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A common form of distributed system in which software is split between server tasks and client tasks. A client sends requests to a server, according to some protocol, asking for information or action, and the server responds.

This is analogous to a customer (client) who sends an order (request) on an order form to a supplier (server) who despatches the goods and an invoice (response). The order form and invoice are part of the "protocol" used to communicate in this case.

There may be either one centralised server or several distributed ones. This model allows clients and servers to be placed independently on nodes in a network, possibly on different hardware and operating systems appropriate to their function, e.g. fast server/cheap client.

Examples are the name-server/name-resolver relationship in DNS, the file-server/file-client relationship in NFS and the screen server/client application split in the X Window System.

Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.client-server.

["The Essential Client/Server Survival Guide", 2nd edition, 1996].
References in periodicals archive ?
The AICPA information technology division also develops publications to help auditors keep abreast of evolving technologies such as client-server computing and image processing and to provide guidance on technology issues such as disaster recovery, microcomputer security and CPA firm technology planning.
Many of the other survey participants agreed client-server computing can easily be more expensive.
And John Alexander, former CIO of Unum, points out, "You can extend client-server computing beyond maintenance; users want to participate in the application development processes.
Kalish Khanna, head of information technology for the Society for Worldwide Interbank, puts it in perspective: "The costs of hardware and software for client-server computing are trivial compared to the training and control costs.
Microsoft absolutely is focused on making the benefits of client-server computing in Windows accessible to individuals and businesses, large and small," said Gary Voth, group product manager of the business systems division at Microsoft.
With a focus on making client-server computing easier, customers choose Microsoft database solutions that allow them to "upsize" their desktop applications to client-server environments.

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