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Update, Dec. 29th, 2015: Please see a sneak preview of the HTML5 UI: http://scn.sap.com/community/business-bydesign/blog/2015/12/23/sneak-preview-of-sap-business-bydesig...

In a recent Blog post ( http://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2015/07/02/moving-to-html5-premium-media/ ) , Microsoft summarized their position regarding HMTL5 and Silverlight.

As discussed in the media, Microsoft recommends to software vendors and the media industry to embrace HTML5, while giving a Silverlight support commitment.

We have been in contact with Microsoft on the topic for at least the last two years. With SAP’s UI5 strategy the move to HTML5 has started already. As this is an overall SAP technology policy, it obviously also applies for SAP Business ByDesign.

The ByDesign development ogranization has established an additional dedicated development team to re-implement today’s Silverlight based controls in HTML5. We waited until now, to ensure the re-use of investment made by SAP’s architecture and technology teams in the respective libraries. Also insight from our colleagues in Cloud for Customer and Cloud for Travel is reflected.

Still a large amount of work is waiting for us to re-implement thousands of controls. This ranges from very small ones to super large ones like the GANT-Chart used in project management.

We are in the midst of specifying out the delivery plan for this transition. We intend to provide a sneak-preview with feature pack 15.11. The transition will happen based on the criteria, how often a work center is used and grouped by applications. In short: Frequently used work centers will come earlier than complex key user scenarios.

First mobile applications,  leveraging HTML5 have already been delivered with 15.05 (Project Cockpit and Approval Application). As you may have seen, these comprise of a surrounding 'invisible' container application (enabling access to device specific capabilities like GPS, camera, email, phone, calendar). The actual content rendered within the container is HTML5.

The project will run through all of 2016 and carry into 2017.

Based on the guidance from the ByDesign user groups, the user interaction design will remain unchanged. No need to re-educate any users. In addition, all partner / customer add-ons built via the development infrastructure using the UI designer will work as before.

For customers, who intend to transition to Windows 10, we follow Microsoft’s recommendation to use Internet Explorer 11. For customers, who use Google Chrome, we suggest to either move to Internet Explorer 11 or to work with a Google Chrome Browser version that supports Silverlight until the transition is done.  We will keep you informed about which workcenters and work center views will be available with which feature pack. Many occasional users will be able to leverage the HTML5 based UI already in 2016.

For the ByDesign management team, this project in combination with the work to fully leverage HANA capabilities is key, as it secures the underlying technology platform for the next decade.