What Is The Definition Of An “Application”?
What is the definition of an "application"? We are "applications development and delivery professionals" – surely we have this question nailed, don't we? The question keeps coming up in different contexts, and since there are many potential opinions, a blog is the perfect place to spur debate. Here are some (simplistic) questions to generate debate:
- Is a Web page an application?
- If not, how many Web pages does it take until I consider it an application – 10, 100, 1,000?
- Does size matter? (Please behave yourselves with this one.)
- Is the size of the code base a pertinent factor?
- What about SharePoint sites, Access databases, and spreadsheets? Are they applications?
- Where do COTS and packaged apps fit?
- Does the technology I use affect the definition?
- If I use a scripting language for a quick-and-dirty task, is that an application?
- Does SOA erode the definition of an application?
- Do we cease thinking about applications as entities and think about them more as containers that hold collections of SOA services?
- How does open source affect the definition?
- How does my role affect my perception of an application?
- Do developers and users use similar definitions?
I have my opinions – in fact I just finished a draft piece of research on it that will be published in January, but what are your opinions?