Today millions of businesses use the internet as a cost-effective communications channel. It allows them to exchange information with their target market and make fast, reliable, and secure transactions. But effective engagement is simply possible when the business can capture and save all the important data and possess a means of processing this data to present the outcomes to users.
Now for this, web-based applications serve as an ideal option. These applications use a combination of server-side scripts for handling the saved data and retrieval of the information, and client-side scripts to present the data to users.
This empowers users to interact with the business using content management systems, online forms, shopping carts, and more. Moreover, these applications also enable employees to create documents, collaborate on projects, share information, and work on common documents irrespective of device or location.
The development of rapid and interactive web-based applications these days has made a lot of things change and consequently made the IT industry evolve with the beginning of different categories of web applications. These applications provide a whole range of business advantages and can be accessed from any computer through the internet.
The use of web-based software is generally termed Software as a Service (SaaS), where apps run on a virtual, cloud-based environment. You can consider the example of cloud-based email platforms that have allowed users to access email without any need of installing a desktop email client. SaaS applications provide substantial business advantages over on-premises software.
Today, most popular brands like Facebook, Twitter, and other organizations have a complete range of different types of web applications.
Now let us discuss the types of web apps, why they are created? what are they mainly used for? and more. In this blog, we will try to answer all these questions and more to provide both meaningful and valuable insight for you.
What is a web-based application?
A web-based application popularly known as a web app is a software application program that makes use of web-based technology to accomplish specific tasks, such as remote web servers that host web applications and save important information from different connected computers.
You can easily access the application using a standard browser from any computer with an internet connection. You can utilize a client program to manage and run these web applications and access the needed data. This is the reason why people also refer to web apps as client-server programs.
These web applications have grown to be an increasingly powerful tool for business; with their most popular uses being communication with consumers, safe storage of data while providing information and data to management, collaboration with employees, and more.
Google apps are the most well-known amongst web-based applications. One such example is Google Docs, which is a word-processing application, however users complete all the functions using a web browser rather than using software installed on their computer.
Examples of Web-Based Applications
You may not realize it, but you are probably utilizing web-based applications on a daily basis. Web-based apps can be as simple or as complicated as desktop software, depending on the use scenario. The following are some examples of web-based applications:
Online forms, shopping carts, word processors, spreadsheets, video and photo editing, file conversion, file scanning, and email systems like Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL are examples of web apps. Google Apps and Microsoft 365 are two popular apps.
Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, online storage, and more are all included in Google Apps for Work. Online document and calendar sharing are among the other features. This allows everyone on the team to see the same version of a document at the same time.
How does a web application work?
A web app needs three main elements to function properly. This incorporates a webserver to manage requests from the client, the second one is an application server to perform the requested tasks, and the last one is the database to save all the data and information.
Here is a step-by-step demonstration of how a web application typically works:
Step 1) The user enters a web application with the help of a web browser or mobile application, triggering a request to the web server using the Internet. There may be security measures i.e. firewalls or cloud access security brokers, along with load balancers.
Step 2) The web server then forwards the request to the web application server. This web application server completes the requested task like querying the database or processing the data, next it generates the results of the required data.
Step 3) Next, the web application server sends the information back to the web server.
Step 4) Finally, the web server provides the requested information to the customer’s device – laptop, mobile device, desktop, tablet, etc. And the requested information now appears on the user’s display.
Business advantages of web-based applications
The potential scope of web-based applications has greatly improved because of the advancements in technology, security, and internet speeds. These apps offer some significant advantages for businesses:
1) Cost-effective development
Users can access web-based applications through a uniform environment i.e. the web browser. You can reduce the cost with the help of Web-based applications as they have moderate requirements on the end-user system, reduced support and maintenance, and uncomplicated architecture.
Here, the user interaction with the application is completely tested on several web browsers, but the application requires just to be developed for a single operating system. There is no need to develop and test it on different operating system configurations and versions. This makes development and process much easier.
2) Accessible anywhere and for a range of devices
Web-based applications are accessible 24/7 through any device like laptop, desktop, tablet, etc, but you need to have an internet connection. This opens up exciting, modern possibilities for the users such as home working, global teams, and real-time collaboration.
The concept of sitting in front of a computer and working in a set-up location is a thing of the past with web-based applications.
In addition to being accessible anytime, content here can also be customized for usage on any device that is connected to the internet like mobile phones, tablets, etc. This extends the user’s capability to receive and communicate information in a way that suits them.
