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web application (or web app) is application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are run locally on the operating system (OS) of the device.

Examples of commonly-used web applications include: web-mailonline retail salesonline banking, and online auctions.

Single-page applications are more application-like because they reject the more typical web paradigm of moving between distinct pages with different URLs. This is due to individual components being able to be replaced or updated without having to refresh the whole web page. Traditional applications consist only of 1 tier, which resides on the client machine, but web applications lend themselves to an n-tiered approach by nature.

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Writing web applications is often simplified by the use of web application framework. These frameworks facilitate rapid application development by allowing a development team to focus on the parts of their application which are unique to their goals without having to resolve common development issues such as user management.

The use of web application frameworks can often reduce the number of errors in a program, both by making the code simpler, and by allowing one team to concentrate on the framework while another focuses on a specified use case. In applications which are exposed to constant hacking attempts on the Internet, security-related problems can be caused by errors in the program.

In addition, there is potential for the development of applications on Internet operating systems, although currently there are not many viable platforms that fit this model.

Web applications are usually coded in browser-supported language such as JavaScript and HTML as these languages rely on the browser to render the program executable. Some of the applications are dynamic, requiring server-side processing. Others are completely static with no processing required at the server.

The web application requires a web server to manage requests from the client, an application server to perform the tasks requested, and, sometimes, a database to store the information. Application server technology ranges from ASP.NET, ASP and ColdFusion, to PHP and JSP.

Web applications include online forms, shopping carts, word processors, spreadsheets, video and photo editing, file conversion, file scanning, and email programs such as Gmail, Yahoo and AOL. Popular applications include Google Apps and Microsoft 365.

Benefits of a web application

  • Web applications run on multiple platforms regardless of OS or device as long as the browser is compatible
  • All users access the same version, eliminating any compatibility issues
  • They are not installed on the hard drive, thus eliminating space limitations
  • They reduce software piracy in subscription-based web applications (i.e. SaaS)
  • They reduce costs for both the business and end user as there is less support and maintenance required by the business and lower requirements for the end user’s computer

 

Conclusion

Increased Internet usage among companies and individuals has influenced the way businesses are run. This has led to the widespread adoption of web applications as companies shift from traditional models to cloud-based and grid models. Web applications give businesses the ability to streamline their operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.

These online apps such as email clients, word processors, spreadsheets, and other programs provide the same functionality as the desktop versions. However, rhey have an added advantage of working across multiple platforms, having a broader reach, and being easily accessible from anywhere.