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Web application development is the process and practice of developing web applications.
Just as with a traditional desktop application, web applications have varying levels of risk. A personal home page is much less risky than, for example, a stock trading web site. For some projects security, software bugs, etc. are major issues. If time to market, or technical complexity is a concern, documentation, test planning, change control, requirements analysis, architectural description and formal design and construction practices can mitigate risk.
Web applications undergo the same unit, integration and system testing as traditional desktop applications. But because web application clients vary so greatly, teams might perform some additional testing, such as:
Many types of tests are automatable. At the component level, one of the xUnit packages can be a helpful tool. Or an organization can create its own unit testing framework. At the GUI level, Watir or iMacros are useful.
In the case of ASP.NET, a developer can use Microsoft Visual Studio to write code. But, as with most other programming languages, he/she can also use a text editor. Notepad++ is an example. WebORB Integration Server for .NET can be used to integrate .NET services, data and media with any web client. It includes developer productivity tools and APIs for remoting, messaging and data management.
For ColdFusion and the related open source CFML engines, there are several tools available for writing code. These include Adobe Dreamweaver CS4, the CFEclipse plugin for Eclipse (software) and Adobe CF Builder. You can also use any text editor such as Notepad++ or TextEdit.
For PHP, the Zend Development Environment provides numerous debugging tools and provides a rich feature set to make a PHP developer's life easier. WebORB Integration Server for PHP can be used to integrate PHP classes and data with any web client. It includes developer productivity tools and APIs for remoting, messaging and data management. Tools such as Hammerkit abstract PHP into a visual programming environment and utilise component-based software methods to accelerate development.
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Practicing code reuse and using web application frameworks can greatly improve both productivity and time to market (McConnell 1996:537). Reusing externally developed components can allow an organization to reap the above benefits, while potentially saving money. However, for smaller components, it might be just as easy to develop your own components as it would be to learn new APIs. Also, if a component is essential to the business, an organization might want to control its development.
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