23 April 2001
Web-Based vs. Dedicated Thin Clients
A web-based thin client is a computer with a browser used to display web pages. The biggest obstacle that must be overcome by this type is the generation of these pages. Most applicationsthis is especially true in industryhave evolved with a special non-web based interface. Conversion of the screens in a standard application, along with any embedded macros or scripting, is quite a task. Collecting data from multiple locations and putting it on a single page presents is a new problem.
The dedicated thin client is composed of dedicated pieces of hardware that serve as the clients or terminals. It has no applications (e.g., browsers, etc.) stored locally, so there is no chance of the device ending up with an old version of a display program. While it can only be used for only one thing, such as displaying the interface for applications running on a Terminal Server, it is very easy to maintain and replace, becoming essentially a commodity item. Users can add new units or replace old units as easily. And it can display output from all current Windows-based applications, meaning thin-client terminals can co-exist with current PCs without requiring any new software development.