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Rich Client

Definition - What does Rich Client mean?

A rich client is a networked computer falling between a fat client and a thin client. Fat refers to a computer with many locally-stored programs/resources and little network resource dependence. Thin refers to a computer with few locally-stored programs/resources and great network resource dependence. Thus, a rich client depends both on locally-stored programs/resources and those available through the network server.

Techopedia explains Rich Client

A rich client balances program/resource dependence and hard drive or connected drive resources on its devices with program/resource dependence on the network server’s hard drive or connected drives and devices. The system designer determines this balance, depending on whether lengthy computations must be accomplished by the client or the server.

As an example, the computer handling a simple drawing’s editing with sophisticated software stored on a network server is often considered as a thin client. A computer handling most of a complex drawing’s editing with locally-stored sophisticated editing software may be considered a fat client. Editing or viewing accessibility to the drawing and editing software is determined by the system designer.

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