Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms.



An architecture in which the user's PC (the client) is the requesting machine and the server is the supplying machine, both of which are connected via a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) such as the Internet. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, client/server was the hot buzzword as applications migrated from minicomputers and mainframes with input/output terminals to networks of desktop computers.

With ubiquitous access to company LANs and the Internet, almost everyone works in a client/server environment today. However, to be true client/server, both client and server must share in the business processing. To understand this principle, follow the examples below of a query to a hypothetical database of a million records, each 1,000 bytes long. Notice the amount of data flowing over the network.

Not Client/Server
In the above example, the database management system (DBMS) runs in the client, and the database is stored in the file server, which acts like a remote disk drive. Because no searching is done in the server, all one million records have to be sent over the network to the client for comparing. This is not "true" client/server because both sides are not sharing in the business processing.

Two-tier Client/Server
The above example is "true" client/server because both sides participate in the business processing. The database management system (DBMS) runs in the server. A query from the client is sent to the DBMS, which responds by searching the server and sending only results to the client. If 50 records matched the criteria in our million-record example, only 50 KB of data traverse the network rather than 1 GB.

Three-tier Client/Server
In the above example, processing is divided between two or more servers: one used for application processing and another for database processing.

Because of the Internet, terms such as "Web based" and "Web enabled" replaced the 1990s client/server buzzword, and client/server implied old, legacy systems. However, although the client/server term may no longer be used much, Web-based systems today are entirely two-tier and three-tier client/server architectures. At the client side, the user's PC executes scripts in Web pages, and Internet-based Web servers and application servers process data before returning results to the user. See scripting language, Java applet, Web server, application server and database server.
References in periodicals archive ?
This surprising result is reflected in a 1994 IBM Consulting Group study of 24 companies that completed at least one client/server project.
More than 84 percent of the executives surveyed expressed satisfaction with the results of their client/server projects.
Forging the desktop power of Client/Server and the efficiencies of the Web, the Curl platform provides large gains for business productivity and profitability.
Announce that, starting tomorrow, every information technology project, without exception, will be based on client/server.
MEMS Client/Server lets you see an enterprise-wide view of the movement, location and usage of medical equipment.
One hotel chain spent a bundle on a client/server system only to find one of the applications it runs can bring the server to a standstill.
As the first in a series of collaborative offerings, META Group and Client/Server Labs are teaming with Internet Security Systems (ISS) to launch Project Spotlight, a full-scale network security risk study involving a select group of Global 2000 companies.
Robert Brown, Director of Marketing, Philips Mobile Computing Group "With the release of Citrix MetaFrame, the benefits of thin- client/server technology can now be realized with concentrated chassis based on QuantumNet.
We have worked closely with Xyratex not just to roll out BPCS Client/Server V6 across their operations, but also to train their technical and application developers to enable them to tailor the system `in house' to meet their changing requirements," he said.
BPCS Client/Server V6 will be initially rolled out in the UK and is expected to be live and fully implemented throughout all six European sites by the end of 1998.
Implementing BPCS Client/Server helped American Video Glass gain insight into the operational processes required to manage their world-class manufacturing plant.
In addition to helping Movado deal with the demands of their industry, such as time to market, customer service, speed of distribution and speed of information access, BPCS Client/Server v6.

Full browser ?