Now that we've finally broken free from the restrictions of dial up internet access, we have the ability to break free from "Application Software". Software installed on a single computer or on a single local network used to be the only way we could digitize certain business or personal tasks. Accounting, banking, client management, inventory management etc. was done first by hand (pen and paper), then eventually software companies like Microsoft developed spreadsheets and word processors and what not.
Many restrictions with software have been lifted by web application programming. Software companies always charge you for end user licenses, or simply put, how many computers you need to put the software on. They also require you to upgrade from time to time and the biggest restriction of them all is "What you see is what you get." This basically means that if you don't use some parts or certain functions of the software, you still need to pay for them.
Web application programming is much more affordable than most people would think. In the past, an average small business owner couldn't possibly afford to have their own personal software developer, but this isn't always the case with web apps. The technology for developing websites has come a long way in recent years. A good web programmer can create a highly functional custom web app for you rather quickly.
Let's say you have a specialty business that requires a special way to track a very unique inventory, like storage containers spread out over a 300 mile radius, for example. A web app could be created to do exactly that. It could track inventory locations, provide status reports, and even interact with your clients for payments or ordering purposes. This app could contain the exact pieces of information you require, like unit numbers and leasing dates, etc.
You could specify exactly what you want it to do and what you want it to look like. Try to find a piece of commercial software that was designed specifically for your business, and you're probably going to come up short. An application like this one may cost less than a thousand dollars in development time to create and the best part is you can access it from any computer, anywhere in the world, that has internet access. No end user fees, meaning you can have as many people as you want using the app. No annual upgrades or unnecessary functions – just the meat and potatoes of what you need to operate efficiently.
I have yet to see any business function that a web app couldn't be created for. We built a web app to replace the payroll software for tracking the team's hours for specific clients. The same app could be used in any business that has hourly employees or needs to track billable hours. A commercial software program that does this probably isn't a good investment, when you can put it on the web for a fraction of the cost.
Client management systems and trace files are a great candidate for web apps because they won't require synchronization like the old software versions did. Medical and legal transcribers have found the power and efficiency of web apps. They create an account for each of their doctors or lawyers, who then upload a digital audio file to a secure website, the website sends the transcriber an email notifying them that Doctor Joe or Sam Attorney requires a transcribed file. The transcriber then does their thing and uploads the transcribed document into the web app, which in turn notifies the Doctor's or Lawyer's office manager via email that a transcribed document is ready to download. The old way required a courier or a FedEx package coming and going. Those costs are now eliminated and there is no turn around time for delivery. It's instantaneous.
The banking industry has taken full advantage of web apps. I have never set foot in my bank – ever! I opened the account online. I bank online and pay my bills online. Insurance companies, and even our governments, have stepped into the web app world as well. Whether a small business or a large business with a small need, you can benefit from this revolutionary technology.
The future of business tools and aids is definitely in web application programming. If you can think it, a good web developer can program it.