Issues with Database-Backed Web Applications

The Internet has changed and shifted the dynamics of the way people communicate. It is the most used network in the world and has allowed people to exchange ideas and information more than ever before, from anywhere around the world. From 2000 to 2007, Internet use grew 244.7 percent (Internet World Stats, 2007). The United States alone accounts for 19 percent of the world’s Internet users. The Internet has also caught the attention of the business world. Companies of every size are using the Internet to speed up business processes. Modern organizations are using the World Wide Web (often abbreviated “WWW” or called “the Web”) to communicate with their partners and customers, to connect with their back-end databases, and to conduct transactions. The integration of traditional information technology with the Internet creates a more nimble business, prepared for the trials and tribulations of conducting business in the 21st century (Mullins, 2002).

Businesses that are online never close. People expect the Web site to be fully functional regardless of the time they log on. And since the Web is worldwide, what is considered off-peak hours for one country can be prime time somewhere else. An online business must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Failure to do so could result in lost business. With the competition only being a mouse click away, managing an online business calls for extra adeptness, more proaction, and plenty of vigilance.

When the Web is coupled with traditional applications and databases, a complex infrastructure is the result.When navigating this complex, heterogeneous infrastructure, several issues that can impact Web application development must be addressed. These issues include (Mullins, 2002):

  •  24/7 data availability
  •  New technologies such as Java and XML
  •  Web connectivity
  •  Integration of legacy data with Web-based applications
  •  Database and application architecture
  •  Web-based administration
  • Performance engineering for the Internet
  •  Unpredictable workload

As a Web developer, it is important to be aware of these issues as well as how to handle them.

If you know of more issues with database-backed web applications, please share.


References:

Internet World Stats (2007). Internet usage statistics. Retrieved December 14, 2007, from
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

Mullins, C. S., (2002). Database administration: The complete guide to practices and procedures. Boston: Addison-Wesley.