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What is a web application


A web application is a software program that can run on the internet browser, allowing data integration and exchange from the client computer to the server. Such applications use the resources of the server and client to run. Therefore, it does not require the complete application to be loaded on the client machine, and the apps can run using less RAM.

Most browser games run as a client that does not require local installation as it is running on a remote server, and the service provider can maintain the security of the remote server.

The solution can be designed for everyday calculations, webmail, eCommerce shops, etc. The system is accessed through a browser, and the services may be available, irrespective of the type of browser used to view it.

How does a web application workHow Does A Web Application Work?

It is written in code with a browser-supported language like HTML and JavaScript. As a result, the application can be dynamic and require server-side processing. 

On the other hand, some pages can be completely static and do not need processing on the server.

Such a software system manages client requests to perform certain tasks and handle the database. The system involves a range of technologies, ASP.NET, ASP, PHP, etc.

Types Of Web ApplicationsTypes of web applications

The apps can be classified into different categories depending on the type of programming language, the architecture and the connectivity to the database. In addition, the components of the system and the business logic needed for the distribution, the way it looks and the purpose served by the system can be used to differentiate it.

The B2C and the B2B business portals are based on the strategy of unifying the offline business on one platform and allowing the users to view and compare the offers made by different providers.

  • It is the key program behind the internet portals and eCommerce websites that involve online payment and multiple funds transactions.                        

  • The data stores of such a system can hold massive data of multiple projects and efficiently deliver the reports as required on time.

Such systems have been adopted by the stock markets and financial organisations where they can display currency exchange rates, develop surveys and determine the amount of loan repayment.

What are some examples of web applicationsWhat Are Some Examples Of Web Applications?

E-Commerce Portals

Amazon is one such site that allows the user to type the URL on the address space and hit Enter to view a range of functionalities. Then, Amazon processes the request sent by the user to the database to find out whether the requested item or query can be found in the data store.

The processed information is then sent to the user in the common language, depicted as UX and UI components.

Such platforms work as a single outlet that can offer multiple features.

The portals provide innovative features like AI-based services, multidimensional structures, and video-based data on published content, personal profile, and access to email and financial transactions.

The features work independently and simultaneously provide automated functionalities allowing the users to complete the tasks.

Enterprise Solution

Enterprise solutions can cater to the need of an organisation where it can address the challenges of the user groups belonging to a different department of the company or the project teams. In addition, various other features can be integrated into such systems that can help coordinate staff deliveries and help the employee become more productive.

There can be portals of a company that helps the employee to keep the service record and access when they need to know about certain details after retirement.

  • It helps companies track individual workers' performance records and monitor the financial process.

  • It provides tools to conduct multi-tasking and handle multiple instructions from remote locations.

  • It was widely adopted in the transportation system, which helps manage the passengers and their details.

  • It improves any organisation's workflow and helps deliver production accurately and on time.

Similarly, hospital-based patient portals can provide complete data about one person - the health record and scheduled appointments.

Benefits of a Web ApplicationBenefits of a web application

It allows users to interact with the remote machine through their browsers, and its popularity has been increasing as it has replaced desktop apps. The key feature is that it provides several advantages like portability and usability adopted by enterprises with multiple units in different geographical locations.

  • All the systems that allow booking accommodation, services online, tickets and making online payments are based on such systems.

  • Such a system works on the cross-platform mechanism and is universally accessible. It offers scalable and low-cost development where the data sets can be manipulated on various machines, and the operating systems may differ. 

  • It is stored on the cloud and is supported by a powerful server that can manage the information and distribute it to the users.

  • It offers secure, cost-effective, fast and easy-to-maintain/updates solutions that do not always require reinstallation.

  • It provides the software to run in multiple user environments.

  • The users can access the system from any part of the world on their browser using the internet service and connectivity to the server.

  • The apps can be accessed on multi-sized screen devices like laptops, desktops or mobiles.

It also provides support for multiple browsers.

What is Web Application SecurityWhat is Web Application Security?

Users worldwide access web applications, requiring security protection against several threats that work on the vulnerabilities of systems that target weaker systems like SaaS and CMS.

