Web Application Development

Web applications are highly specialized websites that go much beyond just providing information about your company or business. Web applications are fully customized to provide dedicated solutions to specific problems and usually integrate a robust database, multiple components and customized functionality.  Web application development requires a thorough understanding of relational databases, high-level programming, load balancing and other advanced areas.

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What Exactly is a Web Application?

Web applications allow users to be creative, to collaborate, to gather and share information, tasks, documents and to get tasks accomplished using a simple web browser and access to the Internet. Web applications are typically coupled with databases and sophisticated business logic to provide serious functionality to its users. Web applications often have e-commerce functionality as well.  

The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity.

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Anatomy of Web Applications

A web application is made-up of a database to contain data and other objects, a user interface (screens) that are used to “interact” with the system, business logic that is specific to the web application and additional specialized plug-in software modules to provide functionality. Web applications can also have e-commerce functionality built in. Some popular examples of web applications are systems like Travelocity, Kayak.com, Amazon,.com and Facebook.com.

  • User Interface

    The User Interface (UI) is made up of forms and other visual items that are displayed on web pages and users interact with these web pages to use the web application. A user can be any person or an automated process that perform one or more tasks, or activities, with the web application.

  • Database

    Databases are at the heart of web applications: in simple terms, a database is a data container that holds the all the data needed for the application and this data is accessed by users of the application via the UI after manipulation by the business rules as and when required.

  • Program Logic

    The program logic is actually the code that holds the entire application together. Think of the code as the “glue” that joins various parts of the system. While the database is the “engine”, the code is what actually builds the connections between the user interface, the business layer, the database and custom plug-ins.

  • Business Rules

    The business layer determines how transactions and processes are executed – this layer contains the “rules” on how specific processes are executed and generally sits between the database and the user interface. The beauty of this structure is that it allows the rules to be updated without requiring a complete overhaul of the entire application.

  • Custom Components & Plug-ins

    Custom plug-ins extend the functionality of web applications by allowing them to perform specific tasks such as outputting documents in PDF (portable document format). Custom extension are pre-built modules that “plug-in” to the application to enable specific features and functionality.

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