Web Application Development
Developing productive, engaging, secure web applications with cross-browser compatibility and a responsive design is our speciality.
People’s working hours are no longer 9 – 5, Monday to Friday. They expect to be able to work and access information from a company when they need if from wherever they are; a web app offers companies a flexible, cost-effective way to meet this need. From a streamlined version of your internal system to increase the efficiency of remote or travelling employees, to an interactive tool to help build brand loyalty with your customers; a web app can deliver.
What is a web app
A web app is a software program that you use with an internet browser, in the same way that a mobile app is a software program that you use on your mobile device.
The last few years have seen a proliferation of web apps. Their popularity is most likely due to their ease of use: they’re accessible by anyone with a browser connected to the internet, they cater to the needs of mobile users (important as smartphones are now the main way that people access the internet), and they can be deployed quickly and with almost no installation needed from the user.
How we can help you
Whether you need an internal web application to help manage staff expenses, a web app that you can re-sell to your clients or one that’ll revolutionise your customer service, we’ll work with you to quickly and intelligently build a powerful, intuitive web app that your target audience will want to use.
From there, it’s a simple process that starts with us sitting down with you to understand your business, what your new app needs to be able to deliver and to whom. If you’d like us to, we’ll also suggest a few of our own ideas – we love coming up with fresh solutions that really make the technology work hard! Possible options include:
- a hosted web app with a remote, local, synchronised or multi-tenanted database back-end
- a mix of hosted front-end, back-end and supplier/client portal systems
- a web app that includes a comprehensive CRM back-end
- a web app that compliments a new website or your existing one
- a web app that’s integrated with a back-end payment processing system (we’re a Sage Pay partner)
As an example, we’ve created web apps that:
- enable users to add new fields, define drop-down boxes, create new forms and generate custom-reports as required
- automate day-to-day administration, including processing data, billing, reporting, printing and maintenance
- take daily data feeds from multiple databases to ensure the app always uses correct, up-to-date customer information
- use visual cues – such as a percentage bar to show progress, and colour to highlight incomplete data fields
- contain in-built self-help functions to limit the number of enquiries received
- use permissions according to an individual’s role and access rights
- are e-commerce enabled – allowing you to take payments
- provide comprehensive and visually intuitive reports and charts
No off-the-shelf package could have offered us this edge. DCSL’s agile approach to development allowed us full involvement in the specification of the system – and the ability to refine this as we went and deliver something powerful yet very cost-effective. Read more.
Responsive web applications
As you’d expect, all the web applications we build are “responsive”. This means they look great and work perfectly on any screen size: a desktop pc, tablet or mobile phone. We do this by adapting menus, controls and other visuals to fit the device based on the current screen width & height, ensuring the user always gets the best possible experience regardless of what device they’re using. You can see this in action by resizing the window on this website or visiting it on your smartphone – see how everything “just works”.
Benefits of a web app
Generally speaking, the benefits of a web app over a native mobile app are:
- ‘Discoverability’ – because web apps appear in the results pages of search engines, they are much easier for people to find than Mobile Apps which you have to visit an App store to find.
- Installation – rather than having to visit an App Store and download an app which takes up storage space, a web-app can be found via search and bookmarked without taking up space on your device.
- Flexibility – Unlike a mobile app, a web app isn’t device-specific, it can be viewed on a mobile, tablet or desktop PC.
Web apps do of course have limitations, such as the inability to access the complete range of device-specific features – if you want certain features in your app, e.g. the ability to tell which direction you’re facing in a compass app (for which you’ll need the phone’s accelerometer), you’ll need a mobile app.
You also can’t use a web app if you don’t have an internet connection, although browser caching does offer the possibility of offline functionality. Web apps are also slower to load than mobile apps.
If you’re not sure what type of business app you need, we’re happy to talk you through the pros and cons of each and help you decide which makes the most sense for your objectives, audience and budget. It may be that a mixture of both mobile and web app functionality would work best for you; in these cases, we can offer a hybrid of the two.
Web app technology and development process
As a Microsoft Partner, we primarily use Microsoft tools to build our customers’ web apps.
We can also work with MySQL systems and Oracle, if preferred.
We know that trying to visualise your finished web app is a big ask, so from early on in the project, we’ll create a prototype that we’ll update throughout the process. This enables you and other stakeholders to ‘play’ with the app along the way and flag any design or functionality that isn’t quite right.
After your web app is live
Once we’ve delivered your web app, we’ll:
- Fully transfer the Intellectual Property (IP) Rights to you.
- offer full training on your web app, on site or at our offices in Farnborough and London. Our web apps are intuitive, so you shouldn’t need it, but it’s there if you’d like it
- provide an optional ongoing support service, including an agreed service level agreement (SLA) and access to our in-house developers via our help desk
- offer optional hosting, we’ve heavily invested in a secure, scalable and lightning fast infrastructure with industry leaders, Rackspace – it’s a handy service if you’d rather not get involved with installing specialist server hardware
For more information on all the things that we offer as part of our service, take a look at our Working With Us page.
If you’d like to have a chat about whether your business could benefit from a web app, give our team a call on 020 3096 6199.