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What Are Web Apps

2019-05-11 08:22:51

What Are Web Apps - Expert Coders

Web applications or web apps are everywhere and in much use today. They have become an integral part of our everyday life. Several years back and it was a different story as they were not made use of as much as they are today. We can say that “they have come a long way.” In this article we will look at what web apps are and why you need them. If you are wondering what they are, be rest assured you have made use of several. You may only be ignorant that that’s what they are called.

 

So What’s a Web App?

A web app (short for ‘web application’) can be described as any computer program that performs tasks over the internet by utilizing web technologies and web browsers as clients. Another way of saying it is that a web application is a client-server computer program where the client runs inside a browser – this includes client-side logic and user interface.

The word ‘client’ is used to refer to whatever program a person uses to run the application in a client-server environment. A client-server environment can be described simply as one in which multiple computers share or transfer data. The data shared can be as simple as the names of your lovely children entered into a database. In this analogy, the client is the application that is used to enter the names of the children while the server is the application that is used in storing those names.

A web app can be as simple as a job application form on a website or as complex as a gaming app meant for several players or an online banking app.

What this means is that if you have used any email service online (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc), filled any form, taken a survey, ordered a product on an e-commerce website, or even played a game on a website, you have used a web app.

There are other types of applications you may have used as well. These include mobile apps and desktop apps. Desktop apps are applications that run solely on your PCs and laptops. Mobile apps on the other hand run on your mobile devices.

A web app can be configured with an interface accessible to mobile devices. This is called responsive design. When you view a responsive website on a mobile it looks and feels as though it was configured for a mobile device – like a mobile app. The main difference between a web app and a mobile app lies in the fact that a web app runs in a web browser, is accessible to all devices and has no issues or concerns with OS or device compatibility while a mobile device on the other hand has all of those issues and concerns.  

 

History and Evolution

The history of web apps date back to before the World Wide Web gained popularity outside of the academia in the early 1990s. But it wasn’t as sophisticated as it is now. Back then a separate client-side had to be developed and installed on every device that needed to run the app. A change to the server-side meant a change to all the installations on every device running the app. Changes and evolution was slow until the late 1990s when Netscape introduced its browser and the JavaScript programming language. From then on a lot of changes have graced the web app screen.

 

Why Develop and Use a Web App?

In this section we’ll talk about the reasons and benefits of a web app.

There are several reasons why you must develop and use web application if you are offering anything (product, service, counsel etc) to people that can be accessed over the internet. The most important of these reasons is that a web app can be accessed by all a sundry so long they have access to the internet. And by everyone, we mean irrespective of the Operating System and type and brand of computer or even mobile device being used. One person may be using a Mac, another a PC and they’ll both have access to your web app. In terms of Operating Systems, someone may be using a Windows 10, another a Windows XP, another a Linux or Ubuntu and yet another an OS X and they’ll be able to access and interact with your web app. The same applies for mobile devices.

Closely related to accessibility is that web apps eradicate the need to develop for different Operating Systems and machines. If you decide to not use a web app, you will have to develop an application for all the different types of Operating Systems out there whether on Laptops or mobile devices. This is because the people you want to reach do not all use the same Operating Systems or machines. Some use a Mac running OS X, others a PC with Windows 10 and so on.

Another important reason you need a web app is the cost of developing one versus the cost f developing an application for all computers and Operating Systems. No doubt developing for all computers and operating systems will cost more. Besides the actual development work, you’d have to pay to host separately in many cases.

But with a web app, all of this can be eliminated and the cost of development drastically reduced. All you need is one app and everyone is covered. Why? Web apps are commonly developed using a using a combination of both server side technologies and programming languages like Python, PHP, Asp, Java etc and client-side technologies and languages like Html. The long and short of this is that web apps are designed to be accessible by your browser so long you have an internet connection. And aside from a few web applications designed for specific browsers, most applications can be accessed by any browser.

Some other benefits of using a web app includes

-           The cost for both the user and business is reduced as there is reduced maintenance and support. As a result it is easy to have a large number of people using your app due to the reduced cost of maintenance and support.

-          Limitation of space is eliminated on the user end as they are not installed on any hard drives the user owns.

-          Since all users have to access the web app over the internet, they all access and use the same version at all times. There’s nothing like I haven’t been able to upgrade due to so-and-so reasons. Once any changes are made to the web app, everyone accesses it. This also does away with any and all forms of compatibility issues.

Some examples of web apps include online storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive, email programs like the ones mentioned above, shopping carts and ecommerce websites, Microsoft 365, Google apps such as Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Docs and many more. Social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Online note apps like Evernote and a host of other everyday applications that cover areas like file sharing, video and photo editing, word processing and sharing of Calendars and documents online to name a few.

The fact is: A web application can be designed for virtually anything you can think about. So no matter your line of work or business, there either is a web app for it or one can be built and customized for you. And when we at Expert Coders handle your project, we give you the best. We have all the technologies, expertise and years of experience needed and can build any type of web app you need. Best part is we leverage best technologies that make it easy for any web app we build to scale easily.

 

While it is true that you can develop an application specifically for every device and Operating System your target users make use of, it is always of great advantage to develop and use a web app. This is because there are many issues or concerns associated the former such as high development cost, device and Operating System compatibility and more. Web apps on, the other hand, run within browsers and can be accessed by everyone and a single development or maintenance effort covers all users. This eliminates compatibility issues and high development costs. On the side of the user, it greatly reduces the costs associated with maintenance and support.

We are convinced you do not have any doubts as to whether you need a web app for your business or services – no matter your field of endeavor. You do not need to go about searching for developers for your web app. As stated above, you can get any kind of web app built for you here at expertcoders.com. We are proficient at all levels or phases of the development cycle and in the technologies necessary for building you a great web app. We also have a great support team waiting to attend to you.



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