The development of software applications emerged post the creation of the first digital computers. The early applications that were built could only be used on standalone desktop machines. Soon with the improvement in both quantity and quality of web content websites started becoming more interactive. Hence their functionality evolved beyond static web pages.
The web application development received more significance when businesses established their presence in the online world. More browsers and development platforms unfolded as people started using Internet on a more regular basis. Web applications gained popularity as organizations and businesses started introducing applications that required the use of a web browser.
The software developed for desktop application can only be used on single computers or laptop for a particular task. However there are certain applications that can also be used by multiple users in a networked environment. The reason web applications have gained more importance and replaced desktop applications to a large extent is due to its portability and usability benefits. However, there are security and legality issues with web applications that will not allow the demise of the native application.
Differences between desktop and web-based applications
Installation and upgrades can be cumbersome In case of web applications, it can be accessed from any device, which has a web browser. One doesn't need to download or install the application. This indeed is a major convenience. The desktop application needs to be downloaded in every single computer or laptop, which can be tiresome. Also it needs to be upgraded in each of the computers separately.
Carry your world around Web applications can be used from anywhere using the Internet, hence it is easier to use. The desktop applications are confined to a particular location and hence isn't portable. This is a huge disadvantage since people are not always sitting at home and are on the move most of the time. The web applications allow them to stay connected as and when they please.
Internet though useful poses more threat There is a higher security risk when using web-based applications. With a large number of users using the Internet, the vulnerabilities are higher. When one is using a desktop they have maximum control over the applications and they are able to effectively protect it from any kind of threat.
Connectivity affects the speed The Internet connectivity impacts the speed at which the web and desktop applications operate. However, web applications solely functions on Internet connectivity and speed. Because of poor connectivity or lack of Internet web applications face a lot of performance issues. The desktop applications do not depend on Internet connectivity to function uninterruptedly.
Cost affects both applications The maintenance of web application is not only costly but also recurring in nature. Incase of desktop applications, they are only purchased one time and do that have these recurring charges. Though desktop applications don't involve sky-high costs it can incur certain maintenance fees. Both web and desktop applications have their pros and cons but these are just instruments that help consumers solve any problem.
For example, a Microsoft word document can be used both as a specific desktop application and on Google Docs on web application. The only difference is to edit on Google docs one would require Internet connection. Some web applications are creating offline functionalities that allow the users to shift from online to offline mode when required.
Thus both set of applications are useful depending on the type of business requirements. Both the applications have their own benefits and weaknesses and will continue to coexist for a long time.
Are you wondering whether you should develop a desktop or a web application for your business? We can help you with that.
Allow us to understand your business needs and we will do what is going to be most profitable for your organization.
Maximum Value. Achieved.