Monday, November 14, 2011 11:27 AM
HTML5 and the End of the line for Flash and Silverlight
Last week was a double whammy for RIA (Rich Internet Application) developers of Flash or Silverlight applications. Adobe announced that it was stopping the development of Flash for mobile, which will bring the inevitable end of Flash-based applications. In the same vein, Microsoft reported it was abandoning the development of Silverlight after the upcoming v5 release. Mobile platforms have refused to support these technologies, and HTML5 is clearly the future of web application development. It doesn’t mean that Silverlight and Flash are dead yet – they will be supported for quite some time.
Commercial ISVs who have aligned with Silverlight and Flash technologies are hurrying to change architectures to HTML (in some cases reversing decisions that were made recently). Atalasoft’s direct competitor Accusoft Pegasus has made huge investments in both Silverlight and Flash with their acquisition of Accusoft and Adeptol over the last couple years. We also have ISV customers who have built truly incredible commercial applications on Silverlight that leverage Atalasoft’s Silverlight controls. The time will soon come where these applications with a large install base will need to be re-architected.
At Atalasoft, we pioneered the development of the first pure zero-footprint HTML Document Viewer using AJAX technology and continue to focus our business around image-enabling web applications on this technology. While we will continue to support and enhance our Silverlight capabilities in the near future, the majority our UI resources will continue to be dedicated to visualization of documents and images over the web using HTML and HTML5 technologies.
Silverlight does provide some interesting capabilities for applications that need to distribute processing to the client and be deployed through a browser, but with the commoditization of the cloud and enterprise virtualization, this will become less of a need in the future. I am recommending to all but a select few clients that new projects leverage HTML5 and the power of the web. However there still are cases where Silverlight solves the problem very well, and I do expect a few of our customers will continue along this direction. Silverlight continues to be a great development platform – except now with a shorter life expectancy.
Atalasoft’s HTML Document Viewer, used in over a thousand applications on hundreds of thousands of servers, demonstrates how application developers can image-enable and scan-enable their web-based applications with Zero-Footprint HTML technology.