Three types of applications are possible on the Internet: applications using a browser only, applications using a browser with plug-in, and applications not using a browser.
Applications using only a browser are simple HTTP applications that may utilize the AJAX framework to provide a presentation suitable to meet the needs of the business.
Most web applications fall into this category.
And though these applications may have a rich user interface, they are limited in their ability to support multimedia content.
Plug-in provide the additional support and enhance the functionality of the browser.
Adobe Flash and Java Applets are examples of plug-ins.
These some functional programs are not restricted to web application use: many can be found in traditional desktop applications as well.
Microsoft Office utilizes a number of plug-ins to expand on the basic functionality of its office productivity core.
In the same manner, applications can be developed that utilize the Internet without utilizing the World Wide Web.
These types of applications do not use a browser to access the application but a separate interface designed specifically for the application.
The rise and advancement of mobile technology has also given rise to hybrids of all these solutions; for instance, some core applications may be browser based when connect to the Web at a computer, but rely on a non-browser application to retrieve information feeds from a phone or PDA. Applying Control to Web Application Offerings Whether a company has decided to develop a web application for internal use or to market that application for use by other companies, there is still a need for control over the infrastructure and support of the application.
To properly support a web application, process and procedures must be developed to handle any number of situations that may arise during the life of product.
Though many methodologies may exist to assist the company in supporting the application, the first recommendation is to find a method that is recognizable and its use is encouraged as a standard.
Specifically for applications that are used in institutions of finance, health, and government, the regulations surrounding IT support are extensive and are in place to ensure availability, confidentiality, and integrity of the systems.
One of the increasingly recognized methods is ITIL. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a series of books covering the each major topic of IT management under Service Support and Delivery.
Rather than being a methodology of instructions and how to, it is a framework of concepts and policies for managing the infrastructure, development and operations of information technology.
The practices that it entails are considered best practices for supporting IT and include components such as checklists, tasks, and procedures that can be tailored by any IT organization.
Certification in ITIL by an organization means that their IT processes adhere to the concepts and policies provided by ITIL.
From a business perspective, ITIL certification is a marketing advantage because it provides a foundation for understanding the positioning of the IT focus for both the customer and the supplier. Within the subject of developing web applications, there are two directions that can be taken when approaching the topic ITIL.
The first approach is the ensuring that the infrastructure supporting the application is ITIL compliant.
The second is the creation of web applications that allow the management of the infrastructure using ITIL concepts and policies.
Almost immediately the lines seemed to blur between the approaches, but they are distinct.
The key to the distinction is the web application that needs to be supported.
If the application is based on supporting IT management, there is definitely a blur, but not all web applications support the management of IT.
Some support the financial aspect of the business, others the supply chain, others the customer relationship, human resources, or project management. Unfortunately in almost every example listed here and others that were possible, some form of IT can be found that manages these business functions or need to be managed itself.
So to make the distinction very clear, let’s use an application that has the least amount of IT management requirements attached to it at least from a business perspective, the online game.
A game is built on an infrastructure comprises of hardware, software, and network components.
To support the success of the game, the infrastructure needs to be managed.
This is the first approach.
In order to successfully manage the infrastructure used by the game a series of process and procedures are developed. To make the management of these processes and procedures more effective and efficient, a set of tools are created to support them.
To these tools automation is added, as well as reporting mechanisms for understanding the current condition of the infrastructure.
This set of tools eventually become a suite of applications sued to manage the infrastructure used to support the game.
This is the second approach and does not take into much account the reason for the infrastructure, the game, but rather the processes and procedures for the infrastructure. Where the distinctions tend to complicate themselves is when the game is actually an application for a specific IT solution, like incident management.
Now you have the incident management application, the infrastructure supporting incident management, and the process and procedures supporting the infrastructure which will include incident management and may in fact be using the same application it’s supporting. Using ITIL In Web Applications As mentioned, ITIL is a series of books covering every major topic of IT management.
Since its inception, the library grew to over 30 volumes.
The release of ITIL version 3 consolidated the volumes into five core titles:
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