There is typically little functional difference between a "web-enabled" vs.
a "web-based" application, and today the terms are often used synonymously.
However, there is often an architectural difference.

I think the two terms originally evolved from vendor's different approaches
to the web. In one camp were companies who provided software before the web
was popular, and subsequently took steps to put a web interface or front-end
on their product once the web became viable (for example, a database vendor
who added the ability to access the database over the web). Such a product
would be called "web-enabled" in the strictest sense. In this scenario,
there may be one version of the product which is accessible over the web,
and one which isn't.

The use of "web-based," on the other hand, emerged from a new breed of
vendors or products which were designed from the ground up with the web in
mind, and typically have no "non-web-based version." An example might be a
service like "" which provides basically a document management
application that is only accessible through a web browser, and would
therefore be referred to as a "web-based" application.


Barclay T. Blair
Partner, Kahn Consulting, Inc.
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-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On
Behalf Of Janet L Nelson
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 8:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Web-based vs web-enabled

OK group, I have spent enough time trying to figure out the difference
between web-based software and web-enabled software.  I have searched the
web and found lots of software that is web based or enabled, but nothing
that explains the different.

So now I come to the group that I am sure will be able to help.  I know
there is a difference, I just want to know what that difference is.  Any
help out there?


Janet Nelson CRM
Manager Records
Dairyland Power Cooperative
3200 East Avenue South
PO Box 817
La Crosse WI 54602-0817

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