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A web-based application is any program that is accessed over a network connection using HTTP, rather than existing within a device’s memory. Web-based applications often run inside a web browser. However, web-based applications also may be client-based, where a small part of the program is downloaded to a user’s desktop, but processing is done over the internet on an external server.
Web-based applications are also known as web apps.
There is a lot of confusion created by the use of terms like web-based, internet-based and cloud-based when referring to applications. Web-based applications actually encompass all the applications that communicate with the user via HTTP. This includes light applications like Flash games, online calculators, calendars and so on, as well as more intensive applications such as web-based word processors and spreadsheet applications.