Web Application

Web applications use web documents written in a standard format such as HTML and JavaScript, which are supported by a variety of web browsers. Web applications can be considered as a specific variant of client-server software where the client software is downloaded to the client machine when visiting the relevant web page, using standard procedures such as HTTP.

Client web software updates may happen each time the web page is visited. During the session, the web browser interprets and displays the pages, and acts as the universal client for any web application.

In the early days of the Web, each individual web page was delivered to the client as a static document, but the sequence of pages could still provide an interactive experience, as user input was returned through web form elements embedded in the page markup. However, every significant change to the web page required a round trip back to the server to refresh the entire page.

There are several ways of targeting mobile devices when making a web application:

Responsive web design can be used to make a web application – whether a conventional website or a single-page application viewable on small screens and work well with touch screens.

Progressive web applications are web applications that load like regular web pages or websites but can offer the user functionality such as working offline push notifications, and device hardware access traditionally available only to native mobile applications.

Native apps or “mobile apps” run directly on a mobile device, just as a conventional software application runs directly on a desktop computer, without a web browser (and potentially without the need for Internet connectivity); these are typically written in Java (for Android devices) or Objective-C or Swift (for iOS devices). Recently, frameworks allow the development of native apps for all platforms using languages other than each standard native language.

Hybrid apps embed a mobile web site inside a native app, possibly using a hybrid framework. This allows development using web technologies (and possibly directly copying code from an existing mobile web site) while also retaining certain advantages of native apps (e.g. direct access to device hardware, offline operation, app store visibility).

Web applications lend themselves to an n-tiered approach by nature. Though many variations are possible, the most common structure is the three-tiered application. In its most common form, the three tiers are called presentation, application, and storage, in this order. A web browser is the first-tier (presentation), an engine using some dynamic Web content technology (such as ASP, CGI, ColdFusion, Dart, JSP/Java, Node.js, PHP, Python or Ruby on Rails) is the middle tier (application logic), and a database is the third tier (storage). The web browser sends requests to the middle tier, which services them by making queries and updates against the database and generates a user interface.

Since security breaches on these kinds of applications are a major concern because it can involve both enterprise information and private customer data. Protecting these assets is an important part of any web application and there are some key operational areas that must be included in the development process. This includes processes for authentication, authorization, asset handling, input, and logging and auditing. Building security into the applications from the beginning can be more effective and less disruptive in the long run as adopted by our organization.

We often use web application frameworks that can reduce the number of errors in a program, both by making the code simpler and by allowing one team to concentrate on the framework while another focuses on a specified use case. In applications which are exposed to constant hacking attempts on the Internet, security-related problems can be caused by errors in the program. Frameworks can also promote the use of best practices such as GET after POST which is followed as a best practice at our organization.

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