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Chapter 3. Introduction to Client/Server... > Deciding Whether to Use the Client/S...

Deciding Whether to Use the Client/Server Model

Client/server technology was not as necessary when there was a clear delineation between mainframe applications and personal computer applications. Today, the line of demarcation has blurred. Personal computer applications have taken over many applications that had been relegated to mainframe computers in the past. The problem is that users still are very limited by the bandwidth of network communications. This is one place where client/server technology can really help.

However, many developers are confused about what client/server architecture really is. Some mistakenly believe that an Access MDB database file stored on a file server acts as a database server. This is not the case. (In fact, I have participated in many debates in which other developers have insisted that Access itself is a database server application. Well, it's not.) Access is a front-end application that can process data stored on a back end. In this scenario, the Access application runs on the client machine accessing data stored on a database server running software such as Microsoft SQL Server. Access does an excellent job acting as the client-side, front-end software in this scenario. The confusion is about Access's capability to act as a database server.


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