Millions of businesses use the Internet as a cost-effective communications channel. It lets them exchange information with their target market and make fast, secure transactions. However, effective engagement is only possible when the business is able to capture and store all the necessary data, and have a means of processing this information and presenting the results to the user.
How a web application works
The web application requires a web server to manage requests from the client, an application server to perform the tasks requested, and, sometimes, a database to store the information. Application server technology ranges from ASP.NET, ASP and ColdFusion, to PHP and JSP.
Here's what a typical web application flow looks like:
1. User triggers a request to the web server over the Internet, either through a web browser or the application’s user interface.
2. Web server forwards this request to the appropriate web application server
3. Web application server performs the requested task – such as querying the database or processing the data – then generates the results of the requested data
4. Web application server sends results to the web server with the requested information or processed data
5. Web server responds back to the client with the requested information that then appears on the user’s display
Benefits of a web application
. Web applications run on multiple platforms regardless of OS or device as long as the browser is compatible
. All users access the same version, eliminating any compatibility issues
. They are not installed on the hard drive, thus eliminating space limitations
. They reduce software piracy in subscription-based web applications (i.e. SaaS)
. They reduce costs for both the business and end user as there is less support and maintenance required by the business and lower requirements for the end user’s computer