Web app compact an overview - what you need to know about web applications

by Meike Müller
What to expect
  1. What is a web app?
  2. How does a web app work exactly?
  3. What are the different types of web apps?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a web app?
  5. What are some well-known examples of web apps?
    1. Our examples
  6. How can you create a custom web app?

What is a web app?

A web app is an application that is deployed through a server or cloud. It can be accessed at any time in an Internet browser. It usually doesn't matter from which end device this is done, as web apps are usually programmed across browsers. They are therefore not installed and stored on the individual computers of the users, but on a web server. This can be accessed remotely. A web app can be seen as a kind of additional program that can be used on a wide variety of devices. By the way, when you talk about a web application, you also mean a web app. App is the abbreviation for application software. By the way, web apps belong to the topic of web development, which you can learn more about here.

How does a web app work exactly?

For a web app to work, there must be an application server, a web server, and a database. The application server is responsible for accomplishing the tasks that were previously managed on the web server through a client. In order to render all the information, it needs a database that stores everything.

Graphic laptop functionality of a web applicationDue to these components, the web application does not need to be downloaded, but can be accessed directly by the user through a browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple's Safari, which communicates with the web server via an HTTP protocol. App programming for the web often uses JavaScript, CSS or HTML5. In web apps with HTML5, the application code can also be cached, which enables offline use. However, so far there are few web apps where this occurs. If you want to know how we at EXWE can support you in terms of programming, you can find more information on our page more about web development.

In contrast to web apps are native apps, which you know mainly from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. They are developed for a specific operating system, such as Android and iOS. They can then only run on these operating systems for which they were developed. So if you find an app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, they are two different versions of the app. You can download the native apps and use them offline, because they are installed fully functional on your operating system. However, some web apps require you to have the latest browser version or a special runtime environment such as Flash or JavaScript.

What types of web apps are there?

Of course, you can also make distinctions within web apps. Because a web app can have very different characteristics and also be simple to complicated in scope. Thus, web apps can be divided into dynamic and static web apps. In addition, a web app can also mean an online store or a portal.

In a dynamic web application, an app is programmed that is much more complex than a static app. There are more functions and the data is constantly updated.

In the case of an online store, the development is also more complicated, as many functions such as payment methods and data processing have to be integrated. For new products, it must be possible to enter new data. Portals are web applications that often serve administrative purposes. From the start page of a portal, for example, you can access your e-mail inbox, a chat area or a search engine.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a web application?

The advantages of a web application are clearly that anyone can access the application. No additional storage space is needed for this. The only thing users need is a terminal device that has a browser that can access the web application. This also makes it easier to integrate software upgrades and make them accessible to everyone. Unlike a native app, an upgrade does not require the software to be uninstalled and downloaded again.

In addition, it can be accessed from any device, i.e. desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Any browser can also access the web application. Whenever multiple users need to use the same version of the software, a web app is advantageous. Since changes and entries are not stored locally, they also appear for the other users when they call up the web app on their end device. With the help of the appropriate link, the web application can be easily shared with other users. Without installation, they can use all the functions directly. Also from the cost of development, the web application is usually cheaper than a native app.

One disadvantage of a web app is that it is not fully optimized for the particular browser or device so that it remains functional by all users. In this aspect, native apps can score points, of course. Also, not all the features of a native app can be implemented in a web app. For example, you cannot access and use the sensors, data or vibrations of the end device.

What are some well-known examples of web apps?

Graphic Laptop Web App Programming Web app programming is used when the function of this should be available on all devices. This is the case, for example, with the so-called Software as a Service offerings (SaaS). These are softwares that can be used by customers like a service. Web apps are, for example, SEO tools for keyword analysis, the Google services, messenger or e-mail services, some online games or even maps and navigation programs. As you can see, the use of web apps is quite versatile.

Our examples

As a software and web app agency, we have already developed several web applications for our customers. These are a few examples of our web-based software projects:

  • Implementation of a web app for visualization of building inspections for the client ElephantsCanJump.
  • Web-based intranet sales tool for a leading manufacturer of compressor technology
  • A web-based CRM, calendar and appointment management software for a leading German photo studio chain

How can you create a custom web application?

You can have a custom web application programmed, for example, by an app agency that specializes in web app development. We at EXWE are also experts in the field of app programming for web applications. With us, you can have an app developed that meets your expectations. It doesn't matter if you want to use it internally for your employees or as software as a service. For more information, we would like to invite you for a cup of coffee and a non-binding consultation.


from 07.09.2021

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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