19.1. Client-Server Applications

An Access application with only local tables is a file-server application, where all processing occurs on the local client machine regardless of where the file is physically stored. The idea is that the local machine's or network server's file system will accept commands from the Access Connectivity Engine—ACE database engine—that are made from Access on the local machine during use of the application. This is the key difference between a file-server and a client-server application.

In the client-server application model, an application residing on the local machine retrieves data from a data source that is completely separate from the client application. Often there are many copies of the client application retrieving data from a single or a few remote data sources, which are typically stored in a network location, so that the data can be shared among all clients. At a minimum, the term client-server implies the design of the application is separated into at least two components: a client-side application that allows the user to interact with the data stored in the database, and a server that is responsible for maintaining data and executing requests from the client application. This architectural difference in an application can yield great performance and maintenance benefits, especially when large numbers of users are frequently interacting with the data.

Although it's tempting to think that simply moving the application's tables to a Microsoft ...

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