Client-Server Model

The client-server architecture is the most basic model for describing the relationship between the cooperating programs in a web application.

The two parts of a client-server architecture are:

  • Server component - "listens" for request, and provides services and/or resources accordingly.
  • Client component - establishes a connection to the server, and requests services and/or resources from it.

There is a request/response protocol associated with any client-server architecture:

Web Application - client server model

Web Applications

A web application is accessed by users over a network, uses a browser as the client, and consists of a collection of client- and server-side scripts, HTML pages, and other resources that may be spread across multiple servers. The application itself is accessed by users via a specific path within a web server e.g.

Other examples including: Webmail, online retail stores, online banks, online auctions, wikis, blogs, document storage, etc.

There is a bit more to it:

Network -

  • The internet, a global system of interconnected computer networks.
  • Uses the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP)

Web (World Wide Web) -

  • A system of interlinked documents (web pages) accessed via the Internet using HTTP
  • Web pages contain hypermedia: text, graphics, images, video and other multimedia, along with hyperlinks to other web pages.
  • Hyperlinks give the Web its structure
  • The structure of the Web is what makes it useful and gives it value.

Advantages -

  • Ubiquity and convenience of using a web browser as a client.
  • Inherent cross-platform compatibility
  • Ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers.
  • Reduction in IT costs.

Disadvantages -

  • User experience not as good as standalone (workstation/PC) applications - increasingly not the case.
  • Privacy and security issues associated with your data
  • From a developer's perspective, difficult to develop and debug - there are a lot of moving parts.

References & Resources

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