Custom web applications

Each piece is unique
Have web applications programmed

A custom programmed software can be created as a web application, a desktop application or an app for smartphones (iPhone, Android) or tablet computers (iPad, Android tablet). We describe some specifics to consider when custom programming a web application.

Have web applications programmed: A web server is required to run a web application. The web server consists of the server PC hardware, the operating system and the software known as the “web server”. Most web applications currently run on Linux or on Windows.

LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP

A web application running under Linux usually uses the Apache server as web server. If the programming is done with the PHP programming language and a MySQL server is used for data storage, it is called a LAMP system (for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP.

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Microsoft: Windows, IIS, C#

A web application running under Windows usually uses the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) as a web server. This is included in Windows. C# is usually used as the programming language. Data can be stored using the Microsoft SQL Server or another database server that runs under Windows (e.g. MySQL, Oracle). The PHP programming language and the Apache server are also available under Windows and are suitable for programming and operating a web application.

Platform-independent development with .NET Core

Since 2016, Microsoft has also made the new .NET Core Framework available, which enables platform-independent development of web applications. This means that it no longer matters whether a Windows or Linux server is used. The program code can be run on all platforms without any adaptations. This secures your investments in software development for the future.

In addition to Windows and Linux, Apple’s macOS operating system is also supported.

This is of little interest for running a web application in an enterprise environment because Apple does not offer servers. However, developers who prefer to use a Mac instead of a Windows PC will benefit. Together with “Visual Studio for Mac”, Microsoft offers a mature development platform for Apple devotees.

Web applications developed with C# can also be run on the Raspberry Pi thanks to .NET Core. This is particularly interesting in the “Internet of things” (IoT) area.

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Tips for choosing server and programming language

A custom programmed web application should be programmed with either C# or PHP. These are the common programming languages for web applications. This gives the client the greatest possible investment security. If for some reason the developer of the web application becomes unavailable, then it should be easy to find suitable replacements. There are several thousand developers who are proficient in these programming languages.

The application can be run on Linux or on Windows. When selecting the operating system, the guidelines of the in-house IT department are often decisive. In addition, the two operating system platforms differ in terms of licensing costs. It should also be ensured that the web application and data are backed up regularly and that a speedy recovery is possible in the event of a system failure. You can find more information in this article: Individual Software Costs.

We will be happy to advise you in a non-binding consultation on which servers and programming languages are best suited for your project.

Java and JavaScript

Java is a platform-independent programming language that can be used to develop desktop, web, and mobile applications. Similar in name, but of fundamentally different meaning, is JavaScript. This is a scripting language for programming active content. This active content is executed in the browser on the client PCs.

To explain: Normally, the web server generates an HTML page and it is displayed statically in the web browser. The user can enter data and the web page with data is sent back to the server. How these web pages are generated and processed is usually programmed in PHP or C#.

Licenses and hosting

For the operation of a web application, it must first be decided whether it is to be operated in-house or externally. The advantage of in-house operation is that access to the web application can be restricted to the company’s own network. This would then ensure that the web application is not accessible from outside, or only via VPN. This form of operation therefore has a higher security standard.

On the other hand, the requirements for in-house operation are quite high. In addition to the hardware, the Windows operating system and – if required – the database server must be licensed and installed and regularly maintained. This variant is therefore only recommended if know-how for the operation of such an infrastructure is available internally.

It is much easier and often more cost-effective to operate the web application with a so-called provider. There are countless providers who offer a wide variety of configurations. The offer includes physical servers, virtual servers and also the hosting of a single website. When hosting a single website, the web application is located together with other web applications on a server of the provider. This is the most cost-effective form of hosting. All variants can be booked with Linux and Windows. As a rule, the providers offer 24/7 support. The addition of SSL encryption is also usually possible at the push of a button.

Client-side programming and active content

Client-side programming and active content

However, many web applications have active content that is executed client-side. For example, in a folding box, the user can click an arrow and display a box with additional elements. This can be programmed with JavaScript so that the action is executed client-side without using the web server. To do this, a JavaScript program is linked to the HTML page and executed within the web browser environment on the client PC. There are extensive libraries, such as jQuery, that simplify client-side programming. In this way, even the “drag & drop” function can be implemented in web applications.

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