Web Applications And Desktop Software

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There has been a long running debate about web applications replacing desktop software applications. The truth is that security concerns and legacy systems will prevent desktop software from becoming obsolete. Web applications are becoming more popular due to the widespread use of the web browser as a client.
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What Are Web Applications
So what is a web application? A web application is an application delivered to users from a web server like the Internet. Some businesses run web applications on an intranet, as well. Some applications are better suited and more likely to become successful as web applications. Web applications designed specifically for search engine optimization, have become increasingly popular. It is easy to understand why web applications that relate to the Internet would prosper, while business applications may have less appeal in a web environment. A desktop application is a self-contained program that performs a defined set of tasks under the user control. Desktop applications run from a local drive and do not require a network or connectivity to operate or function properly, though if attached to a network desktop application might use the resources of the network.
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Web applications that are easily accessible can be easily accessed from any computer or location that has Internet access. Travellers especially benefit from the accessibility. This often means that if a traveller has access to a computer, phone or handheld with Internet connectivity they can utilize the web application. Desktop applications need to be individually installed on each computer, while web applications require a single installation. Many web applications are hosted by a 3rd party and the maintenance fall under the applications host responsibility. The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for the popularity of web based applications. This can be a blessing and a curse as users of web applications on hosted systems are at the mercy of the host, if an upgrade does not go well, or the individual user doesn’t want or need the new features the upgrade will still go forward.
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Just like with everything else that deals with technology, there are always risks involved when dealing with working online, regardless of how secure a host might say a web application is, that fact of the matter stands that the security risk of running an application of the Internet is more significant than when running an application on a standalone desktop computer. Some applications require more security than others, playing Sudoku on a web application would cause little concern, but dealing with sensitive corporate formulas or accounting details in a web environment might be determined risky.

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