By Neil Menear, President, Novinsoft Inc.
Two fairly recent developments are quickly altering the already changing illustration systems game plan – the Microsoft launch of Windows 8 along with the Microsoft Surface tablet; plus the most recent iteration of the HTML development stack – HTML5.
The launch of the Microsoft tablet invigorates the already hotly contested market for mobile devices. What makes it really interesting for businesses, including financial services companies and advisors, is that, unlike the iPad and other tablets, Surface, with Windows 8 as the operating system, has the ability to run Office and other Windows applications. For those old guys like me, who aren’t completely comfortable with a touchpad interface, the Surface tablet comes with an optional cover that doubles as a keypad. Running spreadsheets and Word on a mobile device, and a keypad option are even more compelling reasons to ditch the laptop and move to a tablet for every-day business – including sales illustrations.
Life and Investment product illustration systems are well suited to mobile devices, especially simpler products. The challenge for software developers, such as Novinsoft, has been the explosion of mobile platforms. Do we program to run on a Surface tablet with Windows, an iPad or iPhone with iOS, an Android tablet or smartphone, or (who knows?) a Blackberry? The answer is – all of them; and the HTML5 stack allows us to do that.
HTML has been around for a long time, but the latest version – HTML5 – allows Novinsoft to build rich Web apps with capabilities rivaling native applications. So, instead of building different versions of the same illustration system for every flavour of smartphone or tablet, a single HTML5 illustration system will run on pretty much any device equipped with a browser.
Novinsoft Illustration Framework Architecture has already allowed single business rules/calculations/report engine use across desktop, web, or mobile platforms. Our adoption of HTML5 now means even the user interface (UI) need not be re-built; total cross-platform capabilities. We build it once – and it can run on tablets, smartphones, and even, the soon to be dinosaurs, desktops and laptops.
Other benefits include:
- The re-use of components across platforms translates to value for client companies – lower development and maintenance costs
- A cross-platform UI accessed via URL or bookmark also means instant distribution of the latest software version; bypassing the app store.
- And, a more uniform user experience across platforms
Sometimes new technology really does make our lives easier, and more interesting.
Novinsoft Inc. is the leading developer of on-line or off-line New Business and In-Force Insurance Illustration Systems, Needs Analyses, Sales Concepts, and Wealth Management sales modules for the Canadian Financial Services industry. More information at www.novinsoft.com.