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In today’s tech sphere, web based and cloud based applications both are used interchangeably. While both applications are great & share a number of similarities, there are certain differences when it comes to back-end infrastructure, integration, customization, and other app development services.

In the realm of cloud computing, web based application in cloud computing play a pivotal role. Technically, web apps, as the name suggests, are applications hosted on remote servers & accessible through web browsers. On the other hand, cloud based applications that come with advanced functionalities & elaborate compatibility.

Web & cloud based applications development both are leading the race for market demands. While they are quite similar, they differ a lot in many aspects. This blog will describe the differences between web based vs cloud based applications in terms of back–end infrastructure, scalability, and technical point of view.

What is a Web Application?

A web-based app is an application designed and developed for the web browser. Unlike cloud-based web application development, the web app completely depends on the web server for functionality & processing. This application program is mainly stored on the remote server & delivered through a web browser interface over the internet. According to web app development company web apps have client-server architecture & their codes are divided into 2 major components – server-side architecture & client-side architecture. Some web application examples include online retail platforms, social media networks, project management tools, and online banking systems.

Server-side Architecture: The server-side architecture or script usually deals with data processing. The web server can process a client request & send a response back. This web app architecture defines a simultaneous interaction between database instances, components, user interfaces, middleware systems, and servers.

Client-side Architecture: The client-side architecture mainly deals with interface functionalities such as drop-down boxes and buttons. When a user clicks on the link, the browser will start loading the client-side script & rendering a text and graphic element for interaction.

How do Web Applications Work?

Web applications mainly run on web servers & are thoroughly accessed through the internet. They are designed with a client-server architecture and it works in the following ways: 

  • Through Server-side: The web application back-end mostly contains server-side code to manage several server-specific tasks such as database interactions, business logic, etc. The web app server effectively processes the client requests & gives responses immediately. 
  • Through Client-side: Client-side scripts are mostly used for drop-down boxes and buttons. When a user selects the web application link, the browser starts loading the script and then renders texts and graphic elements for user interaction.

Types of Web Application

Nowadays, many businesses are already adopting various kinds of web-based applications because of their several advantages, features, and functionalities. 8 most popular types of web apps include:

1. Static Web Apps

Static web applications, constructed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, lack the flexibility of dynamic counterparts. These web based services provide content directly to users without requiring server-side modifications, resulting in simplicity and straightforward development. Key benefits of these apps include:

  • Very fast load time
  • Highly secure
  • Less complex to build

2. Dynamic Web Apps

This is a complex type that provides real-time data based on the server response and the user’s request. Dynamic web apps can be developed either as a conventional website with several pages and levels of navigation or as a single-page web application. They use several server-side and client-side languages to create web pages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, etc. Key benefits of dynamic web apps include:

  • Wider audience reach
  • Scalable in comparison to static web apps
  • Very flexible in terms of a new content update

3. Single Page Apps

A single page web app entirely runs on the browser & never requires browser reloading. This is actually a dynamic web app that manages all data on a single HTML page. This type of web app is faster than traditional websites as its logic is implemented in the browser directly than a server. Gmail, Netflix, Pinterest & Paypal are the best examples of single page applications. Key benefits include: 

  • Enhanced user experience
  • Minimized server load
  • Improved app performance

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4. Multiple-Page Apps

Multiple page apps are designed multiple pages separately and combined to form a website. They have different pages with static information like texts & images. Web based app development companies recommend using multiple-page apps as they offer excellent control over search engine optimization techniques. Major benefits of Multiple page apps include:

  • Ideal for SEO
  • Quick browser back or forward navigation
  • Simple to develop

5. Animated Web Apps

This is a type of web application that effectively supports synchronization & animation on the web platform. These applications are widely used by freelancers and creative companies to present their creativity better. Technically, JavaScript, HTML5, FLASH, and CSS are used to create animated web applications. Key benefits of AWAs include

  • Improved User Engagement
  • Enhanced Navigation
  • Excellent Branding

6. Web Apps with CMS

In this web application, content is updated constantly. It helps to manage, modify and create digital content with ease. WordPress is one of the best examples of CMS web applications. A variety of languages are used to create content management systems such as C#, PHP, Java, and Python. Key advantages of CMS web apps include:

  • Quick content creation & management
  • Efficient & quick updates
  • A vast range of features

7. E-commerce Web Apps

It’s a complicated and advanced dynamic web application that allows users to buy & sell goods electronically. These web based services encompass transaction and payment integration as key components, facilitating seamless order processing, payment acceptance, and logistical management for businesses involved in online commerce. Key benefits of these web apps include:

  • Scale business quickly
  • Offers customer insights through tracking & analytics
  • Sell goods across the world

8. Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps or PWAs are also called cross-platform web apps usually built with HTML, CSS, & JavaScript. PWAs use different features, APIs, and progressive methods to deliver a seamless experience. Progressive web apps boost the adaptability and speed of web applications. These apps are still easy to access if internet connectivity is poor. Key benefits of progressive web apps include:

