Web development is a broad term for any activity related to developing a web site for the World Wide Web or an internet. This can include e-commerce business development, web design, web content development, client-side/server-side scripting, and web server configuration. However, among web professionals, “web development” usually refers only to the non-design aspects of building web sites, e.g. writing markup and coding. Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, or social network services.
For larger businesses and organizations, web development teams can consist of hundreds of people (web developers). Smaller organizations may only require a single permanent or contracting webmaster, or secondary assignment to related job positions such as a graphic designer and/or Information systems technician. Web development may be a collaborative effort between departments rather than the domain of a designated department.
The next generation of web development tools uses the strong growth in LAMP and Microsoft .NET technologies to provide the Web as a way to run applications online. Web developers now help to deliver applications as Web services which were traditionally only available as applications on a desk based computer.
Instead of running executable code on a local computer, users are interacting with online applications to create new content. This has created new methods in communication and allowed for many opportunities to decentralize information and media distribution. Users are now able to interact with applications from many locations, instead of being tied to a specific workstation for their application environment.
Examples of dramatic transformation in communication and commerce led by web development include e-commerce. Online auction sites such as eBay have changed the way consumers consume and purchase goods and services. Online resellers such as Amazon.com and Buy.com (among many, many others) have transformed the shopping and bargain hunting experience for many consumers. Another good example of transformative communication led by web development is the blog. Web applications such as MovableType and WordPress have created easily implemented blog environments for individual Web sites. Open source content systems such as Alfresco, Typo3, Xoops, Joomla!, and Drupal have extended web development into new modes of interaction and communication.
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Web Development can be split into many areas and a typical and basic web development hierarchy might consist of:
Client Side Coding
- Flash Adobe Flash Player is a ubiquitous client-side platform ready for RIAs. Flex 2 is also deployed to the Flash Player (version 9+)
- Microsoft Silverlight Microsoft’s browser plugin that enables animation, vector graphics and high-definition video playback, programmed using XAML and .NET programming languages.
Server Side Coding
- ASP (Microsoft proprietary)
- PHP (open source)
- Ruby, e.g. Ruby on Rails (open source)
- .NET (Microsoft proprietary)
- Apache Derby
- DB2 (IBM proprietary)
- Microsoft SQL Server