Progress in the Web platform standards such as HTML5 and in the latest versions of iOS and Android has made Web languages and tools more viable for a greater swath of enterprise apps, according to a recent IDC study.
In a report titled "The Evolving State of Mobile Software Development," IDC analyst Al Hilwa says Web platform technologies now occupy an "ever-larger footprint" inside of many third-party cross-platform mobile platforms.
Indeed, Hilwa points out that HTML5 is finally taking off as browser vendors support the standard more completely and as the industry, particularly advertisers, accelerates its shift from Adobe's Flash technology. "These moves will open pathways for more developers and designers to skill up on HTML5, thereby expanding available labor for Web platform enterprise software development," he said.
As a response to these changes, enterprises and enterprise IT providers are moving to adopt mobile and Web languages for new enterprise applications. For instance, IBM recently told eWEEK it is looking at three primary programming languages/development environments for enterprise use going forward: Java, Node.js and Swift.
Swift is a general-purpose programming language built using a modern approach to safety, performance and software design patterns, according to the Swift language Website. It is intended as a replacement for C-based languages including C, C++ and Objective-C. The language has been used to develop apps for the Apple platforms such as iOS, OS X and others—where Objective-C has long held sway.
Swift recently surpassed Objective-C on the TIOBE Index of most popular programming languages. On the January 2016 TIOBE Index, Swift ranked 14th and Objective-C fell to No. 18 on the list. Swift was up 11 positions over where it stood on the list last January, when it was No. 25. And Objective-C was down 15 spots from where it was in January 2015, when it was No. 3 on the TIOBE index.
"We view Swift as the next great modern programming language because it represents the best of modern programming languages," said Dr. Angel Diaz, vice president of Cloud Architecture and Technology at IBM, in a blog post.
Meanwhile, IDC's Hilwa said mobile is challenging and even in many cases eclipsing the Web as a delivery channel for customer engagement and commerce. Mobile software development has become a key enabler to multichannel customer engagement in digital business transformation initiatives. This has led to an increase in mobile investment in the enterprise.
Moreover, enterprises are increasingly looking for unified mobile software development platforms to cover mobile, Web and desktop development, Hilwa said. "With the release of the mobile-focused Windows 10 as an upgrade path aimed at all Windows desktops, Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform app model will be an important target for enterprise software development along with Android and iOS," he said.