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What is a web application?

A web application is any application that uses a web browser as a client. The application can be as simple as a contact form , or as complex as a shopping cart or content management system.

What is a Client/Server environment?

The 'client' is used in client-server environment access, use and manage the application. A client-server environment is comprised of multiple computers that share information. The 'client' is the application used to enter the data, and the 'server' is the application used to store and retrieve the data.

What are the Benefits of a Web Application?

A web application relieves the developer of the responsibility of building a client for a specific type of computer or a specific operating system. Since the client runs in a web browser, the user could be using a Windows based computer or a Mac. They can be running Windows XP or Windows Vista. They can be using Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, though some applications work better with one browser or another while some may require a specific browser.

Web applications generally use a combination of server-side script (PHP, Perl, ASP, etc), a server-side database and client-side script (HTML, Javascript, jQuery, etc.) to develop the application. The client-side scripts take care of presentation of the information while the server-side script does all of the procesing, storing and retrieving of information and data.

  • Web applications do not require complex "roll out" procedures to implement in large organizations. A web browser is all that is needed
  • Browser applications usually need very little or no disk space on the client
  • Web applications don't require complex or time consuming company wide upgrade procedure since all new functionality are implemented on the server and users get the upgrades automatically
  • Web applications integrate easily into other server-side web procedures, such as email and searching
  • They are generally cross-platform compatibility (i.e., Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) because they operate within a web browser

What are web service applications?

Web services are applications and widgets that are available over the Internet from service providers such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Some of the available services include:

Most credit card processors such as Authorize.net, PayPal, 2CheckOut.com and others:
Process credit/debit cards and checks through your website, shopping cart or application

  • Google: Take advantage of search engine, maps, calendars, YouTube...
  • Yahoo: Use Yahoo's services in your website or application.
  • Facebook: Put your Facebook Wall on your website.
  • Twitter: Integrate your tweets in your website.
  • Amazon: Access the abundance of product information provided on the Amazon.com site.
  • PayPal: Integrate the online payment service in your application.
  • UPS: Package information via an easy to use interface.
  • FedEx: Package information via an easy to use interface.
  • USPS: Package information via an easy to use interface.

 

What is web services integration?

Most service providers allow you to display some or all of their content on your site or application and provide methods to allow access to their content. For instance you can use Google Maps to show your location or to provide your clients with door-to-door driving directions. You can share your calendar(s) with others through your own website or application. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter both allow integration of you accounts with them into your website or application, so you can put your "Facebook Wall" on your website with the ability to post to your "Wall" from your own website.

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