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HTML5 Mobile Development: 7 Good Ideas (and 3 Bad Ones)

HTML5 can be a boon to enterprise mobile app development, but you have to identify the right use cases to make it work. Here are 7 scenarios that make sense for HTML5, and 3 you might want to avoid.
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As enterprises put HTML5 to work within their mobile development efforts, some are finding the standard isn't quite the silver bullet for cross-platform development as it was touted to be early on by industry prognosticators. Part of the problem, experts say, is that enterprises may be trying to shoehorn HTML5 in to every mobile development use case.

"There are many, but not all, potential application types that are very compatible with HTML5. It comes down to whether the particular application makes sense for HTML5 or whether the application's features/use cases require native," says John Wargo, senior director of mobile solution management and developer experience at SAP. "When you fail in making that determination, that's when HTML5 falls down."

Network Computing talked to developers and mobile experts to get the scoop on when HTML5 can best serve the enterprise—and when to go native. Here's their verdict.

Use Case #1: You Need Lightweight Apps

If you need to push out simple functionality for things like directory look-ups, parts look-ups, knowledge base access, catalogs and simple workflows, HTML5 is likely the best means to making that available to all of your mobile users, Wargo says. As he explains, a lightweight app "that that simply doesn't need the performance, device integration or robustness of a native application" is a perfect candidate for HTML5. It's why so many newspapers are rolling out their apps using HTML5—the New York Times released one such iPad app last fall.

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