Over the last few months we’ve been watching momentum build around the application transformation space. Today the latest news is coming from Capriza, which is announcing that it has received a $27 million round C of funding. It’s been over a year since we first covered them, so I figured now was a good time to check in.
(This article was updated on December 5, 2014. Scroll down for more information about Capriza's support for large-screen devices.)
You can head back to our post from last year for more information, but essentially Capriza is one of the more light-weight and fast ways to transform older applications into mobile apps. The core of their technology can be thought of as an in-line virtual browser that reads traditional HTML-based websites and transform them into targeted HTML5-based mobile web apps. Administrators use Capriza’s design tool to specify which fields are reproduced and how everything is laid out.
He’s a quick app that I made for the login page at BrianMadden.com, next to a screenshot of the regular version of the page:
In the last year the product has advanced considerably:
There’s more automation built into the app design process, so it’s still possible for non-technical folks to build apps. At the same time, more precise controls have been enabled. For example in the past the Capriza design tool would always try to recognize fields in the source app on its own, but now designers can tell it what type of fields to look for.
Capriza also did a lot of work with Oracle and SAP to make sure it can recognise the structure of their web apps and work smoothly and recognize notifications.
Another change is that apps can have more complex workflows. While in the past there was essentially a 1 to 1 relationship between pages in the source app and screens in the finished mobile app, now designers can combine elements onto a single screen.
There are more deployment options, too. Previously Capriza apps could be distributed as links, which could then be pinned as web clips or embedded in hybrid apps. Now there are also native Capriza apps for iOS and Android that act as a portal for transformed Capriza apps. The iOS and Android apps also allow even more integration with native device functions, so apps can do barcode scanning and access camera, contacts, phone, and map APIs.
Capriza has mobile app management partnerships with both Citrix and AirWatch.
It’s probably redundant to say, but Capriza’s funding round serves validation for the entire space. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Citrix or VMware make some acquisitions in the space, too.
*Update, December 5, 2014*
Capriza now also supports alternate UI configurations for tablets and other large-screen devices. There's no need for a separate app—when building an app, designers can simply specify alternate layouts that get used for larger screens. I like the idea that this could also be used for desktops, too—it could be valuable for condensing complex tasks into simple, approachable workflows. Instead of sending out instructions that say "click here, go do this next, choose from these options," imagine just sending out an app.