SAP, Antenna lead large mobile app developer pack
Orlando, Fla.--Out of more than 100 mobile app developers examined by Gartner, only two, SAP and Antenna, were named as leaders in its 2012 Mobile Application Development Magic Quadrant report.
There were originally three, with Syclo being the third, but SAP has acquired Syclo, explained Gartner analyst Van Baker.
Firms identified as visionaries by Gartner include Kony, Adobe's (NASDAQ: ADBE) PhoneGap, Sencha, jQuery Mobile, Appcelerator, Verivo Software and Dojo.
Surprisingly, some of the biggest names in IT were relegated to the niche player quadrant in Gartner's analysis: IBM (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM). Niche players are defined by Gartner as having weaknesses in several evaluation criteria and offering a project choice, not a platform choice.
In a presentation to the Gartner Symposium ITxpo, Baker addressed the growing debate about the use of HTML5 for mobile app development. HTML5 is a markup language being developed for structuring and presenting web content.
According to advocates, HTML5 will be mature and widely available on mobile devices and will gain access to more native platform services from new standards or vendor-specific extensions. In addition, an increasing number of mobile development tools will offer HTML5 generation as an output option, the quality of mobile device browsers will grow, and there is a large pool of web developers, Baker explained.
According to the opponents, native platforms and application programming interfaces will advance so fast that HTML5 will not be able to keep up, network performance and latency will be poor and unpredictable, browser fragmentation will occur, users will demand the features of native applications, and platform owners will try to discourage use of web applications by labeling the "inferior", so as to lock users into specific platforms, he noted.
Baker advised enterprises not to take a one-size-fits-all approach. He advised them to choose among native, hybrid--a web app in a native container--and web apps, depending on the needs of the enterprise.