Web based versus Web enabled fleet management software

The internet offers tremendous advantages, like cross-platform capability and access for remote workers. But be careful. Most Fleet Management Software currently available is only web-enabled. These products try hard to imitate true client-server functionality via tacked-on “web” components such as ActiveX and Java or Citrix.

So here’s a quick summary of the differences:

Web-based

  • literally means that the application was written specifically to run on the web
  • very fast
  • very ‘thin’ – in that it needs minimal network requirements
  • hugely scalable i.e. the database engine can be changed to suit customer’s preferences and can support tens, hundreds or thousands of concurrent users.
  • offers the user full application functionality from a browser without the need for client software (i.e. no additional software required on each PC). This allows the application to be centrally administered, with no more sending program and database updates out to individual sites, greatly reducing the cost of ownership
  • configuration or customisations made on the server to the software are immediately and universally available to all users. This is because the system resides on a web server and each time a user accesses the software, they are accessing the latest version. In addition, each user is accessing the same data-centre – no matter where they are geographically located.

Web-enabled

  • typically used to describe the add-on web-browser component of an application designed to run in a client-server environment.
  • still client-server based, meaning that a portion of the software resides on the server and the other portion resides on the user’s desktop machine. Each time the administrator makes changes they must take place at the server and at each individual workstation.
  • the web-enabled portion of the application may allow access to data from a web browser, but the user is limited to the product functionality that is available on the web portion of the system. The user must also be able to access the client-server application.
  • potentially much more expensive to implement and support as a per-user licence fee may be charged