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An Introduction to Client-Server Systems

A client-server architecture/system is one where the server maintains all models of the backend datasets and business logic around taking and providing information to fulfill a service request from a client which in turn shows the representation thereof.

The client/server model has quickly grown in popularity throughout the 1990s and today serves as a favoured choice for most organisations? (Subramanian, Lacity, 1997) operations.

There is a statement which asserts that ?there are no unusual managerial issues related to the introduction of client/server systems?, however, this evaluation is not a valid one because of the change in style from the previous centralised mainframe approach that was extremely popular in yesteryears by comparison to today?s model which focuses on a more distributed and multi-machine configuration.

Infact, there are a lot of managerial issues and consequences that arise from the emergence of client/server systems and their introduction into commonplace organisational computing systems; such as:

  • The acquisition of changing development tools
  • Hidden infrastructure costs
  • The multitude of skills required by staff to design and maintain the systems in a wide variety of ever changing languages and technologies
  • Scalability concerns
  • Increased scope around security exploits
  • Multiple locations and vendors concerns around firmware patching
  • Multi zone database replication and syncing
  • Managing multiple vendor relationships (McGuire, 2000)
  • Lack of accountability (ThriveNetworks, 2011)
  • More concerns around performance of the server to guarantee network latency remains low
  • Identify attached clients and their configuration (Burkitt, n.d.)

In the abundant days of centralised mainframe systems, it was a complex time in computing, particularly as certain technical limitations were still being learnt around the best ways to design large computing systems.

See also  Conceptual Architectural Views, with a focus on the Development View

However, today we have an alternative approach to systems design with client/server modelling which contrasts the straightforward process around distributed application services on any amount of machines located in any amount of locations around the world.

Albeit it that client/server systems appear more controllable and flexible, there are a multitude of obstacles that need to be focused on by highly specialised professionals.

Managerial issues remain pivotal in the complex and ever changing technological world which client/server modelling paints a favourable and controlled view towards, however, it is important to realise the many security concerns that come with the added potential of untrusted clients requesting information from a network (Tsay, 1994).


Subramanian, A., Lacity, M, C. (1997) Managing client/server implementations: today?s technology, yesterday?s lessons [Online], Available from: (Accessed on 9th December 2017)

McGuire, T, J. (2000) Chapter 12: Client/Server Systems [Online], Available from: (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

ThriveNetworks (2011) Server and Network Management Challenges and How to Overcome Them [Online], Available from: (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

Burkitt, M. (n.d.) White Paper: Thin client/server computing lets you take control [Online], Available from: (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

Tsay, B. (1994) Client-server systems: opportunities and challenges [Online], Available from: (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

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