What are web client and Fat Client software?
Developing software takes time and requires some reflection: there are indeed different types of software for different applications. It is therefore important to determine the future use of your product before your project. We can distinguish different categories of software, including the Fat Client and the web client. We will look at these two application styles to help you choose the best approach based on your needs.
First of all, let's define these two terms in a simple and concise manner so that they can be clearly distinguished for the rest of this article.
By Fat Client, also called thick client, we mean software that is installed directly on a computer and whose data is mainly stored on a hard drive or on a USB stick. Use without an internet connection is possible with this option. Sometimes Fat Client software uses a server.
Conversely, a web client or thin client is a web interface that can be accessed from any device. Because it works via a connection, the data is stored on a server.
Now let's get to the heart of the matter by first presenting the benefits of web client software. Note that the strengths of the one are usually shortcomings of the other.
What are the advantages of online software (web client)?
Because the software is accessible from a browser, unlike Fat Client software, you don't need to install anything on your computer. The same goes for updates, just open the software and they will run automatically. This way you can be sure that you are always using the latest version of the software. With a Fat Client you have to install updates on every device. That is why development and maintenance cost less.
Thanks to online software, your data is kept in a safe place: a secure server that is monitored 24 hours a day by professionals and regular backups are made, so you can be sure that all your data is preserved. Moreover, you can restore them from any device, which is not possible with Fat Client software. After all, if the computer on which your software is installed crashes, your data will be lost.
One of the most relevant benefits for companies when choosing online software is sharing a central database. Multiple people can use the same software and access the same information. The larger a company becomes, the more it has to share data with its employers.
Web client software makes it easy to create designer and personalized graphical interfaces, leading to a better user experience (UX). People working with your software will then be more productive thanks to a clear and intuitive interface.
As explained earlier, your software is accessible from a browser, which means it is compatible with all platforms: Mac, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, etc. Development is therefore easier.
What are the benefits of Fat Client software?
Works without connection:
This is clearly the main advantage of Fat Client software. If you're in a place without a connection or you're having trouble with your Wi-Fi, you can still use your software as everything works mostly locally.
Fat Client software offers more features and gives access to more components of your PC (graphics card, keyboard, processor, etc.) and to all files stored on your computer.
More efficient :
Fat Client software provides better performance for graphics and multimedia software that requires more graphics resources and is too heavy for online software.
Use of existing infrastructure:
Nowadays, almost everyone has a computer that is fast enough and has the infrastructure to run Fat Client software without having to pay extra to support that type of software.
There is no winner between the two categories of software because the choice of developing a Fat Client or online software will depend above all on your needs. If you want data processing software, we advise you to go for web client software. If your software, however, needs to have access to local resources, we recommend the option of Fat Client software.
This is why it is essential to take the time to discuss your project and express expectations and desires that you might not have thought of at first.