Web application consulting development services

Spot Solutions provides a comprehensive range of web application development services including:

  • Requirements Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Documentation
  • Deployment
  • Training
  • Support and Maintenance

Web applications are a positive choice because they:

  • Centralize data and application software
  • Reduce support costs
  • Provide better security via backup, redundant systems and firewalls
  • Simplify user access via standard browsers
  • Improve user experience
  • Reduce IT costs
  • Allow access to information from anywhere, anytime

 

More than Just a Website

Web applications are the most common forms of software applications these days due to the advanced capabilities of standard browsers, LANs, WANs, and the internet. Combined with the increased demand for connecting with dispersed staff, customers, vendors, and the public, web applications are often the right choice.

A web application delivers software functionality over a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Custom software is developed specifically for your business needs - from data management and customized reporting tools to security and authentication. Because it is delivered over a web browser from a centralized server, custom software is easy to maintain—no more expensive and disruptive software roll-outs every time you need to upgrade to a new version of the software; the latest version is always delivered automatically when users access the tools via their web browser.

For Business Efficiency

Although web applications are delivered to users via a web browser, it is important to realize that they are much more than just a website which shows information about your business. The custom web application that we will build for you is comprised of several different pieces:

  1. A user interface - a portal through which you can interact with your data: analyze it, update it, and generate customized reports from it.
  2. Behind the interface is a database that efficiently stores your data, and
  3. A powerful application that processes your commands, accesses your data, and presents the results to you via the web interface.

Because the database and the application reside on a centralized server, a web application ensures that everyone in your organization is working with the same information. It also enables routine business processes to be automated. For example, when a sales rep in a retail operation updates a customer’s contact information, the advertising team’s mailing list is updated too. If a mechanic in an automotive shop uses a spare part to repair a customer’s vehicle, that part is automatically added to the customer’s invoice and to a purchase order sent to an auto-parts supplier to replenish the shop’s inventory. Done manually, this kind of repetitive, time-consuming task is inefficient and ultimately expensive.

 

 

Web Applications vs. Conventional Software Packages

More and more organizations are adopting web applications into their business environments. With web applications, there is no complex roll-out of software - no need to uninstall and reinstall the software on every user’s computer in your organization every time you need to upgrade. When new features are added to the web application on the server, users see them automatically when they access the tools via their web browser. What’s more, every user sees exactly the same thing. Nobody has slightly different functionality because they are using a different operating system; nobody is working with an old and outdated version of the application.

This can streamline your operations and facilitate consistency in your business processes. Unfortunately, it can also sacrifice usability and the quality of the user experience. With a web application, there is little opportunity for individual users to customize the web interface for their own needs or preferences, or to mold the application to their individual ways of working. Our best practices for software development mitigate this risk by ensuring that we know what these needs are and that the correct decision is made between a thin client vs a thick/rich client solution.

Unlike conventional software packages installed on individual PCs or laptops, web applications can function on any platform—Windows, Mac, Linux, you name it. Web applications reside on a centralized server and provide an interface to users via a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome. As long as the user interface is designed correctly for the browsers you intend to use (and our design practices make sure that it is) the web application will work on your Windows laptop and on your colleague’s MacBook—no need for multiple versions of the software. What’s more, you can access the web application from any computer, anywhere there is an Internet connection, any time you need it.

There are, of course, some concerns in all of this. Security is obviously a big one. Some people mistakenly believe that a web-based application must be open to the general public, but this is not the case. In most cases the web application is accessible only within an organization—you must have access to the organization’s Local Area Network (LAN) before you have access to the web application. Another concern is availability: if your Internet connection or the centralized server goes down, you can’t access your application. If you have your own robust server and Internet connection, you may decide that this risk is minimal. Alternatively, we can host your web application on our enterprise-level hosting servers in a Tier 1 hosting facility that features a direct connection to the Internet backbone and state-of-the-art backup power and climate control systems. Our servers are protected by an enterprise firewall featuring security packet, integrated intrusion detection, and stateful inspection. We offer application-level traffic screening, smart application filters, advanced authentication, and secure server publishing where required, and we are fully PCI compliant. When we host your web application, you can be sure that it will be safe, secure, and available when you need it.

 

 

Service-Oriented Architectures

Imagine that you are a guest in an upscale hotel. You can make use of any number of services provided by the hotel. You might ask a valet to retrieve your car from the garage, order a meal from room service, or request a wake-up call from the front desk. These services are not exclusive to you: any of the guests in the hotel might call on any of the services, and each guest’s request will be fulfilled independently of any other guest’s request.

Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) extend this idea of services into software development. In an SOA, a service is a small, stand-alone software module that performs a specific task—similar to the valet or the room service in a hotel. A software service might update an employee’s information in a database or convert a sale price from one currency to another. As in the hotel, these services operate independently of one another (room service delivers your meal without asking the valet to get your car from the garage) and can be accessed by any number of “guests”—application software, in this case, that implements particular business processes. An SOA-based sales application for a retail operation, for example, might implement a customer sale by calling on services that retrieve the customer’s address information, check the customer’s payment history, and send a shipping order to a warehouse. These services can also be used by other applications implementing other business processes—for example, a marketing/advertising application might call the service that retrieves a customer’s address to generate mailing lists for flyers or other advertising materials.

SOA lets us integrate your existing software tools into a single web application that coordinates and streamlines business processes across your organization, using shared data so that everyone is working with up-to-date, accurate information. An SOA-based web application means no more disparate, isolated processes; no more silos of information; no more redundant procedures that waste everyone’s time and cut into your organization’s efficiency.