Whether you've heard of HTML5 or the HTML Canvas object, you're going to. HTML5 is real and it's here. If you're going to leverage technology the way you need to for success in today's business world, HTML5 has to be a part of your overall plan. You've got to understand this technology today.
However, the web still couldn't handle complete applications. Think about the Apple denouncement of Flash. There were videos, and video-like graphics that could only be done in Flash. To really do something resembling a desktop application, you'd need to have Flash again. Apple's refusal to support Flash on iOS devices isn't the only issue with Flash. Flash is largely unsearchable, which means you hurt yourself in Google searches. It also requires a completely independent plugin to run the code, so you also limit the amount of interaction you have with your website. If that sounds confusing, imagine how your visitors feel about it!
Then there was HTML5. The canvas element of HTML5 is the next game changer. ALMOST all the necessary components were a part of HTML, but it was missing the ability to truly integrate audio and video. HTML5 will let you stream video, but you don't need to be building the next youtube for this to be a game changer. Imagine taking customer data, collating it and displaying it in a live, adaptable chart. (For a great demo, check out the example charts at Highcharts.com).
This can all be done using the HTML5 element known as the canvas. With a canvas, it's like having a piece of your desktop in a webpage. More than that, it's a piece of your desktop that can seamlessly interact directly with the technologies of the Internet. Now the desktop meets the cloud. Yes, the canvas element is handy for creating games or other interesting multimedia uses. But the real crux of the canvas element is how you integrate it into your applications or the new applications you can create for your business with this new availability.
How does this open the possibilities for your company or product? The canvas is a very powerful tool. We laid out a few different ways it could be used to integrate the desktop with the cloud, or to bridge the gap of cross-platform development. There are still a few things to be worked out, such as local file access, but all in all, the canvas element is a pretty powerful one that may just be the final piece of the puzzle for your needs.
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Brian is a life-long software developer who loves to help others succeed. A frequent source for media outlets, such as BBC, Entrepreneur and Bloomberg, Brian also frequently speaks at universities, conferences and the like. His new book, "Unravelling the Internet of Things" will be available soon on Amazon.com.