Wonders of Cloud-based Web Applications.
Cloud-based Web Applications? Web App? Some probably have come across these terms and might be wondering what they are. Is it a website, an application, or both? Some people may even confuse it with the Chrome Web Store applications. Well no. In this article, we are going to give you an introduction of what Web Applications are and why is it gaining traction among businesses.
Basically, Web Applications are cloud-based solutions to meet your company’s daily operational needs. It covers everything a business need: Accounting, Invoices Generation, Stock Management, Order Taking, Salary Management, Supply Chain Management, etc. Yes, it is very similar to that of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) but more. Besides being able to do what an ERP could, a Web App is also online, or cloud based. Meaning to say, you are able to access to your system and data anytime and anywhere. This is why cloud-based solutions are getting more and more popular with companies that has international operations. Now, for the more technical oriented, let us dive into something which is slightly more technical, which will give you a clearer picture of a Web App actually is.
Cloud-based Web Applications Architecture
Cloud-based Web Application is essentially a client-server software application where the client runs in the web browser, communicating with the remote server via the internet.
Client: The Client will mostly managing user interaction and some systems for communicating with the server.
Server: The server will contain all the data storage, retrieval, processing components, and also the part that communicates with the client. Internally, the server could be intimidatingly complex because there would be database interaction layers, business logic layers, presentation layers and what nots.
Usually, the client requests pages or data from the server. The server is always waiting to respond to requests, the client initiates them.
Unlike desktop applications which run completely on the computer they are being installed on, the processing of data in the Web Applications are done in the server. The server is the computer that is always on the internet, providing you with a unique address called the URL with which you can access e.g. http://www.gmail.com/. On the contrary, the client occasionally connects to the internet to communicate with the server, passes along some data, gets some data back. It then shows the end-user a view of the data, usually with some ways of interacting with that data.
A Desktop application stores most of the data (both user generated and the application’s own data) on the physical hard drive of the computer it is running on.
Contrary to the desktop application, a cloud-based Web applications store most of its data on the remote hard disks, where the servers are, which is connected via the internet. This reduces the risk of losing data due to the crashing of your computer. The data can be easily retrieved on other devices as the data is stored in the remote server instead of the local hard disk of your computer.
Due to nature of its remote data storage, a cloud-based Web Applications can perform its function regardless of the operation system and browsers the client is running. It also allows quick and no cost deployment as it does not require any installation at the user’s end.
In short, there are strong reasons why cloud-based Web Applications have gained mainstream popularity.
The hassle-free ability to just try out an application, by merely signing in with your Facebook, Google, Twitter accounts is a much better experience than installing an application, hoping it works.
Also, cloud-based Web Applications allow developers to extract patterns out of the data generated by a large number of users, which has a great impact on creating the best user experience. End-users are playing a larger and larger role in the development of applications that help you and me, and I must say, Web App made it possible to begin with.
What should a web app have? Find out by watching our video here!