Fat Client or Thick Client consists of the programming interface, hardware abstraction layer and hardware parts. Thick Client is to increase the adaptability. Just like Thin Client, Fat Client is also related to client server architecture. The reason I have used the title Fat Client in Client Server Architecture is to reinforce the association. Fat Client, Rich Client can do the actual processing of data opposed to Thin Client.
Fat Client and Rich Client
Fat Client and Rich Client often used synonymously. Rich Client is said to be a new offshoot of the fat client with richer solutions. Usually it is a framework, through which the modules and plug-ins can be extended. Thus a rich client not only solve a problem, as is common with fat clients; but it is also suitable for related or even dissimilar problems.
Several frameworks are available today that offer a Rich Client Platform (RCP). These provide a basis in which the user’s modules can be added as per need. Ideally, external solutions from different vendors work with a rich client.
Software developers and vendors can also combine with these Rich Client Platform distributions from certain modules / plug-ins and provide specific user groups more versatile.
Furthermore, a rich client has the advantage over a normal fat client – it is easier to update through an automatic online update feature in the client itself.
Features and Advantages of Fat Client and Related Clients
The comparative image of Fat Client, Thin Client and Rich Client is from IBM
Fat Client in Client Server Architecture gives adaptability to the end user. The basic concept of Fat Client is to increase the adaptability to different devices. As opposed to Thin Clients, both online and offline work is possible with Fat Client.
Easy distribution to end users, easy to update the client are good features of a Fat Client. Whereas the cost, complexity is obviously more with a Fat Client.