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A Web-Enabled Database System

Recently the concept of web-enabled databases has been popular. In these systems (often called thin-client) the software in the client computers is reduced to a minimum and is often downloaded from the server with the various data manipulation pages and is displayed using a standard web-browser such as Internet Explorer, Netscape or Opera.

The server-side of these client-server systems is based around a database server software (SQL Server, Oracle, db2,  MySQL etc.) but an extra server system is added based around Microsoft’s .NET or the JAVA J2EE system and also a Web Server.

In its most primitive form, only the simplest editing facilities are available in such an application. These facilities are provided by the simple editing facilities available in your web browser.  Consequently any complex system at all will require significant extra coding to provide the facilities that users are used to.


Microsoft .NET (pronounced dot-net) and the JAVA J2EE environments overcome this by placing a large amount of pre-written code into the ‘Thin’ client to provide sophisticated editing facilities. This type of system can work well over local networks the internet or other WAN. However the final system is often more expensive and slower than a client-server system using ‘thick client’ software such as MS-Access.


  • The entire database can be managed from the server. This makes them particularly popular with the IT department who prefer to stay ‘home’ rather than trekking to far corners of the business.
  • This also makes maintenance cheaper.
  • By implementing the software via the web browser which is generally tightly controlled by standards, Fewer variations need to be written in the application to handle hardware and operating system variations.


  • Much of the responsiveness of purpose - built applications such as database programs is not available in a web enabled system.
  • The applications usually have to be written to work with a more limited set of available features

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Web-enabled 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.