What is a web application?

By John Cleary

A web application is a key tool in business today, especially for those who do most of their business online.

But what exactly are web applications, how are they made, how do they work, and how does a web application benefit your business? We aim to explain what you should know.

Explaining web applications

A web application is a tool or portal that is stored on a remote server, which can be accessed online and delivered through a browser interface. It utilises web browsers and web technology to perform tasks over the Internet.

The difference between a web application and a website is that a website typically only has static information, and it presents the same information to all users. A web applications is dynamic and typically provides some kind of service personalised to the user – such as an e-commerce platform, a price comparison website or a CRM tool.

How are web applications made?

Web applications are made using a stringent process, but in a way so they can be developed and updated over time. We create them in iterative cycles, as it allows us to deliver features and functionality quickly. Features can evolve and improve over time as iterations progress.

Kanban is one methodology that can be used for the development of a web application. It is a method for managing the creation of products with an emphasis on continuous delivery, without overburdening a development team. At Createk, we favour Kanban over other agile processes as it encourages all members of the team to work in harmony, bringing a steady stream of new features to the client.

Automated tests and test-driven development is also used to provide stability and faster development cycles. These tests also provide confidence to ensure new features don’t impact older features as the app is updated.

How do apps work?

Web applications are usually coded in browser-supported language, such as JavaScript and HTML. This is because these languages reply on the browser to render the program executable.

Most web applications usually have both client-side elements as well as server-side elements:

  •      Client-side elements are constructed in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. They present information to users and provide them with ways to interact with the application
  •      Server-side elements are constructed in server-side languages such as Ruby, Java or PHP. They perform actions requested by the client side. They are also responsible for storing the data to a database, if this is required.

A typical web application flow can be split into five steps and should work as follows:

  1.     The user triggers a request to the web server over the Internet. This is either through a web browser or application’s user interface
  2.     The web server forwards this request to the specific web application server
  3.     The web application server performs the requested task. This could include querying the database or processing the data, before it generates the results of the requested data
  4.     The web application server sends results to the web server with the requested information or processed data
  5.     The web server responds back to the client with the requested information, which appears on the user’s display

How does a web application benefit your business?

There are many ways a web application can benefit your business, from cost-saving to compatibility. This includes:

  •      The internet is a cost-effective communications channel, so apps don’t cost a lot to run. Less support and maintenance is required by your businesses, as a result of web applications, which ultimately reduces the overall cost.
  •      Web applications allow users to create documents, share information, collaborate on projects and work on documents, on any location or device. They can also run on all platforms, regardless of the operating system and device
  •      Compatibility issues are virtually eliminated as all users are able to access the exact same version of app. Space limitations are also rarely an issue as web applications aren’t installed on the user’s local device.
  •      Software piracy is reduced through subscription-based web applications, such as SaaS (Subscription as a Service). Createk creates effective and robust platforms in order to facilitate this. This allows businesses to maximise user experience with ease of access and services.

How Createk can help you with web applications

Having a web application can be a game-changer for your business, from the way you create and collate documents, to how you present information across multiple devices.   

At Createk, we provide effective services for developing web applications to give you results quickly. This includes web applications across web products, business tools and systems. Our services come with:

Experience – We have years of experience including over 40 in software development.

Expertise – We have developed skills in a wide range of business sectors, from marketing to healthcare, travel to finance.

Agility – We are dynamic and flexible. We work effectively and respond to change fast

If you’re interested in finding out more about some of our web application services, please visit our Online Business System Development page. Or get in touch to see how Createk can help you with your web application development.

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