Smart Client

The emergence of the internet and the increased globalisation of business have brought about an ever increasing need to be able to access and process company data from remote locations. Organisations that have needed remote data access capabilities have had to settle for slow click and wait browser based applications, expensive leased lines or hard to setup terminal server applications.

In order to overcome these obstacles Microsoft developed a series of technologies in the .NET framework that allows a desktop applications to connect to data over the internet like a web browser would. By combining the power and flexibility only possible in a desktop application with the ability to transfer data over the internet like a web browser a new, superior type of application is created with the smart client application.

In a typical Client / Server setup a Smart Client Application runs on Client machines with full access to the computing resource on that machine for example, access cache or data on the client’s memory or hard drive, access printers and other local resources. As Smart Client applications rely on the resources of the client, they greatly increase the scalability of a Client / Server application. As compared to a browser based application, Smart Client applications are substantially faster since they do not have to download HTML, JavaScript, Cascade Style Sheets, Images, etc in order to function.

Advantages of Smart Client

  • Richer user interface like a desktop client
  • Faster performance – no html, JavaScript or images to download unlike a web based product
  • The ability to evolve to allow offline access
  • The ability to store cached data locally
  • The ability to consume local resources – i.e. scanners, printers, multiple cpu threads