Should We See Xcelsius as HTML5?

Today I read a great blog post from Pieter Hendrikx about a tool that Adobe released that converts Flash files (FLA) to HTML5 / SVG.

This is a great post where he shares one of the interesting Labs utilities that Adobe released, indicating their understanding of how important porting Flash content to HTML5 is to developers. From my testing, this seems to be a utility for converting simple banner ads and not full blown applications.

Pieter highlights a very important, and distinct limitation for porting any Flash application to HTML5 and Javascript. There is nothing that I know of today that can effectively port action script to javascript. Today, such an effort requires a ground up re-design, though layout and graphical assets are obviously re-usable as more tools come online.

I think we all agree that Xcelsius output to iOS today is a great idea in concept. Given that software in general is increasingly fragmented across platforms and devices, I personally think SAP should focus on getting Xcelsius up to snuff with competing products on the desktop before going mobile. 100% of the customer base who is using Xcelsius, does so on the desktop today. In 9 months, a percentage of them who adopt RIM or Android devices over iPads should be moderately satisfied with what they have. For example, I know that Antivia is working on a great solution for porting dashboards to Flash enabled devices.

My question to you? Does SAP need to completely change a highly successful dashboard design platform to serve one single device even it is not the best possible approach to dashboards oniOS? That is a good question for the community to weigh in.

My personal opinion is that I don’t like the idea of having technology ported to my mobile device when I know it was designed before the first iPhone hit the market. That is not to say that it could not be successfully re-purposed for mobile, but it would need a highly talented and focused team to do so. With so many vendors focused on building native applications for iPad specifically designed for mobile, Xcelsius would be a dinosaur from day one even if we could port SAP Dashboard Design 2011 to the iPad with HTML5. Roambi has set the high standard for usability and native integration, so I use it as my benchmark for anything else in the marketplace. Imagine where we will be in 18 months… could you see Xcelsius still thriving on iPad given its current abilities?

This is a tough problem for SAP to address. What are your thoughts?


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