Article

Best Reasons for a Web Browser User Interface

Windows, UNIX, Linux, AIX
Posted:
March 20, 2017

 

 

In this installment of “No-Stress Job Scheduling with Jared Dahl,” we’ll discuss the primary reasons for producing software with a web browser UI. Let’s not waste any time.

Benefits of Web Browser User Interfaces

There are a lot of things we don’t like doing in this life: taxes, root canals, moving your sister’s best friend’s cousin’s furniture. But when you build your product with a web browser UI, you avoid some of the not-so-fun parts of software development.

To start, with a web browser UI, you no longer have to manage individual software installs and updates whenever there’s a change to the software. What’s more, if there is a security vulnerability on your network, all you have to do is update the server and everyone will be updated to a new version all at once. This is a huge time saving benefit of building products that utilize a web browser interface.

In a similar vein, you would no longer need to verify that the software will work on various combinations of hardware and operating systems. Building a web browser interface means that any customer on any combination of hardware and operating system can access and maximize their use of your software. If you implement a web browser UI, you can rest assured that your customers will be able to utilize your solution in diverse circumstances.

What’s more, you no longer have to worry about compatibility between a graphical user interface (GUI) and your server, which means that you can update to new versions of your software without wondering whether it will be compatible with your server. A web browser interface means no longer worrying whether version 2 of your GUI will work with version 3 of your server. Worries, be gone.

Finally, a web browser means that you don’t have to worry about transferring settings or configuring firewalls—you can access the software from your home computer with ease. When you log in, there are no files to transfer—your work will be saved from your last instance.

Bonus Features of Developing Web-Based User Interfaces

It’s not all about the negative here, folks. A web browser user interface grants privileges as much as it rids you of stressors. Jared names the top five privileges of building software with a web UI.

When you’re working in software with a web browser UI, you can easily bookmark pages that are relevant to your work. If you find a particular group of settings or a tag that fits your project, you can bookmark them and work with them at a later date, benefitting your timeline and your project. Similarly, working within a web browser means that you can share links with your coworkers. Troubleshooting has never been easier: if Susie can’t find a link to a particular job, you can grab the link out of your browser and share it with her, helping you collaborate on projects more easily than ever.

For the web wanderers out there like myself, you likely prefer to browse the web and work with multiple tabs open simultaneously. In terms of job scheduling software that utilizes a web browser UI, this means that you can have the job history open on one screen and work on editing a batch job on the other screen while also toggling back and forth between the forecast. This makes it easy for you to take into account different facets of your job schedule simultaneously so you can work smarter, not harder.

Finally—and importantly for those ever-connected souls—the ability to access your software on phones and tablets means that you’re aware of network issues, scheduling events, and more, all at the tips of your fingers. Software is more accessible than ever, which gives you the freedom to work the way you want.

The Long-Term Value of Web-Based UIs

And here’s why Jared, the development manager for the Automate Schedule team, prefers developing a web-based UI for a product (like Automate Schedule!). First, it’s easier to find staff to develop web-based products. Developing a GUI requires a special set of tools and requires workers to understand .net and Java, and it’s easier to find people who have experience in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. And when it comes time to test the product, a web-based product allows you to do more automated testing: going directly at URLS of the product, which saves your staff a lot of time.

As Web services become increasingly prevalent, they become a natural add on when you already have a web server running for your product. Building a web-based user interface means that you have laid the foundation for moving toward more web services, which is especially important as businesses become more reliant on the SaaS architecture.

In conclusion, building a web-based software product means that the majority of your users will be totally accustomed to navigating a web browser, and they will get up and running with your product sooner than GUI-based products. Ultimately, a web-based product allows you to produce software faster and get new features and versions out to customers at a better pace.

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