The user experience for a website is unlike the user experience for traditional desk- top software. The location of data storage, limitations with the user interface, and limited access to operating system features are just some of the distinctions. However, as web applications have become more and more sophisticated, the differences in the user experience between desktop applications and web applications are becoming more and more blurred.
There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to web-based applications in comparison to desktop applications.
Advantages of Web Applications
Some of the advantages of web applications include:
- Accessible from any Internet-enabled computer.
- Usable with different operating systems and browser applications.
- Easier to roll out program updates since only software on the server needs to be updated and not on every desktop in the organization.
- Centralized storage on the server means fewer security concerns about local storage (which is important for sensitive information such as health care data).
Disadvantages of Web Applications
Unfortunately, in the world of IT, for every advantage, there is often a corresponding disadvantage; this is also true of web applications. Some of these disadvantages include:
- Requirement to have an active Internet connection (the Internet is not always available everywhere at all times).
- Security concerns about sensitive private data being transmitted over the Internet.
- Concerns over the storage, licensing, and use of uploaded data.
- Problems with certain websites on certain browsers not looking quite right.
- Restrictions on access to the operating system can prevent software and hardware from being installed or accessed (like Adobe Flash on iOS).
Published on Sun 06 June 1999 by Phill Owen in Programming with tag(s): web applications programming