November 16, 2012
In another sign that HTML 5 is finally catching up with the rest of the IT channel, the mobile app developer Open-Xchange has introduced a new set of applications, powered by the latest version of the Web’s most popular programming framework, to facilitate access to a variety of resources on different devices spread throughout the cloud. Read on for the full story, and its implications for app development going forward.
Open-Xchange introduced the platform, called OX App Suite, at its Open-Xchange 2012 summit in Berlin, where the company is based. The product comprises a Web based “portal,” along with a suite of applications for a variety of tasks including email, calendaring, images and connection to third-party services such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Using the suite, which will become available to the public in December, organizations can deliver content to users from a central portal, making it easier to access a range of resources scattered across the cloud. At the same time, the platform offers the advantage of keeping data itself in its original location, since OX App Suite provides front-ends for accessing information without affecting the sources.
The company touts the platform’s “German design principles” as the basis for a user experience that’s simple and streamlined. The suite’s other selling points include:
Device independence: It works on all devices, from traditional PCs to tablets to smartphones.
Built-in data synchronization that prevents loss of information when a connection breaks.
Granularity in allowing organizations to decide which applications to make available to users.
Branding customization via HTML5 and CSS3.
The suite represents the next generation of Open-Xchange’s line of mail server software. The previous version, Open-Xchange Server 6, implemented some aspects of the centralized portal feature at the heart of OX App Suite. But it was not as complete in this respect as the new platform, nor did it take advantage of HTML 5 and other modern programming frameworks.
Open-Xchange isn’t the only vendor eager to integrate next-generation Web technologies into other parts of the channel. Jaspersoft, for example, made a similar move a few days ago with the debut of a new interface for its business analytics software powered by HTML 5.
These are signs that the new technologies of the web, which have been around for a while but have not yet received widespread implementation in all production environments, are finally replacing the legacy solutions on which the Internet as we’ve known it for the previous decade was built. If you’re an IE 6 fan, this may come as bad news. But for the rest of us, the power and flexibility of HTML 5 will be a welcome addition to our digital lives.
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