3) Easier installation and maintenance
With web-based applications, installation and maintenance are less complex, and rolling out the latest software can also be easily accomplished. Whenever any new version or upgrade is installed on the host server every user can access it right away and there is no need to update the PC of each potential user.
The user interface of these web-based applications can easily be customized than is the case with desktop applications. This makes it simpler to update the appearance and feel of the application or to customize the presentation of data and information to other user groups. You can find an ideal look for every situation and user.
4) Improved Interoperability
Web applications provide a much greater level of interoperability. You can easily integrate a web-based shopping cart system with a web-based accounting package. This type of web-based architecture makes it possible to instantly integrate business systems, enhancing workflow and other business processes.
You can also take the advantage of internet technologies to get an adaptable and flexible business model that can be modified as per the changing market demands.
5) Adaptable to increased workload
The deployment of web-based applications needs no software loading on the customer’s PC. If an application needs more power to execute tasks, you simply need to upgrade the server hardware. The capability of web-based software can be extended by “clustering” or running the software on different servers simultaneously.
New servers can be easily added to the system as the workload increases. This can be a significant advantage for growing businesses.
6) Enhanced levels of security
Desktop-based software sometimes becomes very costly and time-consuming, leaving your data at risk, compelling you to contact your software provider, and demand for the software re-installation on a new device.
Web-based applications on the other hand are typically deployed on dedicated servers, which are managed and monitored by experienced server administrators. This is considerably more efficient than monitoring hundreds or even thousands of clients’ computers as is the problem with desktop apps. This means that security is stronger, and any possible violations get noticed very quickly.
Web Application vs. other application types
You most likely use web apps every day, the complete working cycle of a web application starts from a user prompt through a web interface/browser. Web applications run in a client-server architecture with distributed application layers.
The functional network linked in a web application is an application server, web server, and database. On the other hand, native mobile apps are developed for a particular platform, such as Android for a Samsung device or iOS for the Apple iPhone.
You need to download and install these apps through an app store, these apps have access to different system resources, like the camera function and GPS. Normally mobile apps exist and run on the device itself, here are some popular examples of mobile apps – Instagram, Snapchat, Google Maps, etc.
Web apps can be accessed through the internet browser and can adjust on whichever device you are using. They are not native to any specific system and don’t require to be downloaded or installed. Because of their responsive nature, they do certainly look and function a lot like mobile apps.
Web apps nowadays are becoming more feature-rich and sophisticated with the growing development of technology.
A web-based application as discussed above is any program that is accessed over a network connection utilizing HTTP, instead of existing inside a device’s memory. These web-based applications offer a wide range of advantages for businesses.
The smooth initial growth and development make them important to manage, as well as providing adaptable working to your employees. The most significant advantage of web-based software is its total independence from customer machine software.
These web-based apps are accessible on any device, unlike the traditional desktop programs that need to be configured to meet the requirements of different operating systems. Increased Internet usage among businesses and people has changed the way businesses run today.
This has led to the extensive adoption of web applications as organizations today are shifting from conventional models to cloud-based models. Web applications provide businesses the capability to streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and decrease costs.
So, you can say that web-based applications, on the whole, serve as a unique solution that can provide your business with a large variety of multifunctional online tools capable of optimizing infinite processes and resolving various problems.
Web-based applications are:
- Easier to develop
- More beneficial for users
- Simpler to install, maintain and keep secure
- Easier to grow as you grow
Also, read: Top Web Development Challenges and Solutions
Important features of a web application include:
1) Social Integration
2) Mobile-First Interface
3) Reporting & Analytics
4) Web Payments
6) Web Push Notification
7) Search Engine Optimization
Web applications are generally subdivided into two main groups: Dynamic and Static. But they can also be further classified like the dynamic Web apps are further subdivided into single-page applications, multi-page applications, and more.
Simply like desktop apps, the web apps are also backed by robust mechanisms and protocols meant to assure the integrity, confidentiality, and authenticity of data that is transferred for cloud recordings, transcriptions, and meeting notes.
Web-based applications today power businesses, right from productivity software to marketing and consumer service tools. These apps let us get the work done quickly and efficiently. Examples of web applications include word processors, spreadsheets, and webmail. Email programs like Gmail and Yahoo, and instant messaging services are web applications too.
Are you looking for a reliable software development company? Our highly skilled software developers enables us to deliver result oriented software development services. Contact our team to understand, how we can help you in achieving your business goals.