuring these frameworks as well as RWD tactics leading to fewer scope cuts in feature and client UI design.

HTML5 widgets can drive enterprise mobile functionality, helping developers reduce back-end resource allocation and improve app time to deployment. With adaptive HTML5 widgets, developers can design apps on one platform that have peak mobile and Web performance. It works through the seamless transition between jQuery Mobile for jQuery UI, so programmers can use the same framework to convert from Web to mobile without having to change a single line of code.

Rapid adaptation is critical to the continued development of enterprise apps in an increasingly mobile ecosystem. In order for reporting tools and other programs to retain their full front-end performance without spending 70 percent of developer resources on RWD issues, enterprise software developers should use HTML5 widgets.

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