Networking - Rich client

February 2017

Rich client

A "rich client" is a compromise between the thin client and the thick client. The purpose of the rich client is to provide a graphic interface, written using an XML based syntax, which provides similar functionality to a thick client (drag-and-drop, tabs, multiple windows, drop down menus).

Rich clients can also perform essential processing on the server side. Data is then sent using a standard exchange format, using XML syntax (SOAP, XML-RPC), which is then interpreted by the rich client.

The principle standards which define a rich application are as follows:

  • XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language), pronounced "zammel", an XML standard developed by Microsoft, and which is mostly used in .NET framework applications
  • XUL, pronounced "zool", is an XML standard developed by Mozilla, used for example in the email client Mozilla Thunderbird or in the browser Mozilla Firefox 
  • Flex, is an XML standard developed by Macromedia.

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