HTML5 may be the standard of choice for cross-platform apps in the consumer world, but it's a different story for businesses, where complex legacy software means embracing the standard and converting client-server apps into mobile or web equivalents can be a tricky business. Israeli startup Gizmox, complete with new CEO, funding and US office, aims to offer a way around the problem.
Gizmox bet on HTML (first 4, then 5) some eight years ago, when company president Navot Peled and his son Guy decided to build a new platform from the bottom up constructed specifically for web application development. As technology advanced to allow for mobile web apps, the company adapted its development tools to allow for that as well, and in 2011 introduced Instant CloudMove to move apps designed to work in a client-server mode to a cloud-based application for access in a standard web browser.
Microsoft has been working with Gizmox since 2011. "This new close partnership was formed to offer," Microsoft said at the time, "what just not long ago seemed impossible; auto-transformation of application code that runs locally as a client-server application into an application that runs naively on Windows Azure as a rich web application that can be accessed in a secure-by-design mode from any plain browser and devices including cross mobile and tablets devices and OSes."
The route from legacy
Of course, Flash, Silverlight, and even Flex aren't exactly dead in enterprise; there are still plenty of companies using them for legacy applications or to support specific needs. But any of the newer apps based on legacy programs that are being developed at organizations are likely to be using Gizmox's VisualWebGUI platform for developing or converting client-server apps for mobile or web use.
"Our uniqueness is that we can take apps and convert them seamlessly and automatically for use on the web, the cloud, or on mobile devices," said Peled. The company's platforms are "the native .NET to web/cloud application move solution that addresses the tens of billions of client-server lines of code" in enterprise apps, particularly those using Visual Basic 6 and .NET, "and offers the shortest path to Windows Azure and of legacy systems such as COBOL, Oracle Forms, Power Builder and others to Windows Azure," Peled added. The apps developed using Gizmox's technology are cross-platform, so there is no need to tinker with the code every time a new deployment is needed.
VisualWebGui virtualizes Windows desktop applications at code level on top of standard web server or VisualWebGui dedicated application server, allowing native HTML and HTML5-based browser accessibility anywhere, from any browser and device. First comes an "assessment" stage that analyzes what needs to be done to convert (the company uses the term "transposition") the app for mobile or cloud deployment. Developers can do it themselves with VisualWebGui's tools, or use the automated CloudMove to do the conversion.
New CEO, new funding
VisualWebGui has been downloaded more than a million times, with over 40,000 applications developed using the system, according to Gizmox, but the company now appears slated for a major marketing expansion.
It's appointed a new CEO, Eugene Kuznetsov, the former CEO of DataPower, which was sold to IBM in 2005. Gizmox founder Peled, who was CEO, is now president. The company also last week closed a new $7.5m funding round (the company has collected $18m in investments already) from Atlas Venture, with participation from current investors Citrix, IVC and Consolidated Investment Group, and opened a new marketing office in Cambridge (the better to reach more new US enterprise customers, said Kuznetsov).
The company's R&D will remain in Israel, with the current staff of 40 likely to be significantly expanded both in Israel and the US, the company said.