Today, web applications have become more and more prevalent; largely being used to replace compiled desktop applications in wide area network (WAN) situations. From companies in large buildings to companies with multiple locations to even smaller businesses with employees who work from home or on the road, web applications are an easy way to give everyone access to the same application.
The benefits of web applications over desktop applications include:
The only real downside is lag time. This is the amount of time that it can take to switch between one page and another. With the latest broadband connectivity, this is not really an issue. If the Internet connection is slower, this can be more noticeable.
However, using proper development techniques, this can be greatly minimized. By using AJAX, asynchronous communication is possible. What this means, in the simplest terms, is that when data is needed from the server, rather than requesting large amounts of it, only what is necessary is requested and sent. This can mean something as simple as reloading only a portion of a page rather than the whole thing. This give the web application more of a desktop application feel while also increasing the apparent speed.
The basic key to efficient web applications is to minimize the amount of data transmitted between the client system and the server.
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