Cloud based application v/s web based application

There is a very fine thread of differences between cloud based application and web based applications as there are a lot of similarities as well between the two. The significant differences arise when it comes to user experience and rich cloud based services.

Cloud based apps

A cloud app is basically an evolved web app. It’s used to access online services over the Internet like web apps but need not to be exclusively dependent on web browsers to work. A cloud-based application operates with the help of cloud data which can even be operated in the offline mode, also considered as a combination of standard web applications and traditional desktop applications. Cloud apps provide multiple benefits by giving its users a rich and swift service with an easy update to cloud apps. It’s possible for a customizable, multi-tenancy cloud app to be solely available over the web browser from service providers, but quite often the web-interface is used as alternative access method to the custom built cloud app for online services. As the cloud-based applications are operated in the cloud, they don’t take up large amounts of storage space.

  • Differentiating features of cloud applications include:

    • Can be used from web browser or custom built apps installed on Internet connected devices such as desktops and mobile phones

    • Data of cloud-based applications are stored in a cloud like infrastructure

    • User data and business-related data can be stored at multiple data centers

    • Data can be cached locally for offline mode

    • Can be used to access a wide range of services such as storage, application development platforms, on-demand computing cycles

Web based apps

The web-based application uses HTTP as its primary communication protocol and can only be operated where there is an active internet connection. Web apps are exclusively designed to be used from a web browser. Combination of server-side script (ASP, PHP etc) and client-side script (HTML, Adobe Flash etc) are commonly used to develop the web application. Web-based applications can be a client-based application where the application can be installed on the users’ desktop, but the processing can only be done over the Internet utilizing the external server. For example spreadsheet applications, flash games or word processors.

  • Key features of web based applications include:

    • Business processes and user data are stored at one center

    • Web apps can be accessed from anywhere via the web browser

    • These apps rely on the web server components installed on back-end infrastructure systems

    • Every user can use their part of the application

    • It has limited availability and scalability

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