Network Computing - Is It Simply a Different Form of Client/Server?

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  • Hi there

    The differentiator, i think, is to do with connectiveness and persistence of the connectivity. In client server the connection is made and persists at all times for that client, unlike "network" computing which, but its nature, is stateless. In stateless, I am meaning that you cant persist a a bunch of screen interactions in sequence within a transaction like you can do in a client server connect. For example, I open the clientserver app, its opens a db connect (pooled), we open a form, a transaction may begin for arguement sake and 3 screens later and commit it all. In the stateless env we cant persist the transaction (easily) between such screen re-renders. The db connections come and go between calls along with calls to the business tier. As such, your locking/transaction models and design a quite different. This is a trap when porting client server apps to the web. What I see happen in the port, is applications to deliver contents via the browser, but utilise a java based or web-form type connect that "simulates" the client/server senario. The Oracle Form 6 webform type stuff is a classic example of this sort of thing going on, where by a click of a button the developer tool can create a .exe/fmx based client/server app rendered for the web or runs from the persons pc and associated exe's.

    I better get back to work, just some thoughts.. there are many other issues to consider.




    Chris Kempster

    Author of "SQL Server 2k for the Oracle DBA"

    Chris Kempster
    Author of "SQL Server Backup, Recovery & Troubleshooting"
    Author of "SQL Server 2k for the Oracle DBA"

  • I'm much in agreement with Chris's differentiator: state.

    Web applications can have code executing on the workstation, even through the web browser. Examples are java applets, ActiveX controls, and even active scripting using VBScript or JScript, for instance. These do require an interaction between the workstation and server in these cases.

    Citrix is defined as a thin-client, but except for the container, the ICA client, it doesn't require you to actively use anything on the workstation. Of course, file transfers, printer usage, and the like can blur this line again.

    So you've got the case where web apps can fit the definition given for client-server computing and a thin client fitting the definition given for network computing.

    Perhaps the line is so blurry that it's near impossible to separate systems into two distincts sets.

    K. Brian Kelley

    Author: Start to Finish Guide to SQL Server Performance Monitoring

    K. Brian Kelley

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