An application in which all or some parts of the software are downloaded from the Web each time it is run. It may refer to browser-based applications that run within the user's Web browser or to rich client applications that resemble local applications.|
Web applications may also run without the browser. A client component that is either downloaded each session or that remains in the user's computer interacts with a server on the Web in some manner using standard Web protocols. This is similar to the "client/server" architecture that prevailed in companies before the Internet exploded, except that the server is on the Internet, not the local network. Like browser-based applications, the data may be stored remotely or locally. See rich client, cloud computing, ASP and SaaS.