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An application client is a stand-alone application that runs on the client machine and is configured to work as a J2EE component.
The application client is used to perform tasks, such as system or application administration. It is typicalbundled with strong enterprise components, like Web services and EJB, which are deployed in a remote application server.
Application clients contrast to Java servlets and Java Server Pages (JSPs), which are server-side components, and EJB components, which are server-side business components.
Because it is written in the Java language, an application client is compiled like any Java language program and directly accesses Enterprise Java Bean (EJB) components. An application client also has the ability to establish an HTTP connection when communicating with a servlet. Furthermore, an application client that is written in a language other than Java can also interact with the J2EE server.
The advantages of an application client vs. a stand-alone Java application are as follows:
The main disadvantage of the application client is its heavy weight.