Expertise

Web Application Development

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A ‘Web Application Development’ is a business system or application delivered over the Web. It might be an internal expenses application used only within a company (intranet); a reseller purchasing application used with partners (extranet); or an online system available to members of the public like an eBay or a holiday cottage search site.

Web applications utilise the interactive nature of websites to provide customised and interactive technologies; they deliver a more sophisticated and interactive user experience than conventional websites.

In many cases, the Web application will be a customer facing interactive website that enables you to do business on the Web. A typical example of a well-known Web application is eBay: although eBay includes some e-commerce elements (such as the transfer of funds between accounts), it is primarily a Web application due to the interactivity between its users in the form of auctioning and feedback.

Web applications are less likely to be built on top of third-party e-commerce or CMS platforms and are instead normally written from scratch. The fact that Web applications are bespoke software development projects essentially means that the sky’s the limit in terms of what they can be made to do.

If you have specialist requirements (such as a requirement for integration with another system) and you’d like your project to be Web-based, you’re probably going to need a Web application.

Not sure if your project fits the label of ‘Web Application’? See our pages on Brochure Sites, Rich Content Sites and e-Commerce Sites.

Web Application Technologies

Web Application Development can utilise a range of technologies, depending on the requirements of the particular application. These include: AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), ASP (Microsoft Web Server (IIS) Scripting language), ASP.NET (Microsoft's Web Application Framework - successor of ASP), ActionScript, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), ColdFusion (Adobe's Web Application Framework), CGI, HTML5 (HyperText Markup Language), Java, JavaScript, JSP, Node.js, OSGI, Perl, PHP, PSGI, Python, Ruby - the list goes on.

Some of these are Client Side Scripting technologies (such as HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax), others are Server Side Scripting technologies (such as ASP, ASP.NET, Python etc.).

The fact that Web applications are so much more interactive than standard websites means that it’s not possible to create them with just HTML; instead, they require additional ‘client-side’ technology including Java, JavaScript, AJAX, CSS, jQuery and HTML5.

In general, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and AJAX are used for the user-interface; HTML5 for an enhanced user experience; a Web-programming language such as ASP.NET or PHP to deliver bespoke functionality; and a database to reliably store all sorts of information including usage statistics, user/customer data and application-specific requirements.

Blueberry can work with any of these technologies, depending on your needs. If you’re interested in the development technologies and techniques we use, take a look at our Web Software Development Technologies page - you’ll find unbiased information on Java, JavaScript, AJAX, AngularJS, HTML5, ASP.NET vs. PHP & Drupal, and Databases.

Blueberry’s Web Application Development Services

Blueberry has been developing bespoke Web-based applications for many years and has the skills required to successfully deliver your online system.

Web Application Expertise

  • We have strong expertise with Microsoft IIS and ASP.NET – the leading Microsoft Platform for Website delivery.
  • We are experts in MS SQL Server, used at the server side to manage the database.
  • We also have strong expertise in JavaScript and AJAX – technologies necessary to deliver the interactivity required by Website users.

Web Application Hosting Platforms

Blueberry primarily uses Microsoft tools for Web application development, which include Microsoft IIS / ASP.NET as the Web-server and Microsoft SQL Server as the back-end database. We can write the system code using C#, which is a very modern and powerful language.

The major alternative to Microsoft technologies is Linux. You may hear the acronym “LAMP” mentioned – this stands for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP”, and refers to a collection of technologies commonly used together on Linux-hosted Web applications. We appreciate that the Linux platform has some strong benefits – notably that components are mostly free – and we see good sites being developed using LAMP. But most of our customers still use MS products, and we’re happy with this choice.

The Benefits of Using Web Applications

Web applications provide business and customers with a huge range of benefits compared to non-Web based applications:

  • By opting to launch your project as a Web application (as opposed to a desktop application), you immediately make it accessible to a mass audience - an audience that is simply defined as people with Internet access and a modern Internet browser.
  • Web applications are much easier to update than their desktop counterparts. To update a Web application, the amendments only need to be made to one place: the server on which the Web application runs. To update a Desktop application, however, is a much more complicated task: patches need to be developed, tested and finally distributed to each and every one of the end users of the application.
  • Relative to conventional websites, a Web application is more likely to score better on the basis of receiving return visitors. The logic is simple: a Web application is more interactive than a brochure site, so users are more likely to return to use it a second time and to check for updates.

Unlike desktop applications which need to be installed on every user’s machine, Web applications are accessible by anyone with an Internet connection. In the same way as the Internet has revolutionised the way we shop, it’s also revolutionised the way we interact with computers.

If it's possible to have your service or product run as a Web application rather than a desktop application, it makes sense to do so: the Web makes it cheaper and faster to reach a mass audience than the traditional method of developing, testing, packaging and distributing software to be installed on an individual user’s computer.

See examples of Web application developments we've completed for our clients: https://www.bbconsult.co.uk/CaseStudies