FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Client/Server: A GeekSpeak Analogy

A couple of years ago I wrote an article about the differences between our Multi-User versions of FundRaiser and the Client/Server versions of FundRaiser.  And you may want to visit that article for a more technical explanation of things, but in this week's blog I'll attempt to give you the short version.

Client/Server versions can allow more than one person to use the program simultaneously, like Multi-User versions, but that's not their real purpose and strength.  Speed with safety is the real benefit to Client/Server versions, speeding up processes while insuring that no data becomes corrupt or lost.  Most "regular" versions of software are installed directly to the computer at hand, and that computer does all the work, so it's called a "stand alone" setup.  On networks of computers, it can be advantageous to have the program installed on a special computer called a Server, and allow other computers (Clients) to run the program over the network.

This is where it gets geeky.  If a stand alone program is installed to a network server, the only thing the server does is pass data back and forth to your computer and your computer still has to do all the work.  With Client/Server, your instructions are given to the server, and IT does all the work, and then just gives you the results.  Less information has to travel back and forth, so it's quicker, and more secure, since less data is at risk of corruption due to network glitches.

Think of it like a restaurant.  A good one acts like Client/Server.  The server comes to table, and collects all the orders from everyone at the table, disappears to the kitchen, and brings back all the orders of food and drink.  A bad one could be like a stand alone program on a network.  The server comes to the table, and asks what you want to drink, and then returns with one drink at a time, making multiple trips.  Then asks for your food orders, one at a time, returning with them one at a time.  Slow, frustratingly slow, and in a big, busy restaurant it could take forever to get a meal, and with more trips being made to the kitchen, there's an increased chance that a tray of food may be spilled and need to be re-ordered.

If you use our Online or Hosted versions of FundRaiser, then you're using a Client/Server version of the program already.  But if you're on your own network, and you feel things are just too slow, or you want the added security and data protection, you may want to consider moving up to our Client/Server version.

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