Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019)

Client-Server In the mid-1980s, businesses began to see the need to connect their computers as a way to collaborate and share resources. Known as “client-server,” this networking architecture allowed users to log in to the Local Area Network (LAN) from their PC (the “client”) by connecting to a central computer called a “server.” The server would lookup permissions for each user to determine who had access to various resources such as printers and files. Software companies began developing applications that allowed multiple users to access the same data at the same time. This evolved into software applications for communicating, with the first popular use of electronic mail appearing at this time. Registered Trademark of SAP This networking and data sharing all stayed mainly within the confines of each business. Sharing of electronic data between companies was a very specialized function. Computers were now seen as tools to collaborate internally within an organization. These networks of computers were becoming so powerful that they were replacing many of the functions previously performed by the larger mainframe computers at a fraction of the cost. It was during this era that the first Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems were developed and run on the client- server architecture. An ERP system is an application with a centralized database that can be used to run a company’s entire business. With separate modules for accounting, finance, inventory, human resources, and many more, ERP systems, with Germany’s SAP leading the way, represented the state of the art in information systems integration. ERP systems will be discussed in Chapter 9. Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019) pg. 11

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