Desktop Application Vs Web Application

Applications

WHAT IS AN APPLICATION IN COMPUTING?

The term Application refers to Software which is a set of instructions or code written in a program for executing a task or an operation in a Computer. Applications play a vital role in a Computer as it is an end-user program that enables the users to do many things in a system. The application programs are designed and developed to run in a System Software which is an Operating system. An Operating System is system software that enables al the applications programs to run and execute various tasks in a Computer system. The GUI based applications carries out various tasks in a Computer like creating documents, playing games, browsing and many more.

Types of Application Software

Here, are some important types of Application Software

  • Word-processing software:- It makes use of a computer for creating, modifying, viewing, storing, retrieving, and printing documents.
  • Spreadsheet software:- Spreadsheet software is a numeric data-analysis tool that allows you to create a computerized ledger.
  • Database software:- A database software is a collection of related data that is stored and retrieved according to user demand.
  • Graphics software:- It allows computer systems for creating, editing, drawings, graphs, etc.
  • Education software:- Education software allows a computer to be used as a learning and teaching tool.
  • Entertainment software:- This type of app allows a computer to be used as an entertainment tool.

Features of Application Software

Important features of Application Softwares:

  • Perform more specialized tasks like word processing, spreadsheets, email, photo editing, etc.
  • It needs more storage space as it is bigger in size
  • Easy to design and more interactive for the user
  • Generally written in a high-level language

WHAT IS DESKTOP APPLICATION?

Software application development began with desktop applications which could be used on standalone machines only. However, with the advent of internet and online commerce, web application development gained importance. Word processors and media players can be considered to be typical desktop applications, while an online shopping cart on an ecommerce website can be considered as a web application.
By definition, a desktop application means any software that can be installed on a single computer (laptop or a desktop) and used to perform specific tasks. Some desktop applications can also be used by multiple users in a networked environment.

WHAT IS WEB APPLICATION?

A web application is application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are run locally on the operating system of the device. Web applications are accessed by the user through a web browser with an active network connection.

TYPES OF WEB APPLICATIONS

Static Web Applications

Users can only read the information.No other interaction is possible .Used only when the information requires no more modifications.

static web application

                                                                                                                                      [Source: Adobe.com]

Unless it is changed physically on the servers hard disk, content does not change.

Static web apps are loaded on the clients browser exactly how they are stored on the server.The content is not modified by an application server before the page is sent to a browser. 

Languages used to create them HTML,JavaScript,CSS etc

Advantages of a static web application :

  • Cost effective .
  • Takes less time to load .
  • Suitable for small website’s with no/very few content updates.

Dynamic Web Application

A dynamic web application generates the pages/data in real time, as per users request.

dynamic web applications

When the web server receives a request for a dynamic page, the page is passed to a software called the application server.

Databases are used at the server end , so the user gets the updated content.The application server reads the code ,customizes the page and passes it to the web server which then sends it to the browser.

They are used when the information changes often.And are much more complex to construct and design.

Tools used in the creation of dynamic web  application:  CGI (Common Gateway Interface), ASP (Active Server Pages), JSP (Java Server Pages), ASP.NET, PHP etc

Single Page Apps (SPA)

They are smooth and fast .Easy to develop, debug and deploy.

 Users don’t have to navigate to different pages ; all the content is loaded on one single page .

Here’s an example :

SPAs are faster than traditional web applications because they execute the logic in the web browser itself rather than on the server.

Advantages of Single-Page Applications

  • Fast:  Most HTML/CSS/Scripts resources are only loaded once throughout the lifespan of an application. The content updates dynamically .And the page never reloads completely.
  • Caching: An SPA sends only one request to a server and then stores all the data it receives.And then is able to work offline.

Disadvantages of Single-Page Applications:

  • Poor SEO optimization.
  • SPA’s are less immune to cross site scripting (XSS) attacks than are multi-page apps.

Multi-Page Apps (MPA)

Multi page applications are the traditional web applications that reload the entire page and displays the new one when a user moves to another page

 A new page is requested from the server to display in the web browser.

This process takes time to generate the pages on the server, which may affect the user experience.

 Technologies used for building multi-page websites include HTML CSS JavaScript and jQuery.

Advantages of Multi-Page Applications

  • SEO : Much better chance of ranking for diff keywords since each page is optimized for one keyword.
  • Scalability : With no page limitations you can include as much information about products or services.

Disadvantages of Multi-Page Applications

  • Slow Speed:When moving from page to page the browser has to completely reload the page’s HTML CSS and scripts .This affects speed .
  • Development, Maintenance and Updates:  MPA’s take longer to develop compared to SPA .The larger the website the longer it take to develop, maintain and update.
diagram differentiating Single page apps and multi page apps

If your business deals with a variety of products or  services ,it would be better to have them on different pages with a multi page application

Portal Web App

Portals enable enterprises to have personalised interfaces that serve their users needs.

Only members having access can see the content of web portal.

Once the user logs in, the service provider can track user’s website activity .Based on the  access assigned , certain features may be restricted for certain users.

Since web portals are websites that require you to login the languages used are similar to web design and development services .

Some of the languages include: Angular JS , Laravel ,React ,JS ,Node JS  ,Ruby on Rails, Asp.Net etc

Examples of portals 

  • Student & Faculty Portals 
  • Patient Portals ,
  • Employee Portals
  • Government Portals, 
  • Online Banking & Insurance Portals

 Animated Web Applications

Animations in web apps are useful in holding people’s attention longer and highlighting relevant information .Only add animations if it meaningfully enhances the user experience.