  • Fast loading time
  • No installation required
  • Quickly respond to user interactions
  • Enhanced cross-platform conversion

Type

Widely Used In

Advantages

Dynamic web apps

Social media
Healthcare
IT Industry
Logistics and transportations
Retail and ecommerce sectors
On-demand

Directly manage websites to update & change the information
Quick user management to protect servers & control all website users

Static web apps

Book publishing sectors

Works in offline mode
No 3rd party software installation required to access web apps

Single page apps

Email service
Communication sectors

Allows navigation & optimized routing experience
Keeps visual structure of web apps consistently through presentation logic

Multiple page apps

E-commerce sectors
Enterprise industries

Enables optimizing every page for the search engine
Allows users to access other pages

Animated web apps

Animation
Education
Gaming industries

Hold user attention for a very long time due to its attractive approach & unique design
Aspect ratios, landscape orientations, portrait, and viewing distances & different pixel densities are considered

Web apps with CMS

Blogging platforms
Sales & marketing platform
News portals

Easily organizes the web content Offers group & user functionality
Simple language support & integration

E-commerce web apps

E-commerce sectors

Allows sellers to sell products using a single platform
Helps you expand business globally & reach maximum audience

Progressive Web Apps

On-demand
Healthcare
Retail and e-commerce
Logistics and transportations
Social media
IT sectors

Responsive & Browser Compatibility Works in online & offline mode
Updates with no user interaction

Benefits of Web Application

Web apps enable businesses to interact with their customers more efficiently. These applications can make it easy to track & measure data that are essential to keep business operations streamlined. Key advantages of web apps include:

1. Accessibility: Web apps are known for high accessibility and improved user experience. They can easily be accessed from any device such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. Moreover, web apps are mostly designed with a user-friendly and intuitive interface. This leads to improved and seamless customer experience.

2. Cross-Platform Compatibility: Web apps are fully platform-independent. This means they can run diverse operating systems such as macOS, Windows & Linux, and different browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. This level of compatibility makes web applications more accessible to the users.

3. Deployable: Cross-platform support & high manageability makes web applications highly deployable. Moreover, new features and updates can be centrally deployed. This ensures that every user has full access to the newest version of the web app. This feature minimizes web app maintenance costs & contributes to an improved user experience.

4. Cost-effectiveness: Web apps require less development effort as compared to traditional desktop apps. Therefore, users do not have to install and update the software system locally. This leads to reduced distribution and maintenance costs.

5. Better Cross-browser Compatibility: Web applications are designed to work seamlessly across various web browsers, reducing compatibility issues that can arise with native applications on different platforms.

6. Remote Access & Collaboration: The remote access feature of web apps facilitates collaboration. With this feature, team members can seamlessly work on the same app. This fosters better teamwork  & enables remote work facilities.

7. Scalability: Web apps are easy to scale and they can accommodate plenty of users and data volumes. Cloud hosting services offer the infrastructure required for high scalability with zero upfront investments.

Benefits at a Glance:

  • Easily accessible through any kind of web browser
  • Runs on multiple platforms that make it cross-platform compatible
  • Minimizes the risk of compatibility issues
  • Requires less maintenance & support from the developer’s end
  • Helps to ease usability for the customers
  • Effectively eliminates hard drive space limitations
  • Apps can be maintained & updated without software reinstallation on several devices
  • Offers high scalability and flexibility
  • Simple to deploy, maintain, and update
  • The cost of routine maintenance is minimized as the data is stored on remote servers

What is a Cloud Based Applications?

These apps are online software programs with elements accessible via a local server and executed on the cloud environment. As internet-based software, cloud applications are stored in the remote data center & handled by cloud-service providers. These apps are used for file sharing & storage, order entry, word processing, inventory management, financial accounting, customer relationship management, data collection, etc.

According to the report, the global market size of cloud apps is projected to reach approx 168.6 billion USD by 2025. Cloud application usually support several user requirements through customization and provide several services to meet storage, backup & security needs. Some major characteristics of cloud based web application include:

  • Agile application
  • Microservices-oriented
  • API-backed
  • Continuously integrated & delivered
  • DevOps-enabled
  • Analytics-infused
  • User experience-centric

How do Cloud Apps Work?

Cloud applications refer to software systems that are seamlessly hosted on the servers. They mainly utilize cloud computing infrastructure to deliver several features as well as functionalities. Cloud apps generally work in the following ways.

1. How IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) works: Cloud applications vary depending on the infrastructure offered by cloud service experts. This infrastructure mostly includes storage, virtualized servers, networking resources, etc. Users can easily manage & access all resources via the Internet.

2. How SaaS (Software as a Service) works: SaaS is the most popular cloud application model. In SaaS, the cloud application is hosted over the internet & app users can seamlessly access it with a web browser. SaaS applications can’t be installed or maintained separately.

