In the early days of the World Wide Web, websites consisted of little more than a set of linked hypertext files that presented information using text and limited graphics. As time passed, the augmentation of HTML by development tools (XML, Java) enabled Web engineers to provide computing capability along with informational content. Web based systems and applications (Unique Nature of Web Apps) were born.
Today, WebApps have evolved into sophisticated computing tools that not only provide stand alone function to the end user, but also have been integrated with corporate databases and business applications.
WebApps are one of a number of distinct software categories. Web based systems and applications “involve a mixture between print publishing and software development, between marketing and computing, between internal communications and external relations, and between art and technology.”
The following attributes are encountered in the vast majority of Unique Nature of Web Apps.
Network intensiveness. A WebApp resides on a network and must serve the needs of a diverse community of clients. The network may enable worldwide access and communication (the Internet) or more limited access and communication (a corporate Intranet).
Concurrency. A large number of users may access the WebApp at one time. In many cases, the patterns of usage among end users will vary greatly.
Unpredictable load. The number of users of the WebApp may vary by orders of magnitude from day to day. One hundred users may show up on Monday; 10,000 may use the system on Thursday.
Performance. If a WebApp user must wait too long, he or she may decide to go elsewhere.
Availability. Although expectation of 100 percent availability is un reasonable, users of popular WebApps often demand access on a 24/7/365 basis
Data driven. The primary function of many WebApps is to use hypermedia to present text, graphics, audio, and video content to the end user. In addition, Unique Nature of Web Apps are commonly used to access information that exists on databases that are not an integral part of the Web based environment (e-commerce or financial applications).
Content sensitive. The quality and aesthetic nature of content remains an important determinant of the quality of a WebApp.
Continuous evolution. Unlike conventional application software that evolves over a series of planned, chronologically spaced releases, Web applications evolve continuously.
Immediacy. Although immediacy the compelling need to get software to market quickly is a characteristic of many application domains, WebApps often exhibit a time to market that can be a matter of a few days or weeks
Security. Because Unique Nature of Web Apps are available via network access, it is difficult, if not impossible, to limit the population of end users who may access the application. In order to protect sensitive content and provide secure modes
Aesthetics. An undeniable part of the appeal of a WebApp is its look and feel. When an application has been designed to market or sell products or ideas, aesthetics may have as much to do with success as technical design.
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