Web Applications

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Web Applications - All about Web Applications

A Web Application or a Web App is an Application which is accessed via the web, usually with an application known as a web browser. Such applications may be deployed on an internal network or intranet or over the net or internet. The main advantage and the popularity of the web applications was the fact that they could be accessible from anyplace, thus bypassing the need of installation of any kind.

A Web Application is basically a group of Web documents written in standard formats such as HTML/ xHTML. They may also have client-side scripting language included like JavaScript and/ or VBScript, JavaScript being the more popular. On the Server side there are a variety of scripting languages available, to dynamically create such pages, which are then presented to the web browser as static pages. Some of the more popular languages are C++, C, PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP/ JAVA, PERL, ColdFusion, Python etc.

Web Applications have emerged as a leading choice over the previous client-server architecture programs, which not had various draw backs, also possed problems while upgrading the software. Web Applications are now being used accross all fields such as Webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, wikis, discussion boards, Weblogs, and various other application specific uses like calendars, etc.

Types of Web Applications

Web Applications can be categorized as follows:

1.1 Web Mail

A Web-based email is an e-mail service intended to be accessed via a web browser, as opposed to through an application such as Microsoft Outlook. The objective is being accessible from anywhere and at anytime. Hotmail, by Sabeer Bhatia, was first free e-mail provider being which was later purchased by Microsoft. Other popular web mail service providers being GMail, Yahoo! Mail and Windows Live Mail.

Enterprise Solutions
Recently there are various companies offering commercial web mail solutions as enterprise solutions, like :

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Net4Domains
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Software Packages :
  1. SquirrelMail: Is a web-based email application written in the PHP scripting language, licensed under the GNU General Public License, and is a free software.
  2. Socket Mail: Is a Commercial web-based email application written in PHP-MySql
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1.2 CMS (Content Management Systems)

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software system used for content management. Content management systems are deployed primarily for interactive use by a potentially large number of contributors. Web content management systems are often used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators' manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures.
Software Packages :

  1. Joomla! is a free, open source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web and intranets.
  2. Mambo (formerly named Mambo Open Source or MOS) is a free software / open source content management system (CMS) for creating and managing websites through a simple web interface.
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1.3 Online Auctions

An Online auction is one in which the seller of the product advertises, usually for a small fee, and interested buyers bid on the said product. The functionality of buying and selling in an auction format is made possible through auction software which regulates the various processes involved.
Online Auctions:

  1. eBay.com: eBay is the worlds largest auction sites on the net.
  2. Amazon.com: A well known online auction site.
  3. Getafreelancer.com: An online reverse auction site for services such as programming and web design.
  4. Guru.com: An online reverse auction site for services.
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Software Packages :
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1.4 Web Forums

An Internet forum is a web application for holding discussions and posting user generated content. Internet forums are also commonly referred to as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, (electronic) discussion groups, discussion forums, bulletin boards, forae (the Latin plural) or simply forums.

Online Forums:

  1. DigitalPoint: Forums is one of the best forums on the net, known for its diversification in topics.
  2. Webmaster World: Forums is another great forum for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other related topics.
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Software Packages :
  1. phpBB is the most widely used Open Source forum solution. The name "phpBB" is an abbreviation of PHP Bulletin Board. It is a free software package under GNU license.
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1.5 Social Communities/ Networking

Social Communities build online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Basic features across various social networking sites are polls, blogs, forums, browse other user pics and user pages.


  1. Orkut: is one of the most famous online Social Communities on the net.
  2. MySpace.com:is an online community which allows users to build their own custom profile page, with CSS style-sheets.
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Software Packages :
  1. Dolphin Smart Community Builder is a free and open source Social Networking system using the PHP scripting language and MySQL database software under the GPL license..
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1.6 Web Directories

A web directory or link directory is a directory on the World Wide Web. It lists web sites by category and subcategory, there by making it easier for end user to search for sites pertaining to the specific category.

Examples of well known, general, web directories are Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory Project (ODP). ODP is significant due to its extensive categorization and large number of listings and its free availability for use by other directories and search engines.

More Directories :

  1. DMoz: The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from directory.mozilla.org, its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.
  2. Yahoo! Directory The Yahoo! Directory is a web directory which rivals the Open Directory Project in size. The directory was Yahoo!'s first offering.
  3. Dir.vc is a General Web directory, with a collection of quality sites. A Mobile ready directory, which one can access though their mobiles.
  4. RipenApples.com is a General Web directory aimed to providing a wide variety of useful and informative resources.
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Software Packages :
  1. phpLinkDirectory or phpLD is one of the best software packages for creating an online directory. Its share volume of user speaks for its robustness.
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