Server-side programming powers the client-side programming and is used to create the scripts that web applications use. Scripts can be written in multiple scripting languages such as Ruby, Java, and Python. Server-side scripting will create a custom interface for the end-user and will hide the source code that makes up the interface.
A database such as MySQL or MongoDB can be used to store data in web application development.
Web applications will have a large amount of information that may contain mistakes, so the testing process for web applications tend to be more in-depth than other forms of software. Web application development tests may include security, performance, load, stress, accessibility, usability and quality assurance tests. Other tests that can be performed for web applications include HTML/CSS validation or cross-browser tests. Many of these tests can and should be automated whenever possible.
Helpful web application development tools include:
Bootstrap: an automation framework that manages HTML and CSS.
VS Native and Hybrid Apps
Web applications are sometimes contrasted with native apps and hybrid apps. Native apps are applications that are developed specifically for a particular platform or device and installed on that device. Native apps can use device-specific hardware, such as GPS or cameras. Native apps typically have an advantage in functionality over the web or hybrid apps.
Hybrid apps are a combination of native and web apps. The inner workings of a hybrid application are similar to a web application but are installed similar to how a native app would be. Hybrid applications have access to internal APIs which can access device-specific resources similar to (but not as efficiently as) a native application. For example, native apps are faster and perform more efficiently because native apps are designed to be platform-specific. Hybrid apps have the same navigational elements as web apps since hybrid apps are based on web applications. Additionally, there is no off-line mode for hybrid applications.