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Application design includes many extremes, ranging from standalone applications that don't share data to public web applications in which everyone connects to the same data store. A variety of peer-to-peer applications exist in which information is shared between nodes but no central data store exists. In the enterprise space, terms such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Software and Services (S+S) reflect a hybrid model where data and services are combined within a rich application.
For the majority of business applications, the web model has become the default choice. It provides user interface functionality that is close to what you get in a rich client application with a deployment model that is easier to provide updates through. And it becomes possible to rationalize the data into a single central repository. Still, there is a drawback . . . the need to be connected ...