Beginner’s Guide To Web Apps ( Web Applications)

Chrome Web Store Showing a few Web Apps

Beginner’s Guide To Web Apps ( Web Applications)

Have you ever used Gmail, Yahoo Mail , Hotmail or ever watched any video on You-Tube. If your answer is yes then congratulation, you have the experience of using a web app. For the past two or three years the word “Web App” has gained huge popularity, for the obvious reason that  now a days everyone seams to be connected to the Internet all the Time. And that is why I decided to write this article.

The programs that you find in your computer such as Notepad, WordPad or Paint are Locally installed in your computer and all the data you store through these programs also get stored in your computer. Now take a simple example. Suppose you use “Windows Media Player” to manage your music library so all your music files are stored in your computer. Isn’t it nice If you have the options to access your same music library from anywhere around the globe. Well this is what Web apps actually do. 

A web application is any application that uses a web browser as a client and stores all its data at its server. and since the files and data are stored in its server, therefore you have the portability of accessing the same content from anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet connection and a web browser. Web applications are popular due to the ubiquity of web browsers, and the convenience of using a web browser as a client, The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility. Common web applications include webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, wikis and many more. Below is a screenshot of Chrome Web store showing a few popular Web Apps.

Chrome Web Store Showing a few Web Apps

Benefits of Web Apps =

1. Web applications do not require any complex "roll out" procedure to deploy in large organizations. A compatible web browser is all that is needed;
2. Browser applications typically require little or no disk space on the client;
3. They require no upgrade procedure since all new features are implemented on the server and automatically delivered to the users;
4. Web applications integrate easily into other server-side web procedures, such as email and searching.
5. They also provide cross-platform compatibility in most cases (i.e., Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) because they operate within a web browser window.

Drawbacks of Web Apps =

1. In practice, web interfaces, compared to thick clients, typically force significant sacrifice to user experience and basic usability.
2. Web applications absolutely require compatible web browsers. If a browser vendor decides not to implement a certain feature, or abandons a particular platform or operating system version, this may affect a huge number of users;
3. Standards compliance is an issue with any non-typical office document creator, which causes problems when file sharing and collaboration becomes critical;
4. Browser applications rely on application files accessed on remote servers through the Internet. Therefore, when connection is interrupted, the application is no longer usable.
5. Since many web applications are not open source, there is also a loss of flexibility, making users dependent on third-party servers, not allowing customizations on the software and preventing users from running applications offline (in most cases).
6. They depend entirely on the availability of the server delivering the application. If a company goes bankrupt and the server is shut down, the users have little recourse. Traditional installed software keeps functioning even after the demise of the company that produced it (though there will be no updates or customer service).
7. Likewise, the company has much greater control over the software and functionality. They can roll out new features whenever they wish, even if the users would like to wait until the bugs have been worked out before upgrading. The option of simply skipping a weak software version is often not available.
8. The company can theoretically track anything the users do. This can cause privacy problems.

reposting shout out to NIRAB SARMA, author and blogger @

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