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Communications of the ACM


Network Applications Are Interactive

Network Applications Are Interactive, illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock

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The proliferation of mobile devices and the interconnectivity between them has created new application opportunities. These new applications are no longer limited to a single system space but are spread across many system spaces. This shift of application from single system-spaced, host-based systems to multisystem-spaced solutions is being hampered by software toolsets that are stuck in the older sequential computational models.

This article defines this new requirement as a network application. It argues how current programming based on computation is not the right model and suggests that application development has to move from software based on a computational premise to a communication or interaction premise. It closes with a simple CRUD (create, read, update, delete)-based application developed with interactions to illustrate the point, laying out the challenges and explaining how such a system will not have algorithms at its center but will work by using interactions.


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