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Web applications are very popular and have a broad range of benefits for both developers and users. They’re essentially computer programmes that employ web browsers and online technology to carry out functions or tasks. Most of us use web applications every day – Google Docs is a great example, as it’s renowned for being one of the best web applications ever designed. We use it every day – or similar.
How do they work?
Most web applications have two elements: server side and client side. The server side part of a web application will handle data storage and retrieval. The client side of a web application presents information to the app user (the “client” is the programme that is being used to run this part of the application).
Are web applications new?
No, in fact some of the earliest incarnations predate the internet itself. Perl, for example, was a popular server-side scripting language – it was developed back in the late eighties before the internet became mainstream. Although initial versions of web applications were very straightforward, today they tend to be more complex and, as a result, can perform a wider range of more in-depth tasks.
From editing documents to filing taxes, web applications make life easier and more efficient for many people. And they continue to evolve – the current focus is on web applications used for functions that do not normally need a server to store the information.
So, what are the benefits?
They provide a very effective channel of interaction, which is essential for businesses today. One of the most significant benefits of web applications is that they can be made available to anyone with an internet connection. As they are not designed for a specific computer or operating system they are very versatile. This makes it easier to see a return on investment in a web application than might be the case with an application limited to a specific computer or system.
Compatibility issues are also infrequent with web applications, as everyone accessing the app sees the same version. Plus, as the app is not installed on the hard drive, it doesn’t use up any space. And finally, using web applications helps to keep costs under control, as there are fewer support and maintenance requirements.
As we increasingly go online to carry out business tasks the number of web applications in use and in development is expanding, fast. This is likely to increase further as more and more businesses choose to switch to cloud structures. Using web applications can help to streamline functions and costs while delivering the same functionality and user experience that a desktop application would.
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