Desktop Vs Web Application

jskfan
jskfan used Ask the Experts™
on
Desktop Vs Web Application

I would like to know if Nowadays there is any difference between Desktop Application and Web Application, seeing that you can make web application do what classic Desktop application does. I mean you can create forms on the Browser, validate data, connect to the database and  modify/ add  /fetch data, and present it to end user. The good thing about it, you do not need to install the client application on the end user's desktop, user can just open the browser and go to the link you provided them.

I could be wrong though.
Any insights will be considered

Thanks
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Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
With the wide variety of web applications including SharePoint and Google Docs, it is not always necessary to have the Desktop App.  

I am at a conference this week and the documentation, agenda and other things are all on line. Seems to work fairly well. The same conference 3 years ago depended on an Adobe PDF one would download and it was always somewhat out of date.

That said, some apps (QuickBooks) is better in the desktop than online although even that is changing.
Also, it is not always possible to be on line.

I work both ways and the web stuff is handy when I just have be iPhone with me.

It will depend on your applications and how people use them.
Remember a few things:
1) Not all web applications do support all web browsers. E.g. certain complex web applications support just 2 browsers.
2) All web applications do need internet connection. Do you have it everywhere?
3) Web application crash affects all users. And such occasion is not an exception.
4) Client application does not necessarily mean you have to install something. You may just copy the folder and execute the EXE

This does not mean you should not create/use web applications. They are modern and spread everywhere and they support whatever you need - no major difference from the desktop, just slower user interaction or more complex code on the client (I mean JavaScript). Desktop apps should support more platforms which is still not so obvious.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
A major difference is that you always need a server doing more than just providing file service. The more flexible an app needs to be regarding the platform it should run on, the more functions need to be hosted (you can't put much logic into the app then). Having less logic in the app leads to increased lags in interaction.
The dependency on having a server connection is a severe restriction for most appliances.

On the other hand, if you look at apps like OneNote, it works well with your local cache and no connection, and just being online for synchronizing content.
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Author

Commented:
If I am not wrong, Web Applications do not have to run only over internet.
your local users  can use the Web Applications without the involvement of the Internet.

Which means it is much more flexible. You can have both your local users(without internet) as well as remote users(with internet) be able to use the Web app

**Regarding the Browser, I have seen most of the Application Vendors putting some requirements for their Customers in order to use the Application, such as Java Version, Browser type and version, ActiveX version, Flash Player version,etc........
So it became no surprise to Customers to accept those requirements...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Web apps usually run over the internet. Server apps are client server apps

Author

Commented:
Web app such  as Javascript (Node.Js), can connect to the Database server, and provide Data to end users through the web browser .
is not this CLient-Server App ?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Using a browser for a server app still makes it client server
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I am assuming from the above that your server is local to you.  If all is done over the Internet then it is web app
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
Local server apps can use web technology, and hence are still web apps, that's correct. That works with e.g NodeJS, REST services aso.
Local apps can be built with some simplifications like less strict security means. Also you can apply different restrictions, like a particular browser and platform.
No matter whether you say internet or not. Web app needs a connection to the web server and this web server can be reachable via internet or via intranet or locally if you are running browser on the web server directly. Yes, this sounds flexible but it still needs support. And this support must be much quicker than support for the desktop application because desktop application problem affects just one user obviously. OTOH, when serious problem occurs then you may solve it at one place in the web app.

Web application should not require additional software on the client except the browser. Everything else should provide the app itself. Of course, sometimes the installation of additional software is required, e.g. the client must install VPN and various other tools.

I would not recommend to connect the database server from the client directly. The client should send requests to the web server and everything else must be isolated. The client should know just the web app URL.
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
If you are deciding on developing a new app, I am all for making a web app at least to start. You are correct that , " you can create forms on the Browser, validate data, connect to the database and  modify/ add  /fetch data, and present it to end user".  For starting out new, the web app will be available to the most types of users (Desktop, Mobile, ? ) and you only have to develop once and maintain one thing.

There are also some good examples of apps that do both such as Google Hangouts, Evernote and as already mentioned, Microsoft OneNote. The phone I use for the office has a desktop and web app but  both rely on the same web server. There are options and libraries that will help make desktop apps using your web app, but I would save that scenario until you have something working smoothly.

For many people the internet is always on just like electricity. There are some areas where this is not the case and you just have to understand your user base.

Author

Commented:
Thank you Guys
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy to assist you.

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