What are Web Applications?

13 Jan 2020 | Sukhesh Vadavil

Have you recently interacted with a website and wondered why it looks and works like an app on your smartphone or PC? While on an online banking website or editing a document on your browser, this very thought would have crossed your mind.

Such websites that perform the duties of dedicated desktop or mobile apps have become very common in recent times. These websites are termed as website applications or simply, web apps.

What are Website Applications exactly?

Essentially, web apps are software that runs on an internet browser and performs like an app, without having to install them to a desktop/smartphone.

Web apps require a web server to deal with client requests, an application server to get the requested tasks done and a database to store information.

Popular examples of web apps include – Gmail, Facebook & Google Docs.

Web apps are not to be confused with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), that are more app-like in terms of functionality.

Progressive Web Apps have the ability to send pop-up notifications via the web browser and can be added to your apps list on your smartphone home screen.

To learn more about PWAs, check out our blog here.

Web Apps vs Traditional Apps

As major companies are betting more on cloud-based services compared to traditional models, web-based applications are given more prominence. Web apps have the ability to run across multiple platforms, reduce software piracy, require lesser maintenance costs, don’t have to be installed on devices, etc.

In short, web apps enable businesses to streamline their services, enhance their efficiency and also reduce the involved costs of building traditional apps.

How do Web Apps function?

Here’s a typical workflow of a web app:

  1. A user initiates a request from a web browser to the webserver.
  2. This request is sent to the relevant web application server by the webserver.
  3. The requested task is performed by the web application server. The database is utilised in this process for handling the information and the results are generated.
  4. The web server then receives the results from the web application server.
  5. The results are then displayed on the user’s screen by the webserver.

Now, let’s understand Web Apps in-depth with an example.

We shall take the case of a real estate company that provides houses for rent and land for lease across Sydney.

We can create a comprehensive web app software for the company that streamlines and simplifies a bunch of its complex business processes.

The details of all the properties that the company owns can be listed on the web app. The business administration will be able to upload the documents of the tenants and the related rental agreement documents to the respective property profiles on the web app.

Once done, the administration will receive notifications when a rent payment date is due and can keep track of all the payments made.

The company can assign a set of employees to take care of the administration of its properties around say, Marrickville, on the web app. Only these properties will be visible to those employees when they login to the app.

The same can be done for the properties across other places like Edgecliff, Bondi Junction, etc.

The employees can log in to the web app from wherever they are at, from a smartphone or a PC of their choice. They can easily access the web app on-the-go from their device(s); all they need is an internet connection.

Updates to the software can be made easily and will be accessible everywhere since no software installation is required on any of the devices.

Why you need Web Apps

In this age of digital transformation, there is no denying that businesses that fail to keep up to the needs of their customers online are doomed.

Be it online shopping, form submissions, bookings or even banking, there is a strong need for interactive websites and apps that facilitate these tasks.

These tasks involve a great deal of client-side request processing along with server-side task processing. This has led to the creation and later on, the wide adoption of web applications.

A Web App is usually custom-designed for a business in order to suit their needs perfectly. Different businesses have different needs and therefore web apps have to be tailor-made for the best results. This takes time, effort and expertise.

So have you decided to get a web app custom-designed for your business?

Well, get it done professionally, with the leading Digital Agency in India! Book a consultation with Vividreal Solutions here.

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