As a leader of an organisation, creating a web application can deliver various benefits, such as enhanced marketing, streamlined team collaboration, automated document creation, and better customer support. However, before beginning the development process, it is crucial to understand the steps involved, whether you opt for an in-house team or an external company like Works. Having this knowledge equips you to manage the project with greater ease and confidence.
Web applications are online tools for databases and data manipulation, available through the Internet. They serve various purposes, such as customer service, online shopping, accounting, and research. To utilise these applications, users only need to log into the corresponding website via their web browser and create a user account.
Acquiring thorough knowledge of web application development is possible by understanding the employed processes and the reasoning behind them. By doing so, you can better contribute to projects at every stage of the development cycle by providing valuable feedback and input.
Explain and Outline
Web application development commences with identifying a problem, gathering relevant data, and determining the best course of action to take, thus allowing the project to progress towards its objectives. An essential part of this process includes clarifying the application’s purpose and goals.
To develop a successful app, it is vital for developers to identify the intended users, whether it be internal employees or external customers, and understand their requirements. If the product is for the audience’s use, involving them in the planning process can be valuable. Additionally, to ensure that the application stands out amidst competition, research into the market for similar apps is necessary.
During the planning phase, developers typically aim to address the following concerns:
- How can the application address the stated issue with appropriate behaviour?
- What will be the precise characteristics and functions of the application?
- What materials should be provided for construction?
After defining the requirements, the assigned developers will choose a development environment, platform, and framework that is suitable for the project’s complexity and scope, while balancing it with cost-effectiveness. They will collaborate with you to set attainable milestones and objectives to guide the web application’s development.
Organise and Implement
To clearly convey the solution to end-users during the design phase, a wireframe or prototype is developed. Designers will concentrate on achieving user satisfaction by identifying what would create a positive user experience throughout the interaction.
After presenting the wireframe to prospective users, developers will gather feedback, make the necessary modifications, and then present the final product to the public. For greater insight into wireframing and its application in website and application construction, please refer to the following video:
Upon finishing the design phase, software development can begin, during which several tasks will be completed:
Create a data repository.The proper functioning of the application is dependent on developers identifying the necessary data and data types, and then storing them in a database.
Front-end coding.During this phase, developers will design the front-end of the application using components that were approved by users during the wireframing phase.
Backend system architecture.Developers will establish a system that allows for communication between the user and the server.
As a programmer seeking to develop a web application, it is recommended that you acquaint yourself with the pros and cons of developing from scratch versus using pre-existing frontend and backend frameworks. This will provide you with a better understanding of decisions made by other developers and allow you to confidently make informed choices while designing your own application.
Developing from scratch and coding
- Provides the greatest flexibility.
- Requires more time to complete
- Demands a high level of expertise and knowledge.
- An extremely potent library for developing user interfaces
- Ideal for large-scale projects
- It is more concise and less daunting compared to React.
- Appropriate for projects of various sizes
- Straightforward to integrate into existing projects
- To utilize a compiler in place of a framework
- Easiest to pick up intuitively
- Suitable for websites that are moderately complex and have a few hundred users
- Inconclusive with significant application sizes
- Ruby on Rails (written in Ruby)
- Advantageous for metaprogramming and web development with a strong emphasis on databases.
- Best suited for smaller tasks
- Django (written in Python)
- Suitable for scientific computing and data manipulation
- Laravel (written in PHP)
- Incorporates a vast range of resources
- Straightforward and user-friendly
- Flexible enough to suit a wide range of software
Evidence and Implementation
The software development life cycle (SDLC) is an ongoing process that necessitates continuous quality assurance (QA) tests for any web application. These tests can be automated or manually performed by the QA team and will involve rigorous testing to ensure that the software is working as designed without any glitches. This testing evaluates the software’s functionality, usability, compatibility, security, and performance, while also identifying potential future improvements or opportunities for enhancement.
After testing has been completed and the application has been verified as functional, it is time to integrate it into your business or release it to the public. It is extremely advantageous to deploy the application to your employees and train them on how to use it efficiently, as this will allow you to fully utilise its potential within your organisation. To guarantee the success of the customer-facing application, it is crucial to create a comprehensive marketing plan and carefully determine the ideal time to launch it.
Host and Maintain
Obtaining a domain name and choosing a web host provider are the first tasks in setting up a server environment for the software. There are several hosting options to choose from, including cloud hosting, shared hosting, and dedicated hosting, where you would have complete access to a single server (which is usually made up of multiple, interconnected servers).
The subsequent components constitute application upkeep following implementation:
- Continuous quality assurance testing
- Resolving issues as they occur
- Enhancements inspired by user feedback
- Technical assistance and upkeep
Preparation for Programmers: Learning the Web Application Development Process
Your company may be contemplating an in-house or outsourced web application development endeavour. If you comprehend the process and the rationale behind why it should be conducted in a specific manner, you will be better equipped to offer valuable insights and inputs at the appropriate junctures and locations.