What is the Client-Server Model?

A quick introduction to the give/take relationship between the front-end and the back-end, often referred to as the Client-Server model.

Your client (front-end) and server (back-end) must be able to communicate with each other. Otherwise, we won’t be able to manipulate data (text, images, videos) back and forth, which is crucial on most platforms. For example, Instagram, Twitter, or any app where you can sign in/ sign out, stream video, upload files, and write messages.

The Client-Server model

As you can see in the illustration above, to either send or receive information from the database, we need to go through a so-called web server when we make requests on the client.

A web server is like a guard that protects your precious file storage facility (database) from intruders. To get access to any web content, we first need to ask for permission from the guard, aka web server.

What is a request?

The most basic example of a request is when you go to any website either via your address bar or by clicking on a hyperlink. To get anything displayed in your browser, your client (your web browser) first sends a request to the web server of the site you want to visit (it happens behind the scenes).

If the web server (the guard) accepts your request, it will try to fetch the web page you want to see from the database, and send you the necessary files to display the site (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, video).

The request process takes place in a matter of milliseconds but it can take anywhere from 100ms or less to several seconds before you can see the entire web page in your browser window.

The more data the web page has (especially images and videos) the longer it takes to load. Your location relative to the web page’s location (where it’s hosted) also affects both the request-response time, and page loading time.

The give-take relationship between the front-end and the back-end is called the Client-Server model.

There’s more to say about this topic, but I’ll save that for an in-depth tutorial.


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Kofi