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A Platform Play – Gliffy Moves Its Online Diagram Service To HTML5 And Says Goodbye To Flash

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Gliffy is moving to an all-HTML5 platform, showing the change in developer and business users’ needs to collaborate online across any platform and within third-party application environments.

Gliffy has historically served as a Flash-based SaaS for developing diagrams. It adopted HTML5 initially for Atlassian, the developer and collaboration platform. Gliffy’s SaaS environment will go to HTML5 in the first quarter of 2013.

Gliffy has millions of users, and about half of those people use it on the Atlassian platform, so it makes sense that the new HTML5 environment is built for the Atlassian ecosystem. Gliffy is making HTML5 available as a plug-in to Confluence, Atlassian’s collaboration platform. Here’s an example of how Gliffy looks in the Atlassian Confluence environment.

But why HTML5? Because it works for cross-platform environments; it is easier to manage compared to Flash; is a first-class citizen on the browser; and is attractive to developers.

Most of all, HTML5 makes it possible to easily integrate Gliffy into Atlassian’s ecosystem. That’s a key point here. Platforms for app development have matured. With these platforms have come a new generation of app stores such as Salesforce.com AppExchange. By embracing HTML5, Gliffy is making a bet that it can build integrations across different platforms.

Gliffy competes with Microsoft’s Visio, as well as Creately and Lucidchart. Adding HTML5 helps Gliffy compete with these players but it won’t help as much in the mobile space where HTML5 is taking a backseat to native apps.

Gliffy will take HTML5 to the tablet market, which again shows the company’s effort to make a platform play in the market.