December 10, 2013

Sonar From sonarDesign Offers Rapid, Simple Micro-App Development With HTML5

While apps are an everyday part of most people's lives—chances are anyone with a smartphone has at least three or four such apps currently on the device, and likely more than that—the micro-app may not be quite as familiar. But this new development is starting to catch on, powered in part by HTML5, and sonarDesign is out to help that development along with the newly-announced availability, in beta, of the Sonar platform.

The Sonar platform is browser-based, and allows for easy cross-platform work to take place. This is particularly valuable given that the Sonar platform's output is the micro app (mApp), itself a platform designed to be an intermediary between something as small and simple as a blog and as complex and robust as a native app. The mApp is designed to provide information and experiences, but at the same time, be quicker to build and easier to maintain than a full native app would be.

But the Sonar platform goes well beyond that, offering up a user experience engine  that allows for real-time monitoring of user analytics. This allows developers to get a better handle on what's working, and what isn't working, in terms of future app development or updates to current apps. Thanks to the extensive use of HTML5, there are some significant improvements to flexibility as the engine can draw directly to the canvas without turning to the Document Object Model more commonly used. Since the Sonar platform doesn't require Flash, Unity or any other plug-in, it's a lot simpler to work with overall, and this is actually another point provided by the use of HTML5. Better, Sonar has a lot of its background in Google's DART language, that allows for the final product to look more like a native app despite its overall construction in HTML5.

Those interested in getting a better handle on Sonar can actually build up to five mApps for free out at sonarDesign's website, which will hopefully ultimately provide the kind of perspective necessary to decide whether the mApp, and Sonar, is the right fit.

But this just shows further how HTML5 is going beyond its early days and taking its place as what may be called the dominant language of the Web as a whole. Currently, out at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City, the DevCon 5 event is in full swing, showing off some of the future of HTML5 as well as a glimpse of its present as well. For instance, Microsoft HTML5 technology evangelist Doris Chen will be offering a discussion on how to develop modern apps and websites with the help of HTML5, and Adobe (NewsAlert) developer evangelist Paul Trani will offer up a discussion on the use of hybrid development tools, including HTML5. There will be discussion on HTML5 animation, basic HTML5 tips and tricks, memory management, and a host of other topics all surrounding the idea of developing in HTML5.

HTML5 is still somewhat new, but it's already finding a place in many different operations at several different levels. No matter what it's used for—whether it's for gaming or animation or any other point—it's proving very valuable, and it's likely that HTML5 will only become more of a sought-after property as time goes along. It remains to be seen just how far HTML5 can ultimately go, but given what it can currently do, matched up with what it's likely to do in the near-term, HTML5 may be one of the biggest things to hit the Web since the browser.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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