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What is Web Application Architecture? It’s Components & Features

Last updated:
7th Apr, 2021
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What is Web Application Architecture? It’s Components & Features

The Internet is a huge carrier for business information and data. Web technologies have influenced the trend of doing business online. Therefore, constant development in web technology is required to meet the business demands. The developments aim mainly to bring secure, responsive, robust, and scalable web applications. In order to develop robust web applications the Web Application Architecture, as a backbone to web solutions, plays an important role. 

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After the applications are set up with databases and data-driven with queries, they need technical expertise to guide them right functioning, configuring that software. All these requirements get addressed with the help of Web Application Architecture

About Web

The web has become the dominant medium in today’s business. Every business ought to survive with websites and web-based applications. Such Applications connect distributed ports of business networks and sustain digital performance by communicating through the internet. Companies need to deploy a powerful, stable, and commercially appealing web system. This requirement is governed by a systematic design mechanism called Web Application Architecture

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Design Considerations

Industry follows the best practices when designing Web Application Architecture

The following important aspects are taken into consideration:

  • Scalability
  • Efficiency
  • Seamless problem-solving
  • Flexibility
  • Reusability
  • Swift testability
  • Decipherable code

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What is Web Application Architecture?

Any web application comprises a large number of components working hand-in-hand. 

Various components such as a landing page, account page, sign-up screen, login screen, in-app store, database, etc., together form a total system for the web applications.  

The web developers make use of the Web Application Architecture to manage these components of a web app. It helps to define logical relationships and interaction protocols among these components. 

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 Let’s see a live example – 

You came across a new website, and you want to subscribe. To create an account, you click the “sign up” button. You get redirected to a page that opens a form. There you are required to enter your information. Once you fill in the details and submit them, you will be redirected to the user profile section. You are now subscribed to the service and are authorized to use the app.

 Here, the sign-up form appears on the client-side that collects data from the user. 

The remaining actions are performed in the background. For example, adding you as a new user to the database, verifying data, e.g. by email comply with email format, unique, etc., are checked through the back-end.

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Web Application Architecture Diagram

Every web application constitutes a frontend and a backend system.

 The frontend is also termed as the client-side of the web application. The frontend is the interface the user can access and interact with inside their browser. The main purpose of the client-side is to interactively collect input data from the users. The frontend components are scripted using one or more HTML, CSS, and JavaScript codes.

 The backend is also termed as the server-side of the application. The system internally manages this section. The backend components take care of data processing. The backend stores manipulate and validate the data. The HTTP requests submitted by the users are processed. Most requests “fetch” the data (text, images, files, etc.) requested by the user. The backend runs on many programming languages used to code the backend of a Web Application. Examples include PHP, Java, Python, JavaScript, and others.

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Web Application Architecture Components

The components are divided into two categories: first, the internal – the client interface, essentially the server elements, and second, construction elements or structural components. 

The user interface design mainly pertains to aesthetic requirements. Additionally, the UI  looks after the rational needs of the client. The client needs to include the authentication option and other important settings such as display and configurations in the app. The internal components include the display of the landing page, dashboards, user profile, configuration settings, notifications, and logs. 

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The structural components are responsible for the functional entities in the effect of user interactions. Additionally, database storage and control are considered key features in structural components. 

A typical web application is categorized into three significant parts:

  • The client-side is also called a web browser. It serves as a medium that controls the communication between the users and the application. The functions enable users’ interaction with the web apps. The client applications are coded using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • The server for the web application acts as a central hub. It hosts multi-tier services and the business logic of the application. It implements the rules and constraints on the data flow in automated operations. The server is usually developed with the application programming codes using PHP, Python, Java, Node.JS, and. NET.
  • The database server application holds all the necessary information and business logic used for processing. 

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Web Application Architecture Features

A functional web application rich with the features below can provide the best experience for users:

  • Scalability – The architecture also counts in the horizontal scaling of the web. With the aid of several servers across regions, the architecture manages the need for potential fluctuations in traffic. Cloud Services are becoming a trend in bandwidth proportion.  
  • Security – Security of valuable information is more important for the web. Web apps go vulnerable if source code and data, including user’s private data, are not secured. Web Application Architecture, therefore, takes malicious code manipulation into consideration. Storing the commonly used data that need web applications to operate from different locations at one specified location eliminates synchronization, and therefore, increases security.
  • Separation of Concerns – The modular nature of the application eases in fixing issues and amending features. Additionally, it supports analytical and A/B testing, automated deployment, and is capable of 99.9% uptime.    
  • Extensible – The validity of web app architecture is a concern for mobile app developers.

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The Web Application Architecture represents the deployment of the fundamental components of Web Applications. Various architectural patterns used in the industry include the client-server, microservices, peer-to-peer, Model-View-Controller, event-driven, etc. The fundamentals of data flow in a web application, components, different layers involved, etc., help the developer to decide and design web applications effectively. 

Students studying in the field of web development and web applications-related programs can benefit from this subject to enhance their skills and technical credibility. The upGrad portal provides lots of learning resources and a knowledge base. Together the portal encourages such professionals to expertise in web system requirements. The upGrad portal provides lots of learning resources and a knowledge base. Together the portal encourages such professionals to expertise in web system requirements.  

With M.Sc. in Computer Science by upGrad, IIIT Bangalore, and Liverpool John Moores University, you can pursue a Software Engineering career, while Executive PG Program courses by upGrad and IIIT-B in Full-stack development and Blockchain can set your path on software development.


Arjun Mathur

Blog Author
Arjun is Program marketing manager at UpGrad for the Software development program. Prior to UpGrad, he was a part of the French ride-sharing unicorn "BlaBlaCar" in India. He is a B.Tech in Computers Science from IIT Delhi and loves writing about technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Why should businesses use a web-based system?

Thanks to the advancement in technology, web-based systems now have unlimited functionalities. Other factors that have layered their contributions to the web-based system to increase its potential are security and internet speed. Most web-based applications use a web browser, and therefore, questions to maintain them at low costs arise. Using a web browser makes web-based apps compatible with cross-browser and other devices. This saves cost. Secondly, data sharing and collaboration on multiple projects at once becomes an easy process through web-based systems. Quite often, there is a centralised location for data, and that makes collaboration a flawless activity. Web-based systems are adaptable to workloads. With just a few clicks, the access controls are achievable. Businesses that are constantly growing need such mechanisms for expansion.

2What is the difference between a web application and a website?

A website consists of web pages that are accessible from anywhere around the globe and are linked with one another. Moreover, they have a single domain name. Any business or organisation can develop and maintain a website. One can use a website for multiple purposes like hosting blogs and e-commerce sites. A web server hosts single or multiple websites, and they can be accessed through the Internet. On the other hand, a web application is a program that can be accessed through a web browser. HTML and CSS language are generally used to design the frontend of such software. Web applications don’t need an SDK, unlike mobile apps.

3Why do we need web applications?

Maintenance of web applications is easier than desktop apps. Since they use the same code throughout their program, compatibility issues are negligible. Furthermore, web apps can be used on platforms like Mac, Linux, and Windows. Web-based applications don’t need to be downloaded as they are accessible on mobile browsers. It saves you the trouble of downloading a third-party app. Another benefit of web applications is that they are up and running throughout the day. Thus, when you access a web application anytime during the day, your app won’t break down.