Today’s post is about a computing concept: the client-server model. In today’s era of cloud computing, many applications use the client-server model. So, by understanding what that means, you’ll have a better grasp of one of the basic types of application architecture.
Let’s start with an example. Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange use the client-server model. Outlook is the client, and Exchange is the server. Many copies of the email program Outlook are installed on users’ computers. Users interact directly with Outlook. Exchange, on the other hand, is the server. Exchange is installed once in a central location. It stores and processes data for the clients, and facilitates their interaction.
The server part of a client-server application functions like the corporate headquarters of the application. There is only one. It’s run by an administrator; average users don’t have any direct interaction with it.
The client parts of a client-server application are more like the local branches of the application. Most users interact with the software through clients. Clients are intended to be user-friendly. There can be many clients that all check back with the same server.
When you install a client-server application, you’re going to have one piece of software that you install on your users’ devices, and a different part of the application to install on your server. They are specifically designed to work together, but you need both, and you need to make sure they’re talking to each other with all the correct network settings, before your application will work.
By Sharon Campbell
Image Source: Wikipedia