The source code can increase vulnerability and lead to malicious manipulation. The source code contains certain sensitive sections that bugs can access, and it can provide a platform for manipulation. 

In such systems attacking is easy to execute, and such attacks can, sometimes, be launched automatically through multiple targets.

Data Breaches – A data breach is a security hack where confidential information is accessed maliciously online.

Memory Corruption- The app can, sometimes, behave abruptly when the memory corrupts when the online hackers try to enter the system and inject a bad actor into the system that exploits the system's memory.

Cross-site scripting involves the method of writing code for a web page that is injected into the client's system. Then, the attacker can access relevant information from the user's system and trick them into divulging such information.

Sometimes, people (like scammers) can contact representatives of a famous website or an eCommerce site and gain access to personal or financial information from the users for malicious purposes.

Sometimes, the hacker uses methods like SQL injection integrated into the server holding the database, interfering with the application's queries, allowing the attacker to view the data – that wasn't easy to retrieve. SQL queries can provide hackers with all the crucial information related to the app.

What is the difference between a Website and a Web Application?What is the difference between a Website and Web Application

Websites can be static or dynamic and may or may not require interaction with the user, but a web application usually has a kind of interaction with the user. For example, it can have information like news or recipes.

Visitors may be given options to submit their details to receive the monthly newsletters or conduct a search. In addition, it is not as vulnerable to hacking as the web application, as it may not involve a query into the secure database.

If you type the address of a website or search for some information, the app may require the user to submit certain details. It can be interactive with the Content Management System. 

Applications can provide certain information by running queries on the database by the user, like it may involve transactions through a credit card where payment is made online.

One may need a login and password to access an app, and additional requirements like PCI compliance are needed to ensure the data filled moves securely from the user to the server and back. The URL may only show the page once you fill in the required details.

Why Do You Need A Web ApplicationWhy Do You Need A Web Application?

Business automation – It can provide industry-specific solutions where the software can be used to provide an interoperable data management system where the employee in one department can immediately send a request to another and get the response on the machine. 

At the same time, the information can help determine the components of the next production or quality-checking cycle.

Such shops are growingly becoming the mainstream place for buying things. Moreover, people search for solutions online for transportation, entertainment, lodging, food, and other everyday need.

Smart car payment methods, service details, and after-sale customer care options support these solutions. In addition, it can improve customer loyalty, where the company can gather data and introduce features like registration and personal profile.

  • The content manager of a web app may require zero knowledge to freely update product catalogues, manage customer databases and launch special offers.

  • Some apps are microsites where multiple pages are attached to the site. One can promote an event online by giving a general overview and leaving the necessary contact information.

  • Web portals are gateways to various features that can be collected in one place for a particular audience.

  • Automated solutions help in interlinking in-house systems and providing remote control.

  • When one wants to develop a website, one may have to hire an agency to design and host the site, but developing a web application requires a developer.

The framework offers a way to build web-enabled apps. It may involve simple blogs or complex AJAX-rich apps. 

What Is The Web Application Framework?What is the web application framework

The browser sends the request to the IP, and the web server processes the request. The page's address is on the server, and one can request the DNS – a repository of domain names and IP addresses.

There can be many layers in the web application architecture.

  • The browser

  • The server containing the presentation layer and

  • The business, application & database layer.

The storage layer connects data sources, third-party software systems, and other services. An example of such a layer can be found in eCommerce websites that may show the items on the site as per the user's request.

The images and features on the user interface come from the presentation, application, and storage layers. In addition, the business layers may work on rules, which are extracted and managed separately.

A persistence layer is a centralised location that recovers the data calls and provides access to the application's persistent storage.

It is closely connected to the business layer, and the data storage infrastructure includes the DBMS and the server – which helps communicate with the database itself, user interface and applications to obtain and get data.

How Have Web Applications EvolvedHow Have Web Applications Evolved?

The evolution of web-based systems started in the 1990s when Netscape presented client-side scripting that enabled programmers to improve the user interface. The embedded script offered unique features, enabling the programmers to work on texts, dates and other regular expressions.

Such systems did not possess input/ output to make the machine communicate with the external world. In 1996, Macromedia Flash was introduced, offering a brighter and more interactive platform to the user, enabling programmers to develop animation.