3. How PaaS (Platform as a Service) works: Many cloud applications are developed on cloud platforms that provide development frameworks, tools, runtime environments, etc. PaaS minimizes infrastructure management complexities and allows developers to work on deploying applications and creating codes.

Types of Cloud-based Applications

Cloud apps are divided into three major cloud computing models – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Each model also shows several parts of cloud computing stacks. Take a closer look at these types:

1. SaaS or Software as a Service

SaaS is one of the best cloud applications that enable users to easily access full-functioning software applications over the internet. These cloud applications are primarily designed for freelance services, large enterprises & SMBs. Some of the best examples of SaaS applications are HubSpot CRM, Wrike, MS Office 365, Sisense, Wix, etc.

2. PaaS or Platform as a Service

PaaS provides users with the infrastructure, computing platforms, and solutions to build their own applications. Platform as a Service is ideal for businesses that mainly engage in collaboration, testing, and development of cloud solutions. PaaS applications have a deployment environment including run-time system libraries, operating systems, and graphic UI. Some of the best examples of PaaS apps are Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace Cloud Sites, etc.

3. IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS consists of basic building blocks that offer access to networking functionalities, features & data storage space. It enables users to outsource IT infrastructures like servers, processing, virtual machines, storage, networking & other resources. IaaS applications also offer a good level of management control and flexibility over IT resources. Some of the best examples of IaaS apps are Amazon WorkSpaces, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud, etc.

Benefits of Cloud Application

Web based application in cloud computing boost productivity, accessibility, security, and data safety. They help businesses make the process of collaboration more effective and easier. Key benefits of cloud based applications include:

1. Accessibility: Accessibility of cloud applications is essential in today’s global working environment. Cloud apps allow users access from any place with internet connectivity. This leads to high flexibility in remote working.

2. Cost Efficiency: Cloud apps mostly work on a pay-as-you-go or subscription model. This eliminates the necessity for upfront costs in software & hardware. This level of cost-effectiveness allows organizations to scale resources effectively. This contributes to well-optimized operational expenses.

3. Scalability: Cloud apps can quickly scale to accommodate changes based on business requirements or user demand. Cloud service providers provide resources on-demand that help businesses expand their resources, computing power, and storage as needed.

4. Auto Updates: Cloud apps are updated through the service provider automatically. Auto updates offer the latest features and security patches to the users every time. This improves cloud app performance and eliminates the need for separate updates & maintenance support.

5. Minimized IT Management Expenses: Cloud services providers manage security, infrastructure maintenance, and updates. This frees up IT teams and allows them to work on more complex tasks. This leads to more cost savings and increased efficiency in businesses.

6. Security Measures: To protect user data and info, cloud service providers heavily invest in security measures such as access controls, encryption, regular security audits, identity management, and so on. With cloud security measures, businesses can improve their security levels as compared to optimizing on-premises infrastructure.

7. Rapid Deployment: Cloud apps can easily be deployed without the necessity for a huge hardware setup. The agility of rapid deployment is extremely beneficial for SMBs and organizations that need dynamic changing needs.

Benefits at a Glance

  • Minimal service provider interaction & management effort
  • Provides large computing capabilities, online & offline
  • Provides access to information from any device or place
  • Offers fast access to important applications through cloud servers
  • The performance of the availability of cloud applications enhances profitability & streamlines workflows
  • Serves multiple consumers with virtual and physical needs
  • Provides high transparency to resource providers & consumers
  • Offers improved collaboration options

Web Apps Vs Cloud Apps – Key Differences

Web apps and cloud applications both come with a wide range of functionalities & have noticeable distinctions. Web-based applications usually are accessible via web browsers, whereas cloud app’s infrastructure and data aren’t only accessible through the web browser but also downloadable. So, all cloud apps are web apps with additional features. Other differences between web and cloud application are listed below.

Parameters

Cloud apps

Web apps

Internet

Work partially or entirely without the internet connectivity

Work with the internet only

Security

Ensures high security measures for sensitive & confidential information

It can verify client info on authentic servers

Technology

It needs a back–end framework & a JavaScript-based structure like React Js, Angular, etc

It has inbuilt languages such as PHP, Python & Ruby, and databases like MySQL.

Access

It’s not dependent on the web browser

Accessed via the web browser only

Customization

Customization features improve functionalities.

Never provides customization and similar functionalities

Costs

Expensive as compared to web apps

Development cost is less than cloud apps

Types

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, RaaS

Static web apps, dynamic web apps portal web apps, etc

Scalability

Inherently scalable

Limited scalability

Availability

High uptime

Limited uptime

Storage

Multiple replicated center

Single data center

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Final Words

Web apps and cloud apps both are continuing to deliver users as the most crucial touch point. Since they are packed with similarities and dissimilarities in terms of software architecture, storage, and other aspects, selecting the right application always depends on customer preferences, business needs, and operations. Are you planning to build a custom web application or looking for web app development services? Get in touch with our experts for complete assistance.