|By Bruce Armstrong||
|January 10, 2012 09:30 AM EST||
On November 9, Adobe announced in a blog post that it had decided to cease efforts to develop browser plugins for mobile devices to play Flash, indicating that HTML5 was "the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." In case that sounds like Adobe abandoned Flash entirely, it should be noted that Adobe indicated their intentions to continue to develop the AIR player for mobile devices, so that the role for Flash on mobile devices would be restricted to native apps, just not browser-based apps.
A few days later in another blog post, Adobe also noted that it was releasing the entire Flex SDK (used by the Flash Builder IDE to generate Flash RIA applications) to open source, indicating that "In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development."
What is so surprising about these announcements is just how quickly they came. As recently as January of 2010, HTML5 seemed to be going nowhere fast. Meanwhile, Adobe was finishing up a new version of Adobe Flash Professional that would not only generate Flash, but would generate applications that would run on iOS as well. Everything was looking like Flash would not only rule the Internet, but would start taking on mobile devices as well.
Then in February of 2010, the W3C gave HTML5 I swift kick in the pants (although still targeting 2014 for the release of the standard). Perhaps more important, on April 3 of 2010, Apple released the iPad. Five days later (April 8) Apple revised its Developer License to essentially ban the Flash-to-iPhone compiler feature of Adobe Flash Professional. Finally on April 28 of 2010, Steve Jobs released his "Thoughts on Flash" in which he outlined the reasons why he would never allow the use of Flash on iOS devices and instead backed HTML5.
A year and a half later and Adobe has ‘abandoned the field' so to speak, joining the HTML5 bandwagon and largely limiting the use of Flash to AIR applications on mobile devices. They indicate they will still work on the Flash browser plugin for desktop browsers, but given that plugins seem to be on the way out for desktop browsers, we may end up seeing Flash limited to the AIR player on desktops as well. The speed at which Adobe has capitulated, and somewhat similar moves that Microsoft has made recently, have led one person to suggest that Microsoft will take the same approach with Silverlight, making the soon-to-be-released version the last version. So far, there's been no other indication that might be the case though.
Of course, at this point you may be wondering, "What does this have to do with PowerBuilder?" I think there are a number of observations I would make from these recent events:
- If we thought that SAP/Sybase has problems communicating and supporting the product, think how the Flex developers feel right now. At least they got treated better than the "classic" Visual Basic programmers. You have to give SAP/Sybase some credit. PowerBuilder is still rolling, and a lot of the tools that were supposed to have killed it off (classic VB, Flex) have been killed off themselves.
- While HTML5 may be the future, the future isn't here yet. The Adobe post on the Flex action indicated that it would probably be 3 to 4 years yet before HTLM5 is in a position to replace Flex applications. With that in light, their decision with regard to Flex seems premature to me. Nonetheless, the lesson we might take away is that HTML5 currently isn't suitable for line of business application development, though it may be in a few years. We probably shouldn't expect to see anything out of SAP/Sybase to support generating line of business applications with HTML5 before then.
- With regard to development for mobile devices, apparently Adobe sees enough potential there to continue to support development of native applications for them. That is certainly an area where PowerBuilder could play as well. Of course, SAP/Sybase has been there before with PocketBuilder. Perhaps the main issue there was the dependence on one particular mobile operating system. In order to play in this market, PowerBuilder would need to be able to generate native applications for both Android and iOS at a minimum. The Developer Agreement changes referred to earlier were reversed by Apple, so cross-compiling applications to work on iOS is acceptable once more.
- Change happens. A year and a half from now we may all be wondering what all the hype regarding HTML5 was about as we are all excited about some new technology. Given that it takes approximately a year and a half for SAP/Sybase to release a new version of PowerBuilder, it's perhaps wise for them to not rely on one particular technological approach to solve a particular issue. I would like to see PowerBuilder 15 include HTML5 generation capabilities. I'm also thinking that for a number of reasons (immaturity of HTML5, less than 100% adoption of HTML5 capable browsers, inconsistencies of implementation of HTML5 between browser vendors) that PowerBuilder may need another non-HTML5 method of supporting web application development. Perhaps HTML5 with a fallback to Silverlight, or Silverlight with a fallback to HTML5 might be an option. Even if Microsoft does decide that 5 is the last version of Silverlight, it offers a viable alternative method of generating web-based line of business applications until HTML5 fully matures and the adoption rate for HTML5 capable browsers improves.
Those are my thoughts anyway. At least we can't say we don't live in interesting times.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 26, 2014 09:15 AM EST Reads: 352
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 09:15 AM EST Reads: 426
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 392
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,103
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,138
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 25, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,364
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,211
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,246
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,588
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,466
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,602
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,615
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,803
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,742
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,758
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,560
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,506
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,564
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,490
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 21, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,427