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Mobile Flash is ‘Dead’ – The Impact to Xcelsius

by Dr. Berg

November 11, 2011

Adobe just announced that after releasing version 11.1.102.59 (!), it would no longer continue to develop new releases of Flash.  Unfortunately, this is also how we render SAP Xcelsius dashboards. So what is the impact to you? 

By Dr. Berg

First The Good Flash News

There is something positive in this. First, in the previous version 10 there were issues with navigation and drill-down selectors, and we often had to create a PC and a tablet version of the Xcelsius dashboard. Now it seems to work much better in Flash version 11.

Actually, my developers tell me that the new release of Flash allows us to use the existing Xcelsius dashboards on tablets such as Toshiba, Samsung and other Android devices with no further changes. Also, the announcement is only for mobile devices.

Flash may still be a component in other software. Adobe has said it will “continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations”. But this was a poor way of launching version 11 of the product.

The Not so Good Flash News

Adobe has announced layoffs of about 700 staff, almost ten percent of their workforce. They also said that they will not continue developing new releases of mobile flash. Instead, they will focus on HTML5. There are many reasons for this,

HTML5 has better security, better compression, less memory consumption and smaller ‘footprint’ on handheld devices. This includes less battery drain, less processing power requirement which allows rendering on increasingly smaller devices. Nor, did it help that A pple did not support Flash on any of its tablets.

So what is the future for Adobe?  It is all about HTML5 and the Adobe Integrated Runtime applications (AIR) for non-browser based interfaces.

Is Xcelsius Flopping?

The impact to Xcelsius is somewhat unclear. But first, it has to be able to render on a new platform. I expect HTML5 just became a high on the priority for SAP.

Also, SAP may look at using HTML5 in conjunction with using a server to push content (instead of placing the load on mobile devices). This is exactly what Adobe did when they used flash streaming for their Media Server 4.5 and Flash Access 3.0 a few months back. Now, the change would ‘simply’ be to use HTML5 instead.

This would reduce the footprint on mobile. Actually, SAP has the BI 4.x platform that could integrate these features in the future.

Moving forward with Flash in 2011

Meanwhile, I suggest planning an upgrade to Flash 11 and keep your eyes on SAP support.  Also, keep a lookout for a formal announcements from SAP (should be forthcoming soon).

Just remember, the sky is not falling; there is no reason to halt your dashboard development; technology is simply evolving (like it always has)…

 Dr. Berg

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