Web Application Development
Web Applications are a Cost-Effective Replacement for Desktop Applications. Companies spend an ever-increasing amount of funds on their technology for both applications and tech infrastructure. One way to reduce development and deployment costs is to create web applications instead of desktop applications.
Web Applications vs. Desktop Applications
Desktop applications are designed to run on a specific platform. They may have specific hardware requirements and almost always are restricted to certain versions of an operating system. Upgrading the OS often means purchasing new licenses and installing new versions of applications. Sometimes departments keep a single PC with an ancient version of an OS just to run an application that isn't available on the latest release.
Although it is possible to build out an automated software deployment solution, desktop application packages need to be installed on every PC where they will be running. This can include installations at disaster recovery or contingency sites, where staff isn’t normally located. It also requires additional licenses for these recovery systems. In addition to the time and cost to do the initial software installation, when patches are needed to fix bugs or do updates, they need to be installed on every system as well. An organization could have thousands of systems running an application. All of the installations and updates equate to hundreds of hours of IT time, which equates to thousands of dollars spent.
By contrast, web applications run within a web browser. These days, developers go to great pains to make sure an app runs in all of the major browser platforms. Web applications don't need to be deployed to every end-user's PC; they can be accessed from anywhere, by everyone with an internet connection, after they are deployed to just one place, the web server. This means all users get the latest version and the latest patch every time they go to the application specific web site.
Besides running on any user PC, web applications can run on any device that has a web browser, whether it's a desktop PC, laptop, tablet, or phone. A mobile responsive design changes the layout of the application's screens to fit the device.
One disadvantage of web applications is that they require an Internet connection. So data collection out in the “boonies” where there aren't any cell towers can be problematic. Web applications also need close attention to security concerns.