Web development or native development? The question has a lot of influence on the way programmers approach app development today, placing the future of software creation at a critical juncture. The result of the debate will likely have a long-term influence on the way analytical apps and reporting programs are designed, used and integrated with business logic. HTML5 is one factor that could shift the balance. HTML5 reporting tools are proving themselves to be sophisticated applications capable of driving enterprise insight. On the programmers' side, being able to develop one app that can be used smoothly on any device with minimal integration additions, rather than design a native app for each relevant system, can save a lot of time, headaches and resources. However, there are still a few issues with the way HTML5 is understood that must be cleared up before it sees wider implementation.
One of the most critical questions surrounding HTML5 reporting tools development is its capacity for mobile app creation. SD Times contributor Al Hilwa recently examined HTML5's progress, as well as some of the perceived growing pains that such accelerated adoption has created. Right now, HTML5 and native development coexist, perhaps more due to perception than to actual feasibility and usefulness. HTML5 has gripped the attention of developers and many companies, who are working to drive progress in and support the technology with new features, functions and uses. However, much of this attention has been on its desktop capacity, where it has proven its worth. HTML5 reporting tools are widely supported by desktops, with both business and consumer applications getting a revision to their user interface features for better HTML5 integration.
"HTML5 is in fact being widely adopted, especially on the desktop," Hilwa wrote. "[I]t is important to remember the powerful key attributes of HTML5, such as its evolutionary nature in adding capabilities, the enormous range and scope of the technologies it covers, and its intent to address all platforms as long as they run a browser."
HTML5 pain points and how to resolve them
Hilwa also acknowledged that like any emerging, game-changing technology, the process of implementation will meet some bumps in the road. Mobile continues to present issues for HTML5 development due to the nature of device evolution, service fragmentation and changing user priorities. Developers faced with designing apps for enterprise mobile environments may conclude that it's a better idea to continue native app deployment because of the accelerated pace at which users acquire new devices, update their systems and change their usage habits. HTML5 reporting tools considerations that would not be show-stopping on the desktop, such as the functional use of many components and features, can infringe on the user experience on mobile.
"Within platforms, iterations come fast and furious, and fragmentation in screen sizes multiplies," Hilwa wrote. "The Internet of Screens is effectively in a state of constant mission creep, mitigating against the point of closure on what might be considered a complete HTML5 specification for developers and tool makers to lock on."
Mobile development may represent a challenge to HTML5 reporting tools adoption, but it is certainly not an insurmountable one. According to Business 2 Community contributor Lisa Gulasy, responsive Web design and smart content are two of the top priorities enterprises have for mobile development. As jQuery Mobile and touchscreen support improve and flesh out their feature sets and functionality, any perceived inferiority on the part of HTML5 for efficient, effective Web application design will disappear. At the end of the day, users need reporting tools that will help them make the best decisions, and businesses want Web apps that improve their ROI. HTML5 will continue to progress, and before long overtake native app development for mobile.