What is a Web App?

Websites, Software as a Service (SaaS), Mobile Apps, servers, networking, and more. With all the different types of technology and services that exist how do you know, ‘What is a Web App’ and ‘Why would I need to use one’. Let’s take a few steps back before moving forward.

Before the emergence of cloud services, businesses would (and still) use software. These programs had to be physically installed on their servers and/or each individual computer. These could be long term licenses, outright purchases of software, or custom solutions which were developed for that business.  Anytime there was a new upgrade they had to mundanely install the software on each computer again.

With the emergence and continual growth of cloud services, it has introduced the ability to host these software programs on servers at cloud locations. This allowed users to access the solution via the internet. Thanks to the help of the cloud services, businesses and app developers have been able to scale their abilities & reach with web apps.

What exactly is a web app? A web application is a client-server computer program which the client (including the user interface and client-side logic) runs in a web browser. In plain English, it’s any tool that you access via the internet in order to complete a process. It could be your email, google maps, your company’s analytics program or logistics system, an e-commerce platform and more!

What it is, it is not is a website. A website is simply a stagnant web page that offers content and information about a service that is offered; however, it is not the actual service nor does functionality exist.

Currently, the SaaS market is a projected to be a 185.5 billion dollar industry by 2024. The vast majority of the SaaS platforms will be fully web applications or at least have a major component that is. The time that you would leverage an existing web application or build a custom one, is when you have created a new idea, or are looking for ways to improve your business while having the ability to access the information from anywhere with a laptop and internet connection.

Additional Fun Facts:

  • Web applications can be made to be mobile responsive. This does not mean they are mobile applications, they are simply the web app that they can access via a web browser on their mobile device.
  • Not all mobile applications are what they seem! Many mobile apps are actually web apps that are disguised as a mobile app. Using tools like Django and Xamarin, developers are able to create hybrid mobile apps using the existing web app to quickly deploy apps to both iOS and Android at the same time!
Like the post? Share it:
Jason Senter
Jason Senter
Executive Director of Sales & Product Management

After finding my footing in the world of technology, I joined Grata Software. I focus on identifying opportunities within your business where technology or processes are lacking, and how we can improve them. When I'm not playing sports or in the kitchen cooking, you can find me here at Grata Software, as the Head of Sales and Product Manager.