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A True Client-Server Database


The problem with excessive network traffic, which occurs with shared table systems, can be avoided by using a dedicated network server software such as SQL Server, Oracle or MySQL as the server component and using MS Access or the others as the Client system, as in the true client-server system shown above. The server database is a complete database manager program, and not just data tables. It will respond to queries and commands but does not have a user interface.

When queried, the Database Sever only communicates the required subset of the total data stored in the database. With appropriate design, only a single pageful of data needs to be communicated to the client at any time. This reduces the network traffic to levels which can be handled over a WAN or a modem.

Significant advantage is obtained by using database specific applications such as MS-Access, Paradox etc. as hosts for the client software. These systems provide the extra functionality specific to editing and displaying database data in forms and reports, and significantly reduce the development costs.


  • Relatively cheap.
  • Upgrading from a stand-alone system is relatively simple.
  • Various levels of system improvement can be achieved by migrating various database tasks to stored programs on the server.


  • More expensive than the shared tables solution.
  • The database server requires maintenance
  • The client computers each must have a copy of the user software and the database software (Access etc.) installed. This represents an extra logistical overhead. However automatic installation and upgrade software can mitigate this cost.

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Client \-Server database architecture is discussed on this page.

Other pages in this section:

This section is  also associated with a discussion on the methodology used by Bent Tree Systems in designing and implementing a software project.