Marco Olimpi

Marco Olimpi

Full Stack Developer
Build a desktop or web app?
  • Desktop App
  • Web App
  • Mobile App
December 10, 2018

Build a desktop or web app?

Many companies, which for various reasons need to develop a software, might wonder if it's better develop a desktop application, the classic application for Windows or Mac, or develop a web application that can be accessed directly from the browser. The advantage of Web applications is that they not depend on a specific operating system and therefore can be run on any computer with a browser. However, they require a more complex and often costly infrastructure. In addition, problems related to IT security are introduced when the server is deployed to external data centers. A desktop software on the other side must be designed for a specific operating system, or developed multiplatform with higher costs. But the result is an application that can also reside on a single computer and that can require much less performance. But there are technologies like Electron, that make possible to use web languages to develop the interface and simplify the distribution on multiple systems. Personally, to understand what is the right choice, I try to understand what the need is. A software that must collect and display data, certainly lends itself more to a web interface. A software that must perform procedures or process data maybe a desktop solution may be more suitable. Cost can also be a decisive factor: web development is certainly more widespread and allows easier costs, but it can require management costs. A desktop software requires a larger investment at the beginning but then its distribution is much simpler. So the first thing to do is to analyze well what our needs are, to understand who the users will be and where they operate. If we already have an infrastructure suitable for the web that we can exploit or if it must be created and above all to evaluate if the internal IT staff have more experience with web or desktop applications as assistance is also an important factor.

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