What is web-based?

The term "web-based" is related to web-based applications and software. Web-based applications are software that helps users interact with the remote server using a web browser interface. The web app is hosted on a server. By using an internet browser, users connect to it from their computers.

Diagram shows client request to server and server response to the client.
Process of web-based application

Web-based applications are prevalent in the business world, from office suites to online collaboration, customer relationship management, and accounting. These web-based applications are basically a software that allows the end-user to interact with remote server with the help of web-browser.

Web-based applications can be accessed using web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, etc. Each browser is in some way different from the other.

Example of web browsers
Example of web browsers

They have different features which can be used to customize the appearance of web pages while it is rendered on the screen. When the user enters the URL of the website and presses enter, the browser contacts the DNS server, obtains the IP address, establishes TCP connection with the web server, sends the HTTP request, processes the HTTP response and renders the HTML page in the HTTP response to the end user.

What does web-based application do?

Web-based applications are also known as web apps. It is a software application program that performs specific tasks. A remote web server that stores relevant information from numerous connected computers hosts the web app. The first web application was developed by Larry Wall in 1987. It was written using the server-side Unix scripting language known as Perl, which was useful for processing reports. Since then, web-based apps have undergone many developments.

How does web application work?

Today, there is no need to download them as the network easily accesses them. Everyone can access the web app through a web browser. A web app needs three necessary elements to perform its function, which are:

  1. Web server: A web server handles or manages requests that come from the client side.
  2. Application server: An application server executes the requested task and completes it.
  3. Database: A database stores any required information, data, and queries.

Steps involved in the web browser- web server communication are listed below.

  • The user connects to the internet. He uses the web client or browser to send request to the web app.
  • The web server processes the request and sends it to the server that hosts the application logic.
  • The application server retrieves the required data from the database server. It performs the needed processing and returns the result to the web server.
  • The web server sends the response to the web client.
  • The web client renders the HTML response on the screen.
Diagram shows the working process of web apps.
The working process of web application

Web-based accounting software

Web-based accounting software is a technology hosted on a remote server. This software is related to business, accounting, and payment systems and includes different accounting modules such as account payable, accounts receivable, inventory, payroll, and more. The functionality of the software is delivered through the web platform. It allows the user to access data via the internet on PCs or mobile devices.

Web-based training

Web-based training (WBT) is internet browser-based learning through an online environment. It is available on the local intranet. WBT training is virtual training. It is also known as distance learning, e-learning, or Internet-based training (IBT). WBT uses cloud-based computing tools for access, administration, delivery, and analytics. WBT can be done live. The WBT technologies provide easy-to-learn facilities such as webinars, streaming audio/video, instant messaging, etc. Many organizations use WBT technology, including colleges, schools, universities, elementary/secondary schools, military, and law enforcement.

Web-based tools

Web-based tools are also called browser-based tools. It is a software that runs on a web browser. These tools only require a stable internet connection and a web browser to access their functionality. In most cases, the browser-based application is installed over the internet and runs on a remote server that can be accessed with a web browser.

Web-based software and website are two different things. Web-based software provides back-end functionality, desktop-style, through the web browser front-end. The significant advantage of the web-based application is that it does not require the end users to purchase a large piece of software that need to be installed in the local computer system, as in the case of desktop applications.

Also, when a web-based application is accessed, the software runs remotely, so updates do not require the user to check for patches and bug fixes that they would otherwise have to download and manually install. An example is web 2.0 sites and tools include wikis and blogs, social networking sites, etc.

Common Mistakes

There may be some confusion while trying to understand web-based, internet-based, and cloud-based applications. Web-based applications communicate with their users via HTTP requests, which are easy to use. It includes online forms, spreadsheets, file scanning, shopping carts, and various email programs like Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL.

A web application must have a continuous internet connection to perform its functionality, whereas a cloud application performs processing tasks on a local computer system or workstation. So, clouds apps are web apps because we can use them through web browsers, but not all web apps are cloud apps.

Context and Applications

This topic is significant in the professional exams for both graduate and postgraduate courses, especially for:

  • Master of Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Master of Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Information Technology
  • GMAT
  • Social media marketing
  • Web-based framework
  • Progressive web apps
  • Responsive website API-first development

Practice Problems

Q1. A ________ is a special program that provides services to other computer programs.

  1. Host
  2. Server
  3. Client
  4. Router

Correct Answer: Server

Explanation: Server is the computer system that accepts the request from clients and provides the requested services to them.

Q2. Which computer system requests web pages from the servers?

  1. Server
  2. Host
  3. Client
  4. Router

Correct Answer: Client

Explanation: Client is the computer system which request services from the server. There can be more than one clients in a client-server system.

Q3. The first server-side Unix Scripting language is ___________.

  1. Perl
  2. PHP
  3. Python
  4. JS

Correct Answer: Perl

Explanation: Although PHP, Python and JavaScript is used as server side scripting language, the first server side scripting language is Perl.

Q4. Which of the following is true?

  1. You can create a website without using HTML.
  2. You don't need a server to host website files.
  3. You need a server to host website files.
  4. None of the above

Correct Answer: 3. You need a server to host website files.

Explanation: We cannot create website without HTML, also without server, a website cannot be hosted so the true statement is "You need a server to host website files "

Q5. Which language is used for exchanging data in web services?

  1. CGI
  2. HTML
  3. XML
  4. DHTML

Correct Answer: 3. XML

Explanation: XML is used for data exchange in web services. The other three languages CGI, HTML , and DHTML are responsible for creation and scripting.

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