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Web application development

Web Design & Development Guide

Web application development

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Web application development is the process and practice of developing web applications .

Risk

Just as with a traditional desktop application, web applications have varying levels of risk. A personal home page is much less risky than, for example, a stock trading web site. For some projects security, software bugs, etc. are major issues. If time to market, or technical complexity is a concern, documentation, test planning, change control, requirements analysis, architectural description and formal design and construction practices can mitigate risk.

Technologies

  • Ajax
  • ASP
    ASP.NET
  • CSS
  • ColdFusion
    Java EE
    JavaScript
    Perl
    PHP
    Ruby, including Ruby on Rails
    CGI
    ISAPI/NSAPI

Lifecycle Model

Time to market, company-growth and requirements churn, three things that are emphasized in web-based business, coincide with the principles of the Agile practices. Some agile lifecycle models are:

  • Extreme Programming
    Scrum
    Timebox development
    Feature Driven Development

Testing

Like traditional desktop applications, web applications undergo the same unit, integration and system testing. But because web application clients vary so greatly, teams might perform some additional testing, such as:

  • Security
    Performance, Load, and Stress
    HTML/CSS validation
    Accessibility
    Usability

Many types of tests are automatable. At the component level, one of the xUnit packages can be a helpful tool. Or an organization can create its own unit testing framework. At the GUI level, Watir is useful.

Tools

In the case of ASP.NET, a developer can use Microsoft Visual Studio to write code. But, as with most other programming languages, he/she can also use a text editor. Notepad++ is an example.

For PHP, the Zend Development Environment provides numerous debugging tools and provides a rich feature set to make a PHP developer's life easier.

Several code generation tools such as dbQwikSite are available to automate the development of code. Using such tools, non-technical users can produce working code, and experienced coders can accellerate the development cycle.

Other tools include various browsers, FTP clients, etc.

Frameworks and Reuse

Practicing code reuse and using web application frameworks can greatly improve both productivity and time to market (McConnell 1996:537). Reusing externally developed components can allow an organization to reap the above benefits, while potentially saving money. However, for smaller components, it might be just as easy to develop your own components as it would be to learn new APIs. Also, if a component is essential to the business, an organization might want to control its development.

See also

References

  • McConnell, Steve (June 2004). Code Complete, Second Edition. Microsoft Press, 960. ISBN 0-7356-1967-0. 
  • McConnell, Steve (July 2, 1996). Rapid Development. Microsoft Press, 680. ISBN 1-55615-900-5. 
  • Rozanski, Nick; Eóin Woods (April 20, 2005). Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives. Addison-Wesley Professional, 576. ISBN 0-321-11229-6. 
  • Leffingwell, Dean; Don Widrig (May 16, 2003). Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach, Second Edition. Addison-Wesley Professional, 544. ISBN 0-321-12247-X. 

Further reading

  • Whittaker, James A.; Mike Andrews (February 2, 2006). How to Break Web Software: Functional and Security Testing of Web Applications and Web Services. Addison-Wesley Professional, 240. ISBN 0-321-36944-0. 

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