In a client/server environment, client programs run on many desktops at once and interact with a server program that runs on a single central computer. This model allows a distributed computing system in which computing tasks are divided between the server and the client.
Client programs conserve bandwidth by processing information locally before sending it out to the network.
- Client — the software application usually running on the end user’s computer host.
- Server — the software application usually running on the information provider’s computer host. Network — the hardware allowing communication between the client and server.
The client software is the interface that allows the user to communicate and request information from the server.
On the Internet, the client software is often a browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, or an e-mail program, such as Microsoft Outlook Express or Netscape Messenger.
After a server receives a client’s request, the server processes the request and attempts to locate the information. For instance, if a client requests a stock quote, the server will query its database for the quote. The quote will be sent to the client and displayed.