1. In TCP/IP, the model of interaction in distributed data processing in which a program at one site sends a request to a program at another site and awaits a response. The requesting program is called a client and the answering program is called a server. 2. (IRM) A computing model where functionality is divided between software clients and software servers. Clients depend on the services provided by servers such as another application, component, or database to complete the intended function.
A term used in a broad sense to describe the relationship between the receiver and the provider of a service. In the world of microcomputers, the term client-server describes a networked system where front-end applications, as the client, make service requests upon another networked system. Client-server relationships are defined primarily by software. In a local area network [LAN], the workstation is the client and the file server is the server. However, client-server systems are inherently more complex than file server systems. Two disparate programs must work in tandem, and there are many more decisions to make about separating data and processing between the client workstations and the database server. The database server encapsulates database files and indexes, restricts access, enforces security, and provides applications with a consistent interface to data via a data dictionary.