Web Browser Applications

Web-based database applications are generally easy to deploy and update and require no installation on the client computer.  This approach comes with two primary trade-offs: usability and cost. Web browser applications are limited to the tools and functionality that is supported by a standard web browser.  Significant engineering is required to overcome browser behavior deficiencies, at a cost.  Typically, browser-based applications host their data in a database server that provides the necessary scalability, performance and database-level security.
Well designed browser-based database applications run under any browser and consequently can be deployed to disparate operating systems, from PCs to handheld computers and even to web-enabled cell phones. The asynchronous click-and-refresh communication between the Client application and the Server do however limit the browser-based approach to application that are suitable to simple forms and workflows.
Web Browser Application Scorecard
# End Users Any Browser Compatibility issues (e.g. IE and Firefox)
Deployment LAN and Internet Anywhere an Internet connection is available
Performance Good Browser refresh issues impair performance and usability
Reliability Excellent SQL Server design-dependent
Data Integrity Excellent Assumes proper use of SQL Server database constraints and keys
Security Good Browser security flaws can be exploited
Data Limit Unlimited SQL Server datastore
Maintenance Low Standard SQL Server maintenance
# of Records Unlimited SQL Server datastore
Internet Access Yes Anywhere an Internet connection is available

Shortcomings of Browser-based Applications

Web browser-based database applications are typically less secure than desktop based database applications because the interface is asynchronous which can be exploited by ill-intentioned individuals. The complexity of Web application security issues may also limit the application to non critical data.  Intranet (private) applications are inherently much more secure than Internet (public facing) web based database applications, simply due to the limited accessibility of the user.   More details available at Smart Clients vs. websites.