Each of the operating systems and architectures discussed in this chapter has its place, and each has been used successfully. However, the IS professional’s main concern is to find solutions that optimize the organization’s computing resources. Ultimately, you’ll find uses in your computing environment for many of the various technologies. The
examine some of these operating systems and architectures.
New technologies will work together under the thin-client/server model.
Visions of Network Computing by Sun, Netscape, and Oracle
Sun, Netscape, and Oracle view the Java technology as the
logical step in the evolution of enterprise computing. The basic
of using Java for enterprise computing is that the “fat-client” desktop (the PC) is
by a thin-client hardware device, the network computer (shown in Figure 2-10 on the following page), which could be a Sun JavaStation or an Oracle version of a network computer. For example, press releases by Sun and Netscape describe the JavaStation (the Java terminal) as having a much simpler hardware design than fat
, and, more importantly, the JavaStation is a stateless device. This further extends the concept of storing Java applets on a central server to a model in which all data, applications, and configuration information are stored on a central server.
Network computers will download Java applets.
Network computing allows Java applets to download from a central server and run on a Network Computer (NC).
Multiuser Versions of Windows NT, ActiveX, and Windows on the Internet
Citrix has successfully developed and marketed WinFrame as a thin-client/server adaptation of Microsoft Windows NT. Microsoft further
the Citrix concept of thin-client/server computing when it licensed the MultiWin technology as the multiuser technology to be used for the Hydra server. For Microsoft, this multiuser technology supplements the existing family of Windows operating systems, and it allows Microsoft to use Windows to
with network computers.
With Citrix WinFrame, the Windows NT platform is evolving toward a multiuser system.
Microsoft also embraced the Internet and Web technologies by introducing ActiveX, a technology that can be used either with or instead of Java. ActiveX was developed by Microsoft for sharing information and
among different applications. (See Figure 2-11.) It is an outgrowth of two other Microsoft technologies: OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model). ActiveX supports new features that enable it to take advantage of the Internet. For example, an ActiveX control, much like a Java applet, can be automatically downloaded and executed by a Web browser. A fundamental difference between ActiveX and Java, however, is that ActiveX is not a programming language. ActiveX defines how applications can share information and can be used with several different programming languages, including C, C++, Visual Basic, and Java.
ActiveX is a technology that facilitates sharing data.
ActiveX controls can be used in Web pages.
Let’s tie ActiveX and multiuser technologies together. As developers create ActiveX controls or components that talk to each other and work together, they can be deployed through an Internet browser that’s running in a thin-client scenario on a server. In this case, if a control must be downloaded, it’s downloaded once and then made available to all users accessing that browser. The bot-tom line is that regardless of the technology, the architecture can be optimized and delivered over a thin-client scenario to a wider audience with various hardware devices.