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Binary Studio 13.12.2011

Web Application Development: Brief Industry Overview


Web application development desperately needs people, many vacancies appear daily on recruiting websites. Well, this strong demand must be met with strong proposal! Binary Studio, a leading outsourcing services provider in Donetsk, Ukraine, is ready to offer its services. Web application development is a cornerstone business activity since 2005. Judging by their history, web apps will evidently be even more popular in the future.

IPhone Web Applications Development

The rise of web development

While networking technologies appeared quite a long time ago, the Web itself was not widely regarded as a viable environment for business solutions and business performance until the last decade of the century. In order to turn a number of global computer networks into a new, virtual world the crucial step of browser implementation was needed. When Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML in 1990, we began to see familiar websites, then the support of multimedia content and finally with the ability to embed applications into websites. Technically, it allowed bigger diversity of data formats to be used, but, in general, brand new markets were discovered, with seemingly endless demand potential for new goods and services.

Since the introduction of the Internet to the masses all over the world in the early 1990’s, a real demand for web applications appeared. And the virtual world desperately needed resources (good content) and infrastructure (technologies to work with it). Each year more and more users, including businesses, governments, households, and associations, realized they needed to be represented on the Internet. And so the web development industry began to thrive.

 

Modern state of the industry

Since the early 1990’s, the Internet has grown through numerous changes. And now today it plays an irreplaceable role in our daily lives. Today the average person in a big city, in a developed country, spends a significant amount of time online every day. In 2010 Pew and Nielsen reported that about 55% of Americans use Internet every day. From this we can expect an even higher percentage in the largest cities such as New York, San Francisco, as well as for large capital cities worldwide.

With this, the age demographics of the world’s Internet user base also changed significantly during the 2010’s. Surveys show that people between 45 and 54 years tend to be one of the major Internet user groups. Evidently, the massive growth of online business is one of the main reasons of this effect. Actually, corporate users create demand in the web applications market.

From the technical side web applications divide into three main groups:

  • Thin Client
  • Rich Internet Applications (or RIA);
  • Rich Client (aka Desktop Client)

Thin Client applications run through browsers where scripts are executed. Most of the data is processed on remote servers with minimal usage of a client’s computer. Connection with servers is performed through the HTTP protocol. Thin Client applications are usually based upon open standards and require no software downloads. The following technologies belong to this group: XHTML, JavaScript, DHTML, and AJAX.

RIAs require some installation and enable more advanced data exchange between clients, including multimedia content, real time validation, remote messaging, etc. They are processed on local computers and require certain plug-ins to be installed in the browsers they run in. This group includes Flash, Active X, Java Applets.

Rich Client applications do not use browsers; they can function offline. They integrate with local hardware and software, utilizing local data processing in order to optimize rich interactions between clients. Their main task is connecting to remote distributed data sources, and to update centers. Java Web Start, and Windows Smart Clients are common examples of such technologies.

The introduction of advanced web technologies provided a large set of vital opportunities for clients. The abilities to exchange multimedia content in real time, capture and process lots of data from remote sources, and to establish secure connections for sending financial and business data made the Internet even more attractive for corporations. On the other hand, the increasing use of enhanced open source tools such as PHP, resulted in a significant increase for business in the web development market.

The following types of web-based solutions are most popular today:

  • E-commerce: Numerous online shops continue to appear each day as more and more people find it easier and cheaper to buy things online. With this, many entrepreneurs prefer to build unique e-shops – and that means additional work for web developers.
  • Social networking: The huge growth of popularity of international social networks influenced further development of these concepts. And now today, many organizations today choose to create inner employee networks for cooperation and sharing.
  • Business Intelligence and CRM: Online CRM Client Relationship Management, and BI Business Intelligence tools, are very effective for real-time business analytics and management, especially for large distributed organizations.
  • SaaS: ‘Software-as-a-Service’ as a concept, grows in popularity; it’s more convenient for both users and service providers. And many software producers today choose to move their solutions to the Cloud.
  • Online gaming is perhaps one of the most quickly growing (and certainly most profitable) sectors today. Browser-based MMORPG’s Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game’s not only grow in popularity among younger users but affect more and more age categories today. The reason is the social aspect of gaming: Games provide lots of extra possibilities for communication and socializing.

Web Applications Social Networking Ecommerce

The industry’s evolution is also influenced by the geographic division of labor. USA, a leading pioneer in networking technologies, naturally produces most ideas and trends for modern web development industry, with Western Europe being its closest rival. As for the practical implementation, it’s being done all over the world. Web application projects (as well as custom software development projects) are widely outsourced to China, India, as well as to Eastern Europe which is especially popular for English speaking countries, and Western Europe corporations as a nearshore outsourcing zone.

Outsourcing is going to thrive as long as living standards vary in different regions. Given that a developer’s salary at home was somewhere about 60,000 USD in 2010 and for an offshore programmer it should be less than 45,000 USD, it is no wonder that employers from North America, Western Europe and ANZ region were anxious about outsourcing their projects and remain so today.

 

Possible trends of the nearest future

During the 2010s Web applications are likely to overgrow the traditional software solutions in importance as more and more providers migrate to the Cloud. Virtual clusters of servers, sharing their computing resources and memory, have many advantages due to their dynamic structure.  For example, there is no need to put all servers in the same building, so the problems of data backup and crash resistance are easier to solve. Besides, it is quite unlikely for several computers in remote locations to shut down at the same time. Finally, any number of new machines could be added to a dynamic cluster any time.

The amount of outsourcing in the web development (as well as custom software development) industry will quite possibly grow. While earlier India and China dominated in this sector, now some other regions begin gaining importance. One of these places is Eastern Europe, which already serves as a convenient nearshore outsourcing zone for such countries as Germany, France, Netherlands etc.

Eastern Europe countries, especially post-Soviet countries with their high level of science and technology education, and industrial development, provide the best quality/price ratio. These former Soviet Union countries benefit from the high level of technical skills and strong education systems. This, and the lower cost of living, brings relatively lower costs and developer fees. And the Western world enjoys relationships with companies in Eastern Europe because of a culture and mentality much closer to the Western world, and because the English language is widespread among the developers.

So the growing demand of services in the web development market is going to be met by an increasing business market. And that means further success for industry.

 

Want to know more?

Binary Studio has great experience with web application development, having successfully accomplished a number of projects, for many years. We have produced all the types of web-based solutions listed above. Binary Studio is ready to help when you’re interested in offshore web app developers. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or to join discussions in our blog!

 

Michael T., technical analyst

Binary Studio