Common uses for web applications
Web applications have many uses for both site visitors and developers, including the following:
- Let visitors find information quickly and easily on a content-rich website.
This kind of web application gives visitors the ability to search, organize, and navigate content as they see fit. Examples include company intranets, Microsoft MSDN (www.msdn.microsoft.com), and Amazon.com (www.amazon.com).
- Collect, save, and analyze data provided by site visitors.
In the past, data entered in HTML forms was sent as e-mail messages to employees or CGI applications for processing. A web application can save form data directly into a database and also extract the data and create web-based reports for analysis. Examples include online banking pages, store check-out pages, surveys, and user-feedback forms.
- Update websites that have constantly changing content.
A web application frees the web designer from continually updating the sites HTML. Content providers such as news editors provide the web application with content, and the web application updates the site automatically. Examples include the Economist (www.economist.com) and CNN (www.cnn.com).