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Difference between Windows application and Web application

Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2023
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1. Windows application : 
It is an application that can run on the windows platform. Graphical user interface forms can be created using this. We can create web applications using IDE Microsoft Visual Studio. This can be done using a variety of programming languages such C#, C++, J#, Visual Basic and many more. 

Features of Windows applications:

  • Local installation: Windows applications are installed locally on the user’s computer and run from there.
  • Offline access: Windows applications do not require an internet connection to function, and can be used even when offline.
  • Native UI: Windows applications typically have a native user interface, which means that they are optimized for the specific operating system they are designed for.
  • System integration: Windows applications can integrate with the operating system and other installed software, such as Microsoft Office, to provide additional functionality.

Windows applications on a computer system – 

2. Web application : 
Web application is an application that runs on web browser making use of web server. It makes use of is Microsoft IIS configuration i.e., Internet Information Services (in developing web applications). A variety of web applications using .net can be made. These include many ranging from simple HTML pages to highly interactive business applications. 

Features of Web applications:

  • Internet-based: Web applications are accessed through a web browser and are hosted on a remote server, rather than being installed locally on the user’s computer.
  • Cross-platform: Web applications can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and a web browser, regardless of the operating system.
  • Scalability: Web applications can easily scale to support a large number of users by adding more servers or resources to the backend infrastructure.
  • Instant updates: Web applications can be updated instantly by updating the code on the server, rather than requiring users to manually update the software on their local machines.

Examples of Web applications – 

Similarities between Windows applications and Web applications:

User Interface: Both Windows applications and web applications provide a user interface for users to interact with the software.

Functionality: Both types of applications provide functionality to users, although the specific features and capabilities may differ.

Security: Both Windows applications and web applications require appropriate security measures to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access.

Data storage: Both types of applications require data storage, either locally on the user’s computer or remotely on a server.

Difference between Windows application and web application : 

S. No. Parameters Windows application Web application
1. Installation It is installed in the windows platform using Windows operating system. The web application is installed on a web server.
2. Accessibility It is accessible only from system in which it is installed. It can be accessed from anywhere around world using internet.
3. Build Windows application is easy to build as compared to the Web application. The web application is difficult to build as compared to the Windows application.
4. Execution This application can be directly executed using the operating system on the system. IIS aka Internet Information Services server is needed to run web applications.
5. Platform Dependent It can run only on the Windows platform. For example, VLC Media player running on Windows OS will not run on MacOS and Linux. For that different edition of VLC media player have to be installed. It can run on a variety of platforms including Mac, Linux, Solaris, Android, etc. For example, if you open https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/ on web browser then it will be opened irrespective of the operating system.
6. System Dependency It is specific to bit. If it is designed for 32-bit OS, it will not work for the 64-bit operating system. The web application is independent of the type of system.
7. Validation controls In Windows-based applications data validation is carried out through code as these applications do not possess validation controls. Web-based applications possess validation controls.
8. Internet Windows-based applications may or may not be web dependent. For example, working on MS Word file does not require internet connection but saving a file of MS Word on MS cloud requires internet connectivity. Web applications are purely internet oriented.
9. Security Windows application have better authorization and administrators have more control, making them more secure. Web applications are inherently meant to promote accessibility, so they pose a bigger security risk
10. Upgradation of Application If the Windows application has been updated, each user will need to download the entire update package.  Users do not need to update any files if the application is updated. The server would be in charge of all application updates. The previous versions of the application are not accessible because they are automatically upgraded to the most recent version.
11. Maintenance Maintenance is carried out at the user level in Windows-based applications. Users are not responsible for updating Web-based applications.
12. Cost Windows applications are reasonably priced. To acquire and use the application, users must make a one-time fee. The cost of maintaining a web application is ongoing. The majority of apps have monthly or yearly subscription rates.
13. Deployment In Windows-based applications a new licensed copy is required for the installation on every system. In Web applications, a web browser and an account is require by the user.
14. Performance Windows applications are faster in speed and also exhibits wide range of resource-heavy features. In web applications because of complex processes involved that results in slower speed.
15. Examples Examples: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe ImageReady, Adobe Photoshop, MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint. Examples: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox

Conclusion :

while both Windows applications and web applications serve similar purposes, there are significant differences between the two in terms of deployment, user interface, performance, security, and compatibility. Windows applications are best suited for local computing environments that require high performance and security, while web applications are best suited for distributed computing environments that require accessibility and compatibility.


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