Technologies used for creating web animation include HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and SVG (scalable vector graphics)

Animations can be non-interactive like a GIF

FEATURES OF WEB APPLICATION

Critical Features of a Successful Web Application

With so many benefits, it’s worth exploring the development of enterprise web applications. Now, let’s check some of the most significant elements that you must-have in your web app.

1. Mobile-First Interface

Enterprise web apps require a shift from conventional web design thinking. Why? Users today rely more on smartphones and tablets.

According to a survey only 27% of respondents used a laptop or desktop to connect to the internet away from work. However, 56% used a smartphone to access the internet. It is quite evident that your customers are comfortable using mobile.

You need to incorporate trending UI Design to your web apps. Developers may consider aligning components with a mobile device’s unique features and make the web app responsive.

Basically, your app’s display should automatically adjust to whatever screen users are accessing it on. Developers should also consider working on loading apps quickly on any device because users don’t want to wait for too long to see the page.

2. Social Integration

Imagine you are trying to complete the registration process as a new user to an app. What happens if the registration process is time-consuming? You’re right! You would be disappointed or frustrated.

What’s the solution? You could consider using social media platforms to streamline the registration process. Social integration allows users to log in quickly with their preferred social media account. There won’t be any lengthy forms to fill up and users would enjoy the benefits of signing up as customers.

You need to think of integrations with your users’ favorite social networks. The combinations lead to better engagement of your enterprise web applications.

Social integration can offer valuable ways for users to interact with your brand. Consumers can share their wishlist, reviews, and orders through social networks. The best part—all such interactions would ultimately lead to higher brand visibility.

3. Reporting & Analytics

One of the best features of an enterprise web application is analytics. With integrated analytics, you can get critical insights on user behavior patterns and the overall performance of your web app. You can now keep track of all such data and optimize your web apps for higher engagement and better conversion.

As a business owner, you would want your business to evolve. The way to do it is through curating information and working on the insights. You can also plot down trends and make the changes you need to evolve your business.

4. Web Push Notification

When you are looking at engaging your consumers, the web push notification can be a handy feature. Push notifications can offer the most personal channel when it comes to connecting with customers in real-time.

It’s quite simple—a one-click opt-in directly from the web apps, and you can send a targeted push message to users’ devices based on location or behavior. What’s more exciting? Such notifications feel just like those from a native app, even if the browser is not running currently.

According to case studies by Google, web push messages have delivered considerably higher engagement and retention from push-enabled users. Now, that’s a feature to integrate into your apps.

5. Security

What’s one of the most critical priorities for your business? Security, of course. It is significant to have control over your web app’s security

You would need to serve your web app through HTTPS with a security certificate. Developers must ensure that online users have a secure connection to your web applications and work towards safeguarding data transfer between them and the server.

It is pertinent that you use HTTPS, which marks your site as secure. Customers can rest assured of safe payment transactions, secure user accounts, and private communications and identity.

The feature can help to build trust among your customers and improve sales and conversions. Wait, there’s more! The sites that use HTTPS also receive a substantial boost in search rankings by Google.

6. Live Chat

Here’s another feature to look out for in any customer-centric business—offering live chat. The best way to stay connected with customers is to understand their pain points.

You must also help users resolve issues effectively. Imagine it’s such a relief as a customer to get viable solutions. The promptness in offering solutions can help to build valuable customer relationships.

“Live chat provides a simple way for (e) storeowners to relate to their customers, both by answering their questions and taking the time to learn more about the people who are purchasing your goods or services,” says

7. Web Payments

You may need to incorporate online payment in your web app so customers can pay for products or services in a hassle-free way. It would be great to have a one-step checkout. You could combine shipping, billing information, and payment methods into one step. The standard helps with quick and seamless payment processing that allows consumers to pay quickly through its native UI.

The new API by Google – Payment request promises to improve the payment experience for web users. As business owners, you could plan to support various payment systems. The payment requests make it easy to integrate any type of payment method to fit user preference and business demand.

8. Search Engine Optimization

Web applications are not search-engine-friendly by default. You would need to overcome numerous technical challenges in making sure that web apps are discoverable. You may come across issues that may impact your web apps’ SEO performance.

What can you do? You would need to optimize your SEO correctly. Enterprise web applications can facilitate visibility and customer acquisition. Here are some of the SEO best practices:

  • To avoid duplication provide canonical tag when serving content from various online sources
  • Make use of Fetch as Google tool to test how Google indexes your web applications
  • Consider using Schema.org metadata that matches your page content to improve its appearance in search engines
  • Make sure the page doesn’t use fragmented identifiers as Google will ignore them

9. User Rights Management

Take a typical scenario—different people would use your web application, and for numerous reasons.

In such situations, it is best to maintain a robust user right management system within your application. The feature can help to limit who can see what information. With the feature, you can also combat information overload effectively.

10. Document Management System

Documents typically serve purposes that are beyond information feedback loops. It is critical for your business that you keep track of your documents and keep them organized.

Documents are not just valuable sources of information, but they also have legal significance. You may consider securing your documents for the long-term into the app with an intelligent document management system.

You know that adage—“The only thing that’s constant is change.” As business owners, you need to keep looking at changing trends, changing patterns, and needs.

When you look at trending features and incorporate them into your app, you would have a niche app that can help your business grow beyond measure.

The following are some of the benefits of using web-based applications:

  • Accessibility across devices for users. …
  • Customisation for different devices. …
  • Integration with other systems. …
  • Maintenance headaches removed. …
  • Increased flexibility and scalability. …
  • Protecting your data. …
  • Using web-based applications.

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