Naturally, I’ve been reflecting about the applications I’ve worked on prior to coming to The Lab, and comparing those applications with what we’ve got here. One of the things that always comes to mind is how the definition of web app can vary so vastly from place to place. I can say I’ve worked on them for the last 10 years, but I think this is the first one that truly fits the bill.
There are many vendors out there touting their software as a web app, but usually this software comes with some of the baggage you’d expect out of an old school client/server application. “One instance per client” apps where client by client upgrades and maintenance scale so poorly that vendors and clients alike spend so much time and money coordinating, the benefits of “access from anywhere” quickly wither away.
True Web Apps should deliver not only on the promise of “access from anywhere”, but also the promise of “update everywhere”. From a consumer’s perspective it’s wonderful to save the worry of coordinating upgrades, from an IT department’s perspective it’s wonderful to get rid of the headache of having to maintain the environment, and from the vendor’s perspective it’s wonderful to have simple deployments of updates. It’s wonderful for all.
So, do you have a web app or do you have a Web App?