Introducing The Client Server Model
December 19, 2013
•IADT General, Information Technology
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Have you ever visited a website, checked your email or used the Facebook application on your mobile phone? If you have, you engaged in a client server transaction. The client server model permits simultaneous communication between a client application, which asks questions, and a server application, which provides answers.
Checking Facebook: A Client Server Transaction
If you launch the Facebook application on your mobile phone in an area with no reception, you can't see your friends list, you can't send messages and you can't see your friends' status updates. Why? Because your friends list, timeline and messages don't live on your mobile phone, they live on Facebook's servers. When you navigate to your timeline, your Facebook application retrieves this data from Facebook's servers. Your mobile phone is simply acting as a client, retrieving and displaying information requested from Facebook's servers.
The Client Server Model: Why It Matters
The entire Internet is based on the development of the client server model. If you're considering a career in Information Technology, understanding the fundamentals of the client server model is paramount to working in today's industry. Here's a more in-depth peak at simple client server transactions that you probably do every day.
- Google Search. Everyone surfs the web, but do you know what actually happens when you visit Google to conduct an Internet search? You open Google, enter the desired search terms and press Enter. You're magically greeted with search results, delivered to your desktop or mobile phone through an implementation of the client server model.
- The Client: Requesting Data. When you navigate to Google, your computer or device acts as a client. Clearly, your computer doesn't have an index of every website on the Internet. Your computer sends a request to Google asking it to return a result to a particular search. Specifically, your browser issues an HTTP GET request.
- Protocols: How Clients and Servers Talk. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transport Protocol. A protocol is best understood as a language. HTTP is the language in which web browsers (clients) and web servers communicate. When your computer issues an HTTP GET, Google sends the appropriate response.
- The Server: A Remote Application Servicing Requests. The server is a remote application that can only be accessed through a protocol like HTTP. In this example, when Google's web server receives your HTTP GET request, it processes your request and issues the appropriate answer. This model permits one remote application to handle multiple concurrent requests from client applications, whether they are made using the Google mobile application or a desktop web browser.
- Clients and Servers: Powering the Internet. When you access Google, your request is just one of many thousands of simultaneous client connections that Google services. Indeed, the client server model makes the Internet possible and is ubiquitous in every sphere of information technology.
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