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A thick app is an application that receives most of its functionality from the client side, rather than relying to a large extent on an auxiliary server. This is in contrast to thin applications that rely heavily on external servers. The terminology “thick app” comes from the terms “thick client” and “thin client” which are used to describe different types of server/client setups.
In the early days of application design, nearly all applications were thick apps. Their code and functionality were housed within the executable structure of the application. However, as cloud-delivered and virtualized systems started to emerge, the concept of putting a lot of the applications’ resources in the server-side or creating a “thin app” architecture became much more feasible. Today, thick and thin apps coexist with different applications for business and personal users.