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The Web client is a client-side component within the Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE), a distributed multi-tiered application model used for building and developing enterprise applications. Client-side components are typically computer applications running on a user's computer and connect to a server. These components perform client-side operations as they might need access to information available only on the client side, like user input, or because the server lacks the processing power necessary in such operations.
J2EE is comprised of a client-tier, Web-tier, business-tier, and enterprise information system (EIS)-tier. Components that run on the client side of a machine are client-tier components.
A client-tier component may be an application or Web client. A Web client contains two parts: dynamic Web pages and the Web browser. Dynamic Web pages are produced by components that run in the Web tier, and a Web browser delivers Web pages received from the server.
A Web client is also known as a thin client because it does not execute heavy-duty operations such as querying databases, performing complex business tasks, or connecting to legacy applications. Heavy-duty operations are performed by the J2EE server, which is secure, fast, and reliable.