Web application

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Web application

An application in which all or some parts of the software are downloaded from the Web each time it is run. It may refer to apps that run within the user's Web browser, to "rich client" desktop apps that do not use a browser or to mobile apps that access the Web for additional information. Following are explanations of each type.

Browser Based
In a browser-based Web application, JavaScript instructions are contained within the Web page that is retrieved from a website. Combined with the HTML code that determines the visual layout and the CSS style sheet, the HTML, JavaScript and CSS are executed via the browser. In addition, processing at the server side is often widely performed to access databases and other networks. The data for a Web application may be stored locally or on the Web, or in both locations.

Client Based
Web applications may also run without the browser. A client program, which is either installed in the user's computer or mobile device or is downloaded each session, interacts with a server on the Web using standard Web protocols. This is similar to the "client/server" architecture that prevailed in companies before the Internet exploded, except that today the server is often on the Internet rather than the local network. Just like browser-based applications, the data may be stored remotely or locally. See rich client, cloud computing, ASP and SaaS.

Mobile Web App
Countless mobile apps use the Web for additional information. For example, the iOS and Android versions of this encyclopedia install all the text locally in the device but retrieve all the images from a server via Web (HTTP) protocols. See native mobile app and native application.
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