Client/Server Software Engineering

At the turn of the twentieth century, the development of a new generation of machine tools capable of holding very tight tolerances empowered the engineers who designed a new factory process called mass production. Before the advent of this advanced machine tool technology, machines could not hold tight tolerances. But with it, easily assembled interchangeable parts—the cornerstone of mass production—could be built.

When a new computer-based system is to be developed, a software engineer is constrained by the limitations of existing computing technology and empowered when new technologies provide capabilities that were unavailable to earlier generations of engineers. The evolution of distributed computer architectures has enabled system and software engineers to develop new approaches to how work is structured and how information is processed within an organization.

New organization structures and new information processing approaches (e.g., intra- and Internet technologies, decision support systems, groupware, and imaging) represent a radical departure from the earlier mainframe- and minicomputer-based technologies. New computing architectures have provided the technology that has enabled organizations to reengineer their business processes.
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