My Experience Functional Types Of Web Applications: What Does Your Business Need?


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Classification of web apps is quite difficult and multifaceted. Enquiring about the web app types without specific standards in mind can get you at least three different and equally valid answers.
  • How their components are interconnected
  • How app and business logic are distributed
  • How they look and what they serve for
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Web Portals
As the word ‘portal’ suggests, this is a point on the Internet that serves as a single outlet to numerous features. Some of the most popular web portal features contain published content, access to email, personal profile, and financial transactions. The key moment is that all these features should work in a self-service manner; in other words, a portal should offer automated functionality that will let users complete their tasks on their own.

Many types of web portals exist and are different in the set of features they offer. B2C/B2B trade portals unify multiple e-shops or businesses and allow a user to view, compare and order the offers. Enterprise portals provide employee profile database, event calendars, and corporate news and vacation planners. In fact, any community with shared wants and interests can benefit from using a web portal.

Enterprise web apps
Instead of providing to the general needs of an entire company the way an enterprise web portal does, enterprise web apps address the challenges of more specific user groups: departments, project teams, etc. There can be numerous features available here too, but all of them should have a common goal of organizing the staff’s workflow and helping them to be productive.

It’s easier to imagine an enterprise web app as a consistent desktop application used by employees in their daily workflow but made available online for the sake of data sharing convenience and easy remote access. A customer relationship management web app can be a good example of this type: since the data contained in this system goes to a company and should be easily available to every now working employee, it makes perfect sense for the system to be online-based.

Business automation web solutions
Apart from facilitating the lives of company employees with enterprise web apps and company web portals, many businesses also implement web solutions that offer significant changes to the entire workflow. These changes usually involve automation of routine tasks that have to be manually attended to by a person responsible for them.

Web app development of business automation solutions can target general business tasks (like those involving documentation flow), as well as for very specific industry-related processes (like a healthcare revenue management app that interoperates with EHR on one side and with payers’ systems on the other.) By taking care of, for instance, request acceptance and data coordination, these web apps let employees focus on substantial, less tedious work.

E-commerce web apps
The category of e-commerce web apps is somewhat vast and includes all kinds of e-shops (B2B, B2C, B2A, etc.) as well as booking systems (transportation, lodging, entertainment, etc.).

The key components are, unsurprisingly, grids/lists of products or services, product/service details, as well as a shopping cart and secure e-payment options. If a business wants to improve their customer loyalty and retention or gather customer data, it can also introduce registration and a personal profile.

E-commerce web frameworks, such as Magento, can facilitate maintenance of these feature-rich web apps by introducing a user-friendly administration panel. A content manager of an e-commerce web app with Magento system installed will need zero special knowledge about web apps in order to freely update product catalogs, launch special offers, and manage a customer database.

Microsites are web apps with a small number of pages and hence - a very concise menu. Their main idea is to represent a company or promote an event online by giving a general overview and leaving necessary contact information.

Despite a seemingly simple functionality, these web apps can be very complex, highly interactive or heavily animated if a business is trying to make a strong impression or has to cultivate an already successful public image. In fact, these web apps can be the most creative ones in terms of design because they aren’t limited by any specific features; they can simply enjoy infinite opportunities of today’s web application development technologies.