Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hybrid Mobile-SaaS Apps

It's difficult for microISVs to decide if they want to create their next apps for a specific mobile device operating system or if they should create a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that will run using any modern web browser. With the introduction of hybrid solutions into the marketplace, the decision among Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Linux, and SaaS has become even more complicated.

According to research by Gartner, as published in the June 28, 2013 issue of Processor Magazine, by 2016 more than half of all mobile apps will be hybrids.

Gartner defines a native mobile app as one that will run on a specific mobile platform. Today's web apps, by contrast, are written in HTML5 and can be used by anybody with an Internet connection and a modern web browser. Hybrid apps combine the benefits of both designs. They support HTML5, and they can be used offline when an Internet connection is not available. Gartner says that the hybrid approach offers more flexibility for both software developers and end-users.

Gartner believes that by 2015, consumer apps will be 40 percent native, 20 percent web, and 40 percent hybrid. The enterprise apps will have a mix of 10 percent native, 30 percent web, and 60 percent hybrid.

microISVs with marketing plans that include developing SaaS applications or apps for mobile devices are going to have competitors in the coming years who have developed hybrid apps that allow for offline computing. To avoid being at a competitive disadvantage, software developers need to start thinking of using the hybrid design model for future software releases.

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