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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

By SuzanneRD ·
Can anyone tell me the advantages and disadvantages of a SQL Server back-end with a PowerBuilder client front-end versus a web-based front end to the SQL Server back-end? Also, can anyone give me information on the advantages/disadvantages of usingSQL Server replication vs a web-based front-end? Thanks!

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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

by JamesRL In reply to Client/Server vs. Web-Bas ...

This is a common theme.

A client server application can do some up front processing on the clients PC, which means you offload some of the processing from the server, and so you don't need as big a server. The client is responsible for the graphical presentation layer, as well as things like error handling, field edits etc.

The disadvantage of this is that you need a license for the client on every PC which needs to run it, which costs money, and you have to have disk space, and installation scripts etc. This is not necessarily a simple thing in large organizations with old PCs. You often find that new apps with drivers to install cause conflicts. Try running two different oracle apps with two different versions of Oracle on the samePC and you will see what I mean.

Having a web based application means a much less complicated setup from the client side, as all they need is a working browser. No additional software, drivers, dlls etc. mean easier to support. You do need more horesepower on the back end, and as you are sending the presentation layer over the network, you are increasing the network utilization as well.

Web is becoming very popular because it is cheaper to run low end Pcs with minimum configs and beefier servers than the reverse.

Thats a start.

James

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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

by SuzanneRD In reply to Client/Server vs. Web-Bas ...

Thank you for your help! This is just the kind of information I was looking for.

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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

by Bob Sellman In reply to Client/Server vs. Web-Bas ...

Using a client front end will allow you more flexibility/freedom in designing forms and reports. In spite of that, the web based front end has some major advantages that make it likely to be a better solution.

If the alternative is to use replication of the database, then the web front end is very definitely the better solution. Replication of any database is, in my opinion, an accident waiting to happen. Theoretically, replication sounds like an easy solution, but there are far too many "gotchas" with it to make it a recommended solution (unless there is absolutely no other option).

The web front end gives you many advantages. While one obvious one is, as mentioned above, no additional client software (other than the usual browser), there is also the standard type of interface that will reduce the learning curve for your users. Remote access is possible and can be relatively fast and easy, so if your users are spread around to different locations (or even world wide), you can relatively easily provide them access. Of course, if you are on the Web you must consider security more closely so that access to your application is limited to only those who should have access.

And getting back to cost, you could even buildyour application using MySQL (free) and PHP (I think I've got the name right)(free) for the front end, if you need to keep costs to a minimum.

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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

by SuzanneRD In reply to Client/Server vs. Web-Bas ...

Thank you for your help! I was leaning toward recommending a web-based approach to my customer and this gives me more information to back up that recommendation. I know a little bit about replication, but what kind of problems would we expect withit? There will be about 1500 users around the world using this system. Thanks again!

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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

by SuzanneRD In reply to Client/Server vs. Web-Bas ...

This question was closed by the author

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Client/Server vs. Web-Based Application

by SuzanneRD In reply to Client/Server vs. Web-Bas ...

Mr. Sellman - I evidently closed this even though I had a follow-up question for you. If you get the chance to answer it, please email me directly if it can't be added to this question board. Please forgive me; I'm a new user of the Tech Q&A section!!

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