Many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with whether they should have a desktop app that works across pc devices or focus exclusively on building a web app that works on any device. In this post I’ll get down to the bottom of why a web application is currently the soundest investment for an engaging business strategy.
If you move around from PC to PC, this advantage could really be a necessity. Think about web Outlook. Maybe you use the desktop version of Outlook when at your primary PC at work but when do you switch to web Outlook? You switch to the web version when you don’t have access to a PC that either has the desktop version installed or configured. Most of us wouldn’t switch to the web Outlook version on our primary PC though.
Have you noticed Google changed their search results page slightly? We now have a left hand side bar we didn’t have a week ago. None of us had to install anything or click and annoying button saying “New updates are available. Do you want to install now?” That creates for a better user experience. There is a good chance I’m not running the exact same point release of Adobe Acrobat as you are. If it were critical that we have the same version, that would be difficult to manage.
Like #3 above, one potentially quick benefit from a web app is that it can be accessed from a smart phone without much or any change required.Mobiles and Tablets are making it easier and easier to access the same web pages we’re used to seeing from our desktop web browser. With the dozens of mobile platforms out there, it is a major challenge to write an application that can work on all if it is not web based.
No special compiling required. Web browsers, for the most part, provide a consistent platform for development that can be leverage across various operating systems. Handling the differences between the top 3 browsers is much easier than building desktop applications that work the same across operating systems.
Web apps typically use one of two ports: HTTP port 80 or HTTPS port 443. These are commonly open on firewalls. Desktop apps do not typically use HTTP ports or require additional ports. This can present a problem if access outside the firewall is required.