LeoGlossary: Application

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A software program that runs on a computer or smartphone and are designed to carry out specific purposes.

Example of applications are:

  • Email programs
  • Web Browsers
  • Games
  • Social Media interfaces

Applications are how we interact in the digital world, especially with databases. Many applications are known as front ends, being tied to the servers which are collective called the back end. Here is where the data is stored pertaining to the application.

Centralized Databases

With the advent of Web 2.0, communication on the Internet became a two way street. As the applications are collected data, they are fed to the databases run by the corporations. Social media is a prime example of how this works.

For example, Twitter is a front end tied to a server system that is owned by the company of the same name. So the application is where the users engage, feeding the backend. This is what allows companies of this nature to mine the data and sell it to advertisers.

The back end is considered centralized since it is controlled by the individual corporation that owns then. Typically, both the front and back end are under the same company. We see this with Twitter, Facebook, Google, and the other Internet companies.

People now use application to get most of their information. We check stock prices, weather, news, and a host of other data that is provided by applications.

Google and Apple are major players since they control the smartphone operating system world. Their application stores provide most of the downloads.


The Internet is under transition.

With the introduction of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, the concept of decentralized applications (DApps).

This is all part of Web 3.0 which promises to create a different structure for the Internet. Through the idea of decentralization, we can see how this model could change.

This uses the same front and back end structure. The difference is that, when blockchain is involved, the back end is the same for all applications tied to it. In other words, it reads the same data. Hence, each application can decide what will show, can read and write to the network, yet has no ownership on the data. At the same time, accounts are accessed using a management system that is run by the chain.

Applications become DApps when they interact with decentralized databases.

As a rule, it is suggested that the following criteria be met to be a DApp.

  • DApp must be secured with a cryptographic token
  • The data and records must be public
  • It must be open source and not be under the control of any single person or group

Progressive Web Application (PWA)

In an effort to counteract the stranglehold that Apple and Google have over this world, many developers are looking at utilizing progressive web applications.

Mobile applications are falling out of favor due to the control. Apple is still creating an uproar by charging 30% on any applications sold. The fact they can pull any as they see fit is also a concern.

This is leading many developers to adopt progressive web applications which are websites that are designed to be used on mobile devices also.


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