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Chapter 25. Connecting to Client/Server ... > Defining the Client/Server Environme...

Defining the Client/Server Environment

Client/server databases are designed specifically for use on application server-based networks. An application server uses a network operating system, such as Windows NT Server, that is optimized specifically for running applications rather than sharing files or peripheral devices. Client/server databases have many advantages over conventional database systems, including increased database security, the incorporation of all components of the database, in a single file, and faster access to networked data. The clients of a client/server database are workstations, often called front-ends, that are connected to the server, called the back-end. In these respects, the "split" Access databases, described in the preceding chapter, and client/server databases are similar. The principal difference between Access and a typical client/server database manager, such as Microsoft SQL Server, is that the client/server RDBMS performs many operations on the server that traditionally are carried out by database applications running on the client workstation.

Client/server database managers accept SQL statements from client applications. The client/server RDBMS interprets the SQL statement and executes the actions specified in the statement. If you send a SELECT query SQL statement to the server, the server returns only the result set to the client; processing of the query occurs on the server computer. This action speeds query generation two ways: The amount of information traveling over the network is reduced, and server computers often have much more powerful and faster microprocessors than the workstation clients.


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