Web Application vs Web Services
Summary: Difference Between Web Application and Web Services is that Web application, or Web app, is a Web site that allows users to access and interact with software from any computer or device that is connected to the Internet. While Web services describe standardized software that enables programmers to create applications that communicate with other remote computers over the Internet or over an internal business network.
A Web application, or Web app, is a Web site that allows users to access and interact with software from any computer or device that is connected to the Internet. Users often interact with Web applications directly at the Web site, referred to as the host, through their Web browser. Some Web sites, however, require you download the software to your local computer or device. Web application hosts often store users’ data and information on their servers. Some Web applications provide users with an option of storing data locally on their own personal computer or mobile device.
Many Web application hosts provide free access to their software, such as Google Docs. Others, such as Google Earth, offer part of their Web application free and charge for access to a more comprehensive program. Some Web applications allow you to use the Web application free and pay a fee when a certain action occurs. For example, you can prepare your tax return free, but if you elect to print it or file it electronically, you pay a minimal fee.
Experts often use the term Web 2.0 to describe Web applications. Recall that Web 2.0 refers to Web sites that provide users with a means to share personal information, allow users to modify Web site content, and/or have application software built into the site for visitors to use.
Web services describe standardized software that enables programmers to create applications that communicate with other remote computers over the Internet or over an internal business network. Businesses are the primary users of Web services because this technology provides a means for departments to communicate with each other, suppliers, vendors, and with clients. For example, third-party vendors can use Web services to communicate with their online retailer’s Web site to manage their inventory levels. Web services often provide content for mashups.
A mashup is a Web application that combines services from two or more sources, creating a new application. An e-commerce business, for example, might determine the address of its closest retail store from its Web site and combine (mash) the location with a map from a travel and mapping Web site to provide the Web site visitor with driving directions.