Thick Client Advantages and Disadvantages
Definition for Thick Client
A thick client is a type of client device in client-server architecture that has most hardware resources on
board to perform computation operations, run applications and perform other functions independently.
Although a thick client can perform most operations, it still needs to be connected to the primary server
to download programs and data, and to update the operating system.
1. Lower server requirements. A thick client server does not require as high a level of performance
as a thin client server (since the thick clients themselves do much of the application processing).
This results in drastically cheaper servers.
2. Working offline. Thick clients have advantages in that a constant connection to the central
server is often not required.
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3. Better multimedia performance. Thick clients have advantages in multimedia-rich applications
that would be bandwidth intensive if fully served. For example, thick clients are well suited for
4. More flexibility. On some operating systems software products are designed for personal
computers that have their own local resources. Running this software in a thin client
environment can be difficult.
5. Using existing infrastructure. As many people now have very fast local PCs, they already have
the infrastructure to run thick clients at no extra cost.
6. Higher server capacity. The more work that is carried out by the client, the less the server needs
to do, increasing the number of users each server can support.
7. Require more resources but less servers.
8. Reduced server demands.
9. Increased security issues.
1. A thick client solution requires installation of specialized application software on the client
device, which makes deployment more challenging and not practical for public offerings.
However, a developer can include an application loader, such as the .NET Application Updater
Component, which checks for updates at application startup and periodically by polling the
server. The server then automatically downloads and installs the updates.
2. These mechanisms, however, may consume significant network bandwidth when they’re
3. With thick client software, there’s usually a need for higher performing user devices equipped
with greater amounts of memory as compared to the thin client approach.
4. Thick clients normally only run on specific operating systems, which could also limit the
selection of user devices.