In 1999, Java and ASP were introduced, and by 2005, most technologies were used to run programs on the internet using the user-id and password system, and the backend was based on SQL or Oracle.

PHP and Ajax were later introduced, enabling programmers to compose software that could run on the internet and multiple platforms and devices. Finally, HTML5 presented content into www, which could be arranged into logical structures; now, more than 30 per cent of sites are made into HTML5.

What Is The Difference Between A Mobile App And A Web App?What Is The Difference Between A Mobile App And A Web App

The mobile app can be installed via the app stores, and one can easily access the store's resources through GPS and camera functions. However, the mobile app runs on the device apps, where it may not be easy to get such solutions approved by the app store.

Also, it can be expensive to update. Some examples of mobile app solutions are - Google Maps, Messenger and Facebook. 

The apps running on laptops run on the browsers of the user's laptop or desktop. It cannot be installed or downloaded to the machine; sometimes, it is located elsewhere on some servers. 

The user should have an active internet connection to run such systems on remote servers, where the mobile app can work offline.

Mobiles offer a faster and more efficient way to access the features of remote apps. However, it requires regular downloads and updates, whereas a desktop-based system can update independently.

The mobiles use platform-specific software, meaning they cannot be installed on multiple OS/ desktops, but the usability and functionalities are better. 

The app for android is mostly written in Java, and Apple can provide the developmental tools, SDK or interface elements to build native mobile apps. However, unlike mobile, there is no standard SDK for such devices.

How are web apps builtHow Are Web Apps Built?

The standard web app designed for mobile or the PWAs is programmed to work offline and load fast. The Application Cache feature helps to store large volumes of data offline, and PWA (progressive web app) can be used without internet connectivity. 

It gives the native mobile app functionalities like audio capture, pushes notifications and native video. PWA offers a responsive, safe, discoverable, installable and linkable web experience.

Many programming languages can be used to develop web apps like single page(SPA) and multiple page applications(MPA). However, the MPAs employ the traditional methods where languages like .NET, PHP and Java can help to develop an application that runs on the server and communicate directly with the database.

A single-page app (SPA) is a cross-browser solution where the pages are downloaded to the client's machine, and then it does not require to be loaded again. It requires a backend server to handle the content from the APIs. 

It can provide a fast and smooth experience. It is based on web browsers that allow unbroken transitions as the user moves across the web application.  

Some examples of such sites are Facebook and Twitter. However, such sites involve complex interactivity involving Microsoft Office, Azure G Suite, etc. Therefore, it is not suitable for a site that needs SEO.

The template of a multiple-page app (MPA) is easy to develop where the functions are smaller and simpler, but the SPA can be very complex to build. As a result, some websites are created on hybrids using both frameworks.

Examples of MPA frameworks are Java Spring, Python Django, ASP.NET MVC/Razor, and PHP Laravel. These can be developed in JavaScript and multiple large sites with backend - PHP, Java, .NET or Python.

How Can Web Application Monitoring Help?How Can Web Application Monitoring Help

  • It helps to ensure that performance factors like load time and the entire stack are working correctly. For example, if someone orders a product from the site, it should not slow down or show errors.

  • Similarly, the site should be able to handle the load – where it should not crash when more users are. The transactions should be completed without any errors.

  • The monitoring tools should be able to check the database and respond on time to the user for the orders made.

  • The security system should ensure the data of the user is protected.

If the app slows down, it shows problems in the programming.

Which is true about web-based application softwareWhich Is True About Web-Based Application Software?

It involves a combination of server-side technologies and codes like ASP, PHP or Java and client-side scripts like HTML, JavaScript, etc. Server-side scripting may involve activities like retrieving and storing information in the database.

In the case of a web application, the operation requires the application server, the browser, and the database. The server manages the requests which come from the user browser. In contrast, the server completes the requested task by running queries in the database, and it can store data in the database to provide the needed information.

Client Or Front End

The front end may be written in HTML5 or JavaScript and CSS. The client-side code can assist in displaying the website to the user, like on the laptop or mobile screens.

Server Or Backend

The server side requires a programming language that may be connected to the database and other systems. Some of the most commonly used server-side languages are Java and Python.

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