What is a web application (web applications) and its advantages
A web application (web application) is an application program stored on a remote server and distributed over the Internet through a browser interface. Web services are web applications by definition, and many, but not all, websites contain web applications. According to Jarel Remick, publisher of Web.AppStorm, any website component that performs a function for the user is considered a web application.
Web applications can be designed for a wide variety of uses and can be used by anyone; from an organization to an individual for many reasons. Commonly used web applications can include webmail, online calculators, or e-commerce stores. Some web applications are only accessible by a specific browser; however, most are available regardless of browser.
How web apps work
Web applications do not need to be downloaded as they are accessible over a network. Users can access a web application through a web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
For a web application to work, it needs a web server, an application server, and a database. Web servers handle requests coming from a client, while the application server performs the requested task. A database can be used to store all the necessary information.
Web applications have many different uses, and with those uses come many potential benefits. Some common benefits of web applications include:
- Allow multiple users to access the same version of an application.
- Web applications do not need to be installed.
- Web applications can be accessed through various platforms such as desktop, laptop or mobile.
- Can be viewed through multiple browsers.
Web Application vs. Other Application Types
In the mobile computing industry, web applications are sometimes contrasted with native applications, which are applications developed specifically for a particular platform or device and installed on that device. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Native apps are apps that are commonly downloaded and designed specifically for the type of device they are downloaded to. Native apps can usually use device-specific hardware, such as a GPS or camera on a native mobile app.
Programs that combine the two approaches are sometimes called hybrid apps. Hybrid apps work like a web app, but are installed on the device like a native app would be. Hybrid apps can also take advantage of device-specific resources using internal APIs. Downloaded native apps can sometimes work offline; however, hybrid apps do not have this feature. A hybrid app will generally share navigational elements similar to a web app because they are based on web apps.