If a webpage content can be customised or used to complete an activity, interaction is either http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/client-server.php#clinetside or http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/client-server.php#serverside.
Search engines use server-side processing. When a keyword is sent, a program on a server matches the word or phrase entered against an index of website content. (To complete the same search as a client-side process would require the browser to download the entire search engine program and index.)With server-side scripting, completing an activity involves sending information to another computer (http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/server.php) across the internet. The server then runs a program that process the information and returns the results, typically a webpage.
Server-side scripting languages include http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/asp.php and http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/php.php.
Macromedia http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/flash.php application architecture enables a third type of scripting/interaction. Flash can store and process information both client-side and server-side.
An example of this interaction is a Flash-based checkout process. Information the user enters (such as delivery and billing addresses, credit card details, etc.) can be stored andhttp://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/validation.php client-side. Once the required information has been completed a connection is established to the server and the order sent for processing.
client-side vs server-side
- response to interaction may be more immediate (once the program code has been downloaded)
- services are secure (as no information is sent from the browser)
- reliant on the user having using a specific browser and/or plug-in on their computer
- affected by the processing speed of the user’s computer
- complex processes are often more efficient (as the program and the associated resources are not downloaded to the browser)
- there are security considerations when sending sensitive information
- does not rely on the user having specific browser or plug-in
- affected by the processing speed of the host server
How the user connects to the internet affects both forms of interaction. For client-side scripting, the connection type affects the time it takes program code to be downloaded. For server-side processing, it affects the time taken for information to be sent to the server and the response downloaded.