We define an Internet application as software that employs a Web browser for the front end user interface and a Web server on the back end. It is a simple definition that applies across a wide range of potential uses -- from sales, purchasing, and order tracking to human resources, customer service, and training.
So why are so many organizations choosing to develop Internet applications?
In our experience, Internet applications are an excellent means to improve communications and interactions with employees, customers, and business partners. Indeed, Internet applications are an intelligent solution to a wide range of business challenges for several reasons:
- Simplicity -- Since the foundation of an Internet application is the use of the Web environment, it is very simple for both end users and administrators. Because the Web is similar across operating systems and is already familiar to many end users, people can quickly learn how to use the application. For administrators, roll-out and ongoing maintenance is far less complicated than with other applications, since the only software needed at the workstations is the Web browser and all modifications are handled entirely at the server.
- Accessibility -- An Internet application can be accessed easily and inexpensively via a local Internet connection from almost any location worldwide, using a PC, Macintosh, Unix, or other computer. Thus an Internet application can reach an organization's mobile sales force, branch offices, corporate customers, vendors, business partners, individual consumers, telecommuters, and so on. In short, the application can be accessed by anybody with a Web browser and a connection to the Internet.
- Flexibility -- Just as the many Web sites worldwide encompass an incredible variety of content, so too can Internet applications address the many types of information that organizations need to manage and communicate. On the back end, Internet applications can access distributed and heterogeneous data sources such as existing databases and other applications. On the front end, the Web browser provides a modern, graphical environment with text, images, and even audio or video -- resulting in tremendous flexibility for the content and function of the application.
- Low Cost -- Perhaps most important of all, Internet applications can be developed quickly and often at substantially lower cost than client/server or other types of applications because they are built on top of the Web server and Web browser. Since Internet applications are cross-platform, easily modified without changes to the clients, and require only a Web browser at the client side, they are substantially easier and less expensive to maintain than traditional applications. Furthermore, because Internet applications are based on open standards, companies can invest in Internet applications and not be dependent on any single software, vendor, developer, or proprietary solution. Together, these factors result in a low total cost of ownership and a high return on investment.
If you are considering an Internet application for your business, please contact us.
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