What The Demise Of Flex Means For CI Pros

Earlier today, November 12, Deepa Subramaniam posted on the Flex Team Blog:

Does Adobe recommend we use Flex or HTML5 for our enterprise application development?

In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.

In the short term, vendors and marketing technologists using Flex for application development can continue without ripping and replacing their user interfaces. Adobe will donate the Flex SDK to an (as yet unnamed) foundation for future development, while still providing support for Flex and the Flash Builder development tool.

Photo by mugley - http://flic.kr/p/4XfysrHowever, Adobe’s clear emphasis on HTML5 – and lack of a recipient for the Flex SDK – create long-term problems for CI pros:

  1. Slowed marketing technology release cycles. Adobe’s announcement throws a wrench into the development cycles for vendors of enterprise marketing technologies that use Flex, such as IBM Coremetrics, SAP, SAS. At some point, vendors that use Flex will need to incorporate a migration from Flex into their development road maps, pulling resources from other product features.
  2. Fewer measurement options. Adobe’s plans for both Flex and mobile Flash point to a future in which Flash as a platform is increasingly marginalized, if not outright deprecated. CI pros using Flash Locally Shared Objects (Flash cookies) will need to migrate to traditional browser cookies for customer identification and multi-session tracking, which will reintroduce the concerns about cookie deletion and tag management that drove them to FLSOs in the first place.

On the other hand, the eventual shift to HTML5 brings good news for CI professionals.

  1. Broader device addressability. As smartphones, tablets, and other devices penetrate the executive suite, CI professionals will find it easier to meet demands for reporting and visual exploration of data on these devices. CI professionals tell me that while it's easy to deliver reports, it's harder to ensure that their leaders consume the reports. A native HTML5 reporting option will give CI Pros a new, and hopefully more engaging, method for delivering Customer Intelligence directly to executives' iPads.
  2. Clarity on future development plans. Adobe’s decision on Flex may bring pain for vendors and marketing technologists, but it signals where future product development will go. For CI Professionals and marketing technologists who need to leverage enterprise marketing technologies in Flash-less environments, they can begin to put the Flash vs. HTML5 issue behind them.

What do you think?

  • Does it matter that Adobe is distancing itself from Flex? Should it have pursued Air instead of HTML5?
  • What new possibilities or problems will HTML5 introduce?