What are Web-Based Applications or "WebApps"?
WebApps are software applications which are delivered over the Internet, as opposed to the Windows Desktop. You interface with a WebApp from the browser of a client PC, for the application itself is stored, maintained and updated on a remote server. The connection between your browser and the server is an IP (Internet) connection, hence the term "web-based". WebApps are not simple web pages or database lookup routines -- they are true applications: software which provides some sort of computer-based functionality. The primary differences between a WebApp and a standard software application:
- A WebApp is not installed via a CD or file download of the entire application.
- The WebApp interface is the Web Browser.
- While some portions of the WebApp may technically "run" on the local client computer, the physical program is housed and maintained on a remote server computer.
Virtually any software application can be delivered as a web-based application, from personal applications such as address books, calendars and time management to business applications like accounting, billing and project management.
- Let's say you have a spreadsheet program which can take as input sizes of containers in your warehouse and calculate the most efficient way of stacking them in the space available. Make this program accessible to your clients over the web, and you've got a WebApp.
- McAfee has provided virus protection software for years. Typically, this software was delivered via CD or file download. They now have an online subscription program which allows you to run their virus scanning program from their web site. The biggest advantage is that the software is never outdated since the latest updates are always downloaded automatically into your web application. This is a WebApp.
- IBM and Safeway UK developed a system called "Easi-Order". This system allows customers to use a handheld device, PalmPilot, to build and submit a grocery order, which is then assembled for pick up at a predetermined time. The PalmPilot is connected to, and the order information transmitted over, the Internet. This is a WebApp.
- MyWebOS offers a web-based replacement for Windows and Microsoft Office as the central software tools for most PC users. MyWebOS has a range of free productivity and communication applications, such as calendar, contact manager, e-mail client and web browser, as well as a file-navigation program modeled on Windows Explorer. Because these new software programs and files reside on MyWebOS server computers rather than individual PCs, users can access them from any PC via an Internet connection. These are WebApps.
Sounds great, but what has any of this to do with us?
Chances are, your business or organization has an application, or the idea for an application, just lying around waiting to happen on the World Wide Web. We would like you to consider how much value you could add to your web site with a web-based application specifically tailored to the needs of your customers/constituency.
And, if you have an application, or the idea for one, we can help you make it happen on the Web. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.