The Myth Of Web Based Applications

The Myth Of Web Based Applications

The Myth of​ Web Based Applications
Everyday we get calls from staffing companies asking about web based systems .​
My response is​ always Why web based? Most often, the​ caller does not have a​ firm answer .​
Typical responses are Isn’t that what everybody’s doing? or​ I​ don’t want to​ make a​ large investment or​ I​ don’t want to​ be responsible for​ my own network .​
This underscores the​ general misunderstanding of​ the​ platform, and​ what its relative strengths and​ weaknesses happen to​ be .​
When choosing a​ staffing software system it’s important to​ understand how the​ system is​ going to​ be used and​ to​ select a​ platform that will deliver the​ best and​ most cost efficient results .​
The following is​ a​ discussion of​ some of​ the​ main benefits that web based systems tout, some of​ the​ compromises one has to​ live with in​ order to​ use them and​ a​ review of​ the​ principal alternative .​
Web based systems can be run from anywhere that has access to​ the​ internet.
This is​ true, but it​ is​ not the​ exclusive domain of​ web based systems .​
Pretty much any system can be run using the​ internet as​ a​ connection conduit .​
Microsoft has included a​ capability in​ their Windows operating system called Terminal Services that enables users to​ access applications on the​ Windows network via the​ internet .​
Conclusion: No clear cut advantage.
I won’t have to​ maintain my own network .​

This is​ only true if​ every user has a​ personal internet connection .​
In most offices, many users connect to​ the​ same line .​
In order for​ everyone to​ access the​ shared resource, a​ network must exist .​
Most likely they will need file sharing, e-mail and​ print services locally .​
Therefore, some network administration will be required .​
Firewalls, virus protection and​ some kind of​ local expertise are crucial .​
Most importantly, a​ back-up routine is​ still required .​
Conclusion: No advantage .​
You still have to​ do all the​ network admin stuff anyway .​
In addition, there’s someone between you and​ your most valuable asset (your data) .​
Should a​ dispute ever arise, someone would be in​ position to​ cut your company off from its life’s blood.
The user interface is​ easier to​ learn since it’s like a​ web page .​

With any system the​ designer has to​ create the​ methods and​ workflows .​
They will be forced to​ use conventions, abbreviations, icons and​ other devices as​ they attempt to​ get the​ most functionality per inch of​ screen space possible .​
The user will still have to​ learn how the​ system works and​ get used to​ its specific rhythms .​
And while it​ is​ true that many people are familiar with how to​ navigate web pages, the​ same can be said of​ Windows applications .​
In fact, Windows programs generally adhere more rigorously to​ a​ set of​ standards than web based programs tend to .​
Conclusion: No advantage .​
There will still be a​ learning curve and​ a​ training requirement to​ effectively use these softwares .​

What they’re not telling you:
1 .​
Web based systems run through a​ web browser .​
This means that the​ user interface is​ constrained by the​ limits of​ the​ browser itself .​
The browser will limit the​ number of​ records that can be open at​ a​ time, will force more data integrity responsibility on the​ user and​ often experience long repainting delays.
2 .​
Web based systems, or​ just about any system delivered through an​ ASP are significantly more expensive .​
This is​ a​ classic rent vs .​
buy decision .​
If your company has 10 system users and​ you have to​ pay $199 per month per user, that’s a​ $1,990 per month outlay .​
This is​ the​ equivalent of​ purchasing a​ $60,000 system (based on a​ 36 month, $1 buyout lease) .​
There aren’t many systems that charge $6,000 per user .​
This is​ exorbitantly expensive.
The best alternative:
This is​ easy .​
Windows based (client/server) systems answer all of​ the​ questions raised above .​
These systems can be delivered to​ diverse and​ remote users via the​ web; run on the​ same basic network (with the​ addition of​ SQL Server) that satisfies the​ rest of​ our needs; have exceeding rich user interfaces – generally offering many more features; are easy to​ learn and​ usually out perform systems running through a​ web browser .​
They also provide a​ much more bang for​ the​ buck .​
Having your database in​ your office isn’t necessarily bad, as​ it​ remains under your control .​
What’s more, these systems are generally more mature and​ therefore offer a​ far greater range of​ features and​ are typically more stable .​
All this translates into a​ better, more cost effective computing experience for​ your company .​
After all, you’re not in​ this to​ support the​ technology; you expect the​ technology to​ support you.

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