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Web application development refers to the process and practice of developing web applications. Web applications are the business strategies and policies that are implemented on the web with the help of user, business and data services. In the present scenario, most of the companies intend to perform business with each other over secure and private networks. This criterion has become increasingly popular among most of the overseas companies that outsource projects to each other. For example, for deploying large scale web services network that will update pricing information globally an adoption of web application infrastructure is of vital importance for most of the businesses (Caesar Fernandes, 2003). Web applications are evolved with a web browser over internet; internet has become a better choice for a large number of sophisticated and innovative web applications. Within decade, web has developed drastically from just being a storehouse of pages that are used primarily for accessing static information to a powerful platform for web application development and deployment. Web application development has become quicker in adopting software engineering techniques of component orientation and standard components. The future developments in web applications will be driven with the advances in web internet infrastructure and software engineering methods and web application trends (Colin Atkinson and Thomas Kuhne, 2002).
Web based architecture for supporting wide range of web applications
Usage centered design architecture was proved effective in designing highly usable web based applications that is fully compatible with traditional software engineering methods and new agile techniques. This architecture will employ rapid, card based techniques for developing simplified models of user tasks, roles and user interface contents. Usage centered design is a systematic process that uses abstract models for designing a simplest system that will fully and directly support all the tasks that the user requires to accomplish. It is one of the best proven architecture designs that are used efficiently to design everything from industrial automation systems to insurance applications. Usage centered design is driven by closely related abstract models that is role model, task model and content model. The role model will be efficient in capturing the roles that the user plays with respect to the system, task model will represent the structure of work that the user needs with respect to the system and the content model will represent the organization of the user interface needed for supporting the identified tasks (Anderson,J., Fleek,F., and Drake,F. ,2001). This architecture supports a wide range of web applications that is usability and user experience are the key determinants of success in web applications. If the customers are not finding the data they are looking for then they cannot buy it then the key information will be buried and the business decision making is impaired. Poorly designed interfaces will increase user errors that may be costly. Usage centered design will describe a model driven approach for engineering web applications with an efficient focus on user interface design and usability. Its model driven techniques will work well for novel applications that integrates readily with agile development processes under compressed development schedules (Constanatine, L.L., 1993).
Hardware and software issues in developing web applications
The initial cost of developing the web applications for stimulation can be high because it is developed for more stringent specifications. With stimulation, new software is developed each time when a change is made to the operational equipment. Whenever, stimulation is the only choice then the software may be costly to develop and test for first time. Since, every change to the equipment being simulated is required more costly changes to the stimulator software must be developed and tested. Delays in developing and implementing modifications for stimulating functions cause the trainer configuration to lose concurrency with the operational system (Stimulation, 2002).
The other problems arising while developing the websites are:
Automatic audio which gives people an option of listening to the music or recorded information on the website at any time so it is intimated that web application developers must provide an option of turning it off. Un-navigable sites it means do not expect the visitors to jump through link hoops to access the information available on site rather make the price, products and services clear and easy to find, excessive pop-ups are inevitable and a page full of dead links and error messages must not be displayed while accessing the site. Thus, keep up the links up to date and take down the links that are no longer active on the site (DPS Design, 2005).
Clients normally assume that electronically produced web pages are the designs that can be revised in a second without cost and the clients must also understand that simple changes like changes in size of logo beyond the original requires tuning of the whole document if the quality has to be maintained. They must be aware of the design and development time spent on the administrative integration stages. At the design stage of a web application, it is required to educate the clients continuously about the text based nature of internet and its page composition limitations, hardware and software limitations. In case, if the client demands for newly evolving non standardized technologies on their websites then the software acquision expenses are considered separately billable for the clients. The development of a website with a beautiful look under multiple browsers is a time consuming task. Here, clients are billed separately for validation of their websites for browsers that are not standard when the job is commissioned (DPS Design, 2005).
Most of the web designers must have heard about and used styles but they still they might not use the CSS as effectively as possible. Thus, before start up a valid xhtml page must have a doc type declaration and proper syntax and rules must be followed. If the syntax and rules are not specified then the browser does not know how efficiently it must stick to the CSS rules. Thus, the site may not be displayed properly.
Approaches and Practices to build basic Prototype web applications using Modern Programming Practices
Building a basic prototype web application is a complicated task but with the help of advanced programming technologies it becomes very easy. Some of the approaches and practices make the designing process very easy and they can save the money as well as time (Antonio Lupetti, 2009). A good web application development process includes five steps as follows,
It is necessary to gather the requirements which are useful to designing the web application. Requirement gathering is the first phase of the designing process. Requirement gathering is mainly concentrating on needs and scope of the web application. Scope of the project means what are features the web application provides for clients. In order to make the effective design it is necessary to gather the needs such as the server-side languages, data base and hosting service (Athena Vakali and George Pallis, 2007).
Design: After completing the requirement phase, the next phase in the web application is design phase. This phase includes a clear designing of pages and maintain the relationship between pages to attract customers. This also includes the database design to maintain the organization data permanently. To design the pages effectively in the web application it is necessary to take the modern server side languages and scripting languages. The best and modern Sever side language includes ASP.Net and PHP and the scripting languages are java-Script and jQuery (Susan L. Fowler and Victor R. Stanwick, 2004).
Implementation: After designing the requirements of web application, the next phase is implementation phase. In this phase the actual process is taken place and writes the code for all pages and maintains the database to store the information with the help of queries.
Test: The main important phase in the web designing is testing phase. After developing the web application it is necessary to test each and every page and all the features of the web application to rectify the problems. In order to make the testing the developer need to stress the application based on various conditions and situations. Main objective of the software developer is to use the modern testing technologies to identify the bugs existed in the web application. After identifying bugs it is better to fix the bugs with the help of modern testing technologies like testing tools, etc (Unleashed-technologies, 2009).
Release: the last phase of the web application designing process is release phase. This can only be occurred if the testing of the web application is completed successfully. In this, the organization releases the application to users (Daniel M. Brandon, 2008). Hence, it can be understood that designing the web application is not a simple process. It requires modern approaches and practices to design the application effectively. Designing the web application includes five phases. Every phase has its own importance while designing. Presently, many organizations follow a standard approach and modern designing technologies. Server side languages like ASP.Net and PHP makes the designing easy and the databases like SQL Server and Oracle are useful to store and access the information and they can also provides the security for valuable information.