ARCHIVED: What is a distributed application?

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

A distributed application is a program that runs on more than one computer and communicates through a network. Some distributed applications are actually two separate software programs: the back-end (server) software and the front-end (client) software. Back-end software runs on a shared system (such as a shared Unix or VMS system) and manages shared resources, such as disks, printers, and modems. The back-end software also contains the main processing capability for the application. The front-end (client) software runs on workstations. It is the software you see when you use the application. It handles user interface functions, such as receiving input from a keyboard and displaying output to a screen.

Distributed applications can be relatively simple, requiring a single client computer and a single server, or more complex, allowing many client computers and several servers.

For example, web browsers are distributed applications. Browsers require back-end software (servers on the World Wide Web as well as front-end software installed on your workstation (e.g., Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer).

This is document adob in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-09-22 17:54:40.