How are Web Applications Different from Cloud Applications?

Most people think that web applications and cloud applications are the same as both are accessed through the Internet. In reality, they are not same and there are some notable differences between the two. This article gives brief definitions of web applications, cloud applications and differences between them.

Application: An application is a set of software programs developed to perform an operation.

There are different types of applications like web applications, mobile applications, desktop applications, cloud applications, etc. But our emphasis is more on web applications and cloud applications.

Web application

  • A Web application is one that is available for the user on the web and accessed with the help of internet connection.
  • Web applications are retrieved from web server through web browser.
  • Web applications are developed by using client side scripting (languages used for coding are Java, HTML, etc. ) and the server side scripting (languages used for coding are ASP, PHP, etc.).
  • The Web browser through which users request for web page depends on the web server to respond users’ request.
  • Examples for web applications are banking application, online shopping application, etc.

Cloud Application

  • Cloud application is an application available for a user on cloud (cloud computing) and accessed through internet connection. Cloud application is usually referred as “cloud service”.
  • Cloud application is the service, that is stored on cloud and provided by the service provider to the user through internet.
  • Cloud application can be accessed from cloud through web application. But, it does not mean that the cloud application is entirely dependent on the web application. Cloud applications can also be accessed from some built-in interfaces of some devices also.
  • Information of an application is stored on the cloud. It can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Cloud applications are so versatile and meet the requirements of many organizations/users.
  • By using cloud application, different cloud services available on the cloud can be accessed.
  • Some examples of cloud applications are Dropbox(storage service), email, sharefile, etc.

All cloud applications can be called as a web application but not all web applications are cloud applications. All web applications cannot be called or treated as cloud applications, because, an application to be called as a cloud application should have two important requirements. They are

  1. An application should support virtualization technology.
  2. A cloud application should be versatile to support or meet the requirements of large number of clients.

In simple terms, we can understand it as, “any web application which supports multi-tenancy and virtualization is called a cloud application.”

Most of the software vendors are making a move to launch the web applications as cloud applications as cloud computing is becoming more popular day by day. There is no doubt and it is agreeable if someone predicts that all web applications will convert to cloud applications in mere future. This is also helpful for the users as cloud applications are cheaper, easy to maintain and easily available.