Custom Software Development since 1984 and Web Application Development since the rise of the Web.
This is not the place for a full history of Web Application Development but a few comments might be helpful for those who are new to the lingo. Otherwise click on links to the right for our capabilities in the different types of programming languages used to develop on the web.
A web application is a computer program that runs in a browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. The original purpose of browsers was to display "HTML1 documents". These are simply text files that have “tags” enclosed in brackets to tell the browser how to render the text or item which is to be displayed.
For example <strong>Emphasize this</strong>) tells the browser to put the phrase “Emphasize this” in a bold font. A pure HTML document (which usually has the “extension” .html or .htm appended to its name) directs the browser to display a static document such as the page that you are now reading.
Static web pages take you only so far and if it is desired to have the web page access a database and react to user input then an internet language is needed.
One class of internet languages is one in which the computer code is simply typed into the HTML document and separated from the display code by yet another type of tag. As the browser reads the document from top to bottom it alternately displays the HTML segments or runs the computer code that it encounters.
Cambria wrote its first Web Applications in the late 1990s using Microsoft’s recently released Active Server Pages (ASP), now known as “Classic ASP”. In this scheme the code that is embedded in the HTML page is usually VBScript.
The type of coding described above can become quite difficult to maintain as code is mixed with display instructions. In a large web application it can become difficult to read, especially as the program evolves and numerous changes are made to the program.
ASP is still used and if it works there is no particular need to change it. However, since the advent of Microsoft’s .Net framework a web program would more likely written in ASP.Net which enables the code section of the program to be separated from the display and as a result makes the code easier to read and maintain.
Other popular tools for developing web apps are PHP, Perl, and Cold Fusion. Cambria web developers have significant experience in all of them.
1 HTML stands for the rather grand sounding phrase Hypertext Markup Language. It is one of a class of "Markup Languages” that use symbols to explain how to present, describe, or instruct machines on how to read the text in question. XML is a well known example of a markup language or set of rules to encode a document so that it is machine readable.