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The First Cross Platform HTML5 Game: Will DAM Solutions Soon Follow?

by Naresh Sarwan on June 7, 2012 covers ‘Boom Town’, an HTML5 game that has been simultaneously offered on Apple App Store, Android Google Play and Facebook.  The game itself sounds pretty dull, but I’m not a massive gamer and the real point of covering this story here on DAM News is that demonstrates how the potential is now opening up for DAM solutions to properly leverage HTML5.  If you are interested in the use of HTML5 for more serious endeavours (like Digital Asset Management software) the interesting part of the article is at the end:

Beyond the question of how to build, deploy, market and monetize mobile apps, Boom Town speaks to bigger concerns. For instance, where does HTML5 lead? At one time, it seemed to promise the ability to strong-arm Apple and Google out of the deployment environment entirely. Yet, as more apps and games are created with HTML5, they are being deployed within the App Stores as well as outside of them. If HTML5 does not disrupt the app store model, what will it contribute to the mobile ecosystem?  The easy answer to that question is the ability to deliver quality apps, such as Boom Town, that communicate across platforms. Write once, run everywhere. Hasn’t that been the promise of new sets of programming tools for more than a decade?” [Read More]

Up until now, making use of HTML5 for business applications has been significantly hampered by incompatibilities across delivery devices (desktop PC web browsers included).  On numerous occasions, I have discussed the possibility of using HTML5 features like drag and drop uploading of asset files with both vendors and clients, but then have to back-peddle on the prospect of using any kind of advanced client-side functionality because of the steam powered web browsers still deployed to many end users in major corporations.

Although the mobile market might be a big deal for games, I would argue that it’s irrelevant for DAM.  What most users (and cost conscious vendors) want is the ‘write once, run everywhere’ flexibility referred to in the penultimate sentence of that quote above.  I think this is the key point that those vendors pushing iPad and tablet DAM systems have missed.  As an end user you want to be able to seamlessly traverse from one device to another and have them all operate in more or less the same way, give or take screen size and pointing device.  Trends like these point towards a desire for a consistent user experience, not a specialist one that changes depending on whether you happen to be using a specific manufacturer’s tablet device on your train journey home or sat at your desk in an office with your company issued PC workstation.

Momentum from the consumer market generally pushes trends in the business applications sector because increased demand for a given consumer technology stimulates the production of cheaper commodity hardware that makes it more cost effective for corporate IT departments to be able to deploy it for company employees.  This isn’t something that is widely talked about by enterprise software vendors – but it is true.  Developments like HTML5 games that can be used across devices will (by proxy) increase the proliferation of HTML5 in the enterprise because of this seldom discussed phenomena and we would expect to see a significant increase in the use of HTML5 in DAM now – because games like this are now being released.  Hopefully soon, I won’t need to file articles about HTML5 under the ‘Emerging DAM Technologies’ category any longer.

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