Client/Server Management Issues


A two-day discussion of the managerial issues that must be addressed when retooling your organization for client/server computing.

Increasingly, organizations struggling to keep their information systems responsive in the face of rapidly changing business needs are choosing client/server architecture to implement new systems. They soon discover this new technology is fraught with unfamiliar problems and challenges.

Most discussions of client/server focus only on the potential benefits of the technology, ignoring the implementation issues that can doom a transition to failure. But client/server is far more than just a platform shift; its effective implementation demands a whole new relationship between management and the enterprise information system.

The Client/Server Management Issues seminar focuses on the risk, cost, organizational, and personnel considerations involved in a shift to distributed computing. From these discussions, participants will gain:

Who will benefit?

This course is intended for IT managers and project leaders considering or engaged in a client/server project. Technically involved end users can also benefit. Although no prerequisite is required, an understanding of client/server architectures—comparable to that presented in our Fundamentals of Client/Server Computing seminar—is strongly recommended.

Ensure a smooth and effective transition to client/server.
Call 1.800.756.9450 to schedule this seminar or request information about other Socrates Group seminars. If none of our standard courses fits your special needs, we'll gladly create one that does.

Course Outline:

Architecting for Change

In this module we describe the evolving business needs that powered the development of client/ server technology, how fulfilling those needs often conflicts with established IT infrastructures and practices. We show how the enabling technology for client/server has evolved and proliferated to suit the demands of end users, a process that—without an underlying structure—disrupts access to data required in today's rapidly changing business climate.

We examine common client/server models like the Gartner model, and expose their weaknesses; then we proceed to introduce the Services Model, a powerful, general model that describes client/server technology and shows how to build and distribute large applications.

The remainder of this module examines and compares two- and three-tier architectures. Topics include:

  1. Challenges in a changing world
  2. Forces driving client/server
  3. Weaknesses of the Gartner model
  4. Logical vs physical tiers
  5. The Services Model
  6. Middleware glue
  7. Location of business services
  8. Reducing desktop complexity
  9. Building the enterprise API
  10. Tools, with or without architecture

Process Thinking

Both technology and business models are changing at a frightening pace. Taking advantage of these changes requires a revolutionary way of thinking about technology and organizations that revolves around process rather than tasks and data. This module analyzes this new way of thinking and shows how client/server—a process-driven computing model—mandates its adoption. It is shown why the efficient transfer of information is as much dependent on business structure as on enabling technology. Topics include:

  1. Dealing with a paradigm shift: what it means, how it happens, what it leads to
  2. The effect of scale on application development
  3. Business process re-engineering
  4. Exploding pre-conceptions that hinder an understanding of client/server
  5. Tasks, queues, and processes
  6. Controlled decentralization: loose-tight data
  7. Self-managed teams, self-managed databases
  8. Business rule components
  9. Interoperability and performance
  10. Process-oriented design
  11. Two-phase commit
  12. Distributed process infrastructure

Software Development Life Cycle Issues

Client/server radically changes the way software is developed. This module explores the impact of distributed processes and data on methods used to implement systems. Topics include:

  1. Typical phases of SDLC
  2. Problems with traditional SDLCs
  3. Caveats and principles
  4. What changes with CSG RAD?
  5. Process model
  6. Designing graphical interfaces
  7. Data modeling
  8. Technology assessment
  9. Network benchmarking
  10. Event-driven programming
  11. DLLs; custom controls; OLE
  12. Implementing business rules
  13. Testing & standards

The Cost of Client/Server

The cost of a client/server project depends on many factors. This module shows you how to project costs based on your current infrastructure and compares both immediate and long-term costs to more conventional architectures. The cost of servers, support, training, and development are considered, and direct comparison with an AS/400 is charted.

When & Where Does Client/Server Fit?

If client/server technology is still evolving, how do you determine when and to what extent to implement it? This module discusses the factors you should consider before making a move and introduces the Project Risk Assessment Profile, a valuable tool for determining the risks associated with client/server projects. Topics include:

  1. When should you play? The determining factors
  2. Where does client/server fit?
  3. Major risk factors; the consequences of a bad choice
  4. A typical client/server project-actual case study
  5. Managing risks: the Project Risk Assessment Profile
  6. Infrastructure and application characteristics
  7. Strategies for reducing risk


Client/server is as much about people as it is about technology and infrastructure. A shared sense of business priorities along with enhanced technical and interpersonal skills are required if distributed business processes are to function smoothly and effectively. This module analyzes the necessary changes and charts the necessary paths to implement them. Topics covered include:

  1. Retooling defined
  2. How IT professionals must grow
  3. Retooling vs re-engineering
  4. Re-engineering & information technology
  5. The IT organization of the past and its problems
  6. Retooling questions that must be answered by IT managers, CIOs, developers, and training managers
  7. The Shamrock Organization
  8. The new work force; the human side of retooling
  9. The skills gap
  10. Improved interpersonal skills
  11. Business skills & knowledge; the technical curriculum
  12. The technical skills hierarchy
  13. How technical skills relate to the Services Model
  14. Client/server's impact on skill sets-application development
  15. The cost of retooling…and of not retooling
  16. Enterprise vs team training
  17. Enterprise retraining strategy
  18. Personal Development Planner
  19. New vs existing staff; can people be retrained?
  20. Creating the learning environment; learning organizations
  21. Changing employment contract


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