Not only does a web application allow you to interact with your
database, but there's much it can do besides that.
Starting with the database, there's more a web application can allow
you to do than entering, updating, deleting and looking at data.
You can also search the data in many ways, finding in seconds what would
have taken you days in a paper world. Searches can work on many fields, like
names, surnames, telephone numbers, addresses, postcodes and many more. Your input
can be treated case insensitively and used as a part to match a whole. That is to say
that if you enter 345 you will be matched to any postcode, telephone number
or other search field with 345 in it.
Then you can run reports. You will most likely want to run the same set of
reports with different variables which you supply, many times. Like the sales report
between different dates. Or looking for sales including different articles between
any two dates. The possibilities are endless. You just have to specify the reports
you want so they can be created by the developer.
Still staying with the database, the reports mentioned can be turned into pdf documents
which you can download and print or email to someone who does not have access to your application.
In fact, there can be a function saying email this into which you just fill in a list of
comma separated names and email addresses and the report will be emailed as an attachment to the names and addresses on
You can have consoles for users in different roles with notifications in the consoles of certain conditions in the
database, like new sales or users signing up or late payments. The list is endless.
Having mentioned email, you can have emails sent to anybody in response to certain events, like payment not arriving
say a week after the due date. Or a thank-you note for payment. Or the level of a certain item in your inventory runnng low.
This can happen automatically without any input from you. Emails are generated from templates and can, or can not, have attachments.
Jobs can be scheduled to run at any interval going through your database and responding to certain conditions. In most
cases it will be a notification email. Again, these jobs run with no input from you and they do what they do with no input from you.
Once your database is set up and your information has been entered you don't enter the same information again.
A client told me he now issues occupation certificates
in less than three minutes where it took him twenty minutes in the local council where he worked. Of course, he doesn't have to enter
the client details into the certificate again, like he had to on paper. Then he doesn't have to write a covering letter and put the
certificate in an envelope to be mailed. The client details are filled into the certificate from the database and a covering letter is
generated using the details in the database and the certificate is emailed to the client as a pdf attachment to the email. All this with the
push of one button.
And then there are online payments and online shops. PayPal
allows you to take secure payments in a variety of ways. It is highly trusted and not likely to scare users away. You can have fancy
shopping carts with which users can interact in many ways. PayPal Instant Payment Notification notifies your application of the
outcome of a payment. This outcome, with the PayPal identifier, is then time stamped and written to your database.
The possibilities for making your working life easier are endless. But, unfortunately, you will still have to work.