Capriza drags and drops enterprise apps to a mobile-first world

Capriza has long offered a drag-and-drop tool for porting Web apps from desktops to smartphones, and now is extending it to work with tablets.

The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets has put pressure on CIOs to let users access existing apps from those devices. While Web technologies offer the promise of apps that work across different platforms, the user interface doesn't always translate well between big laptop displays and small smartphone and tablet screens.

To transform an app to fit the smaller screens, Capriza offers a design tool that lets users drag and drop functions from an existing desktop app, which is shown in one window, to a smartphone, a simulation of which is displayed in a second screen.

The mobile applications created using Capriza's tool are based on HTML5. Using the tool, TiVo has created an app that lets managers approve purchase requests and time sheets from their smartphones, while U.S. satellite TV provider DirecTV has developed an app for handling customer activations and change requests.

On Wednesday, Capriza added support for tablets to the tool. The upgrade lets users build responsive interfaces that are a better fit for the larger tablet screens and the availability of a physical keyboard, if users have that. For example, the developer can choose to show more content and tasks that require a lot of typing to tablet users.

Any Web-based business application can be transformed for mobile use, and Capriza also supports non-Web technologies from SAP and Oracle. For now, it can't handle proprietary technologies such as Flash and Silverlight.

Capriza doesn't just transform and simplify desktop apps. It's also possible to add mobile-only features such as a barcode scanner or integration with Google Maps with the help of a PhoneGap plugin. The apps can either run in a browser or via Capriza's native app for Android and iOS. The advantage of the latter route is that users can access all apps in one place and the IT department can manage them there.

HTML5 has been through a number of ups and downs in the last couple of years. After nearly eight years of work, the World Wide Web Consortium finalized the underlying standard last month.

The performance improvements seen in the last couple of years have convinced Capriza it made the right choice when it picked HTML5 about three years ago. At the time, choosing HTML was a gamble. That the apps developed using the company's platform are mostly text based makes HTML a good fit.

One of the main reasons Capriza picked HTML5 was the ability to develop one app that can run on multiple OSes.

"We need to be device agnostic to make sure our customers don't have to develop a native app for every OS that matters now and in the future," Mehta said.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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