What Is A Web Application?

Web Application Defined

A web application is any type of computer program that performs a specific function through the use of a web browser.

Web applications commonly use a combination of server-side scripts (ASP, HHP) and client-side scripts (HTML, Javascript). The client side scripts deals with the presentation of information to users while the server-side scripts deals with the storage and retrieval of information.

The benefits of a web application is that it relieves the developer of the responsibility of building an app for a specific type of computer or operating system, allowing anyone to use the application as long as they have internet access.

A typical web application flow is conducted as follows:

  1. User triggers a request to the web server
  2. Web server forwards this request to the appropriate web application server
  3. Web application server performs the requested task then generates the results 
  4. Web application server sends results to the web server with the requested information 
  5. Web server responds back to the client with the requested information that then appears on the user’s display
  6. Web applications run on multiple platforms regardless of operating system or device 
  7. All users access the same version, eliminating any compatibility issues

The benefits on a web application are:

  • 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

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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