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Lesson 5Web's Technology Architecture
ObjectiveDescribe the Web's technology architecture.

Web's Technology Architecture

The Internet browser and its web publication features caught the public's attention and web publishing was launched, heralding the information revolution as organizations and technical individuals began publishing all kinds of data. At the root of this publication blitz are four core technologies that make up one common architecture:
  1. The Web server
  2. HTML
  3. HTTP and HTTPS
  4. The browser client

Client browser/Web server

Business's recent acceptance of the worldwide Web as a channel has challenged the " fat client " and " thin server " architecture traditional of the WWW, Microsoft, and the ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) of the early 90's. The WWW of today is talking about one "thin client " (the browser) and multiple fat servers " that house powerful applications such as transaction processing, security functions, and content management systems.

Anywhere, anytime

As long as those web servers are running 24 hours a day and seven days a week, customers can access a business from anywhere, anytime, and on any device that has a browser built in.

One document, multiple users

Web architecture, and the browser's ability to cache, allow multiple users to access and interact with the same file at the same time as well as engage in chat sessions. Note, there are some detailed technical limitations here, but a properly designed thin client/fat server architecture provides immense capabilities in the area of file management.

  1. Fat client: The client (PC) doing most, or all of the processing in a client/server environment.
  2. Thin server: Like a thin client, the thin server contains little application logic but lots of "dumb" data. An architecture with thin server's relies on the client machine to be fat with application logic and processing power.
  3. Thin client: A thin client is similar to a dumb terminal in that it gets all of its information from the network.
    Thin clients are stripped down computers that might lack a hard-drive for application storage. Their processing power is limited as well because the server is designed to take this load. In this environment, the thin server would need a "fat server" to run.
  4. Multiple fat servers: More than one fat server. Fat servers contain all of the logic and data for an application on the server itself.
    This is in contrast to thin servers. A dumb terminal accesses a fat server. Fat servers contain little application logic, but lots of dumb data.
  5. Cache: A temporary storage area for frequently-accessed or recently-accessed data. Having certain data stored in cache speeds up the operation of the computer. When a request is called, a computer or server, first checks its cache to see if it has been recently accessed. If so, it quickly retrieves and presents the data. If not, it will look toward the slower storage devices to retrieve the information. Cache is like a chipmunk's cheek; it holds data for later recall and use.

Information Retrieval