What is Client-Server and Web Based Testing: How to Test these Applications?

Do you know the difference between Client-Server Testing and Web-Based Testing and what are the things that we need to test in such applications?

This tutorial will give you the answers to the above questions in detail along with simple examples for your easy understanding.

Projects are broadly divided into two types of:

  • 2 Tier Applications
  • 3 Tier Applications

Client-server and web based testing (1)


This type of testing is usually done for 2 tier applications (usually developed for LAN). We will be having Front-end and Backend here.

Applications launched on the front-end will have forms and reports which will be monitoring and manipulating data.

For Example, applications developed in VB, VC++, Core Java, C, C++, D2K, PowerBuilder, etc., The backend for these applications would be MS Access, SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, Mysql, Quadbase

The tests performed on these types of applications would be:

  • User Interface Testing
  • Manual Support Testing
  • Functionality Testing
  • Compatibility Testing & Configuration Testing
  • Intersystem Testing


This is done for 3 tier applications (developed for Internet / intranet / xtranet). Here we will be having Browser, web server and DB server.

The applications accessible in the browser would be developed in HTML, DHTML, XML, JavaScript, etc. (We can monitor through these applications).

Applications for the webserver would be developed in Java, ASP, JSP, VBScript, JavaScript, Perl, Cold Fusion, PHP, etc. (All the manipulations are done on the webserver with the help of these programs developed)

The DB server would have Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, MySQL, etc. (All data is stored in the database available on the DB server).

The tests performed on these types of applications would be:

  • User Interface Testing
  • Functionality Testing
  • Security Testing
  • Browser Compatibility Testing
  • Load/Stress Testing
  • Interoperability Testing/Intersystem Testing
  • Storage and Data Volume Testing

Web Application is a Three-Tier Application

This has a browser (monitors data) [monitoring is done using HTML, Dhtml, XML, javascript] -> webserver (manipulates data) [manipulations are done using programming languages or scripts like adv java, asp, JSP, VBScript, javascript, Perl, ColdFusion, php] -> database server (stores data) [data storage and retrieval is done using databases like Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, mysql].

The types of tests that can be applied to these types of applications, are

  • User Interface Testing for validation & user-friendliness.
  • Functionality Testing to validate behaviors, i/p, error handling, o/p, manipulations, service levels, the order of functionality, links, content of web page & backend coverage’s.
  • Security Testing
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Load/Stress Testing
  • Interoperability Testing
  • Storage & Data Volume Testing

Client-Server Application is a Two-Tier Application

This has forms & reporting at front-end (monitoring & manipulations are done) [using vb, vc++, core java, c, c++, d2k, power builder etc.,] -> database server at the backend [data storage & retrieval) [using ms access, SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, quad base etc.,]

The tests performed on these applications would be

  • User Interface testing
  • Manual Support Testing
  • Functionality Testing
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Intersystem Testing

Enlisted below are some more points to clarify the difference between Client-Server, Web and Desktop applications.

Desktop Application:

  • Application runs in single memory (Front end and Back end in one place)
  • Single user only

Client/Server Application:

  • Applications run in two or more machines.
  • Applications are menu-driven.
  • Connected mode (connection always exists until logout).
  • A limited number of users.
  • Less number of network issues when compared to the web app.

Web Application:

  • Applications run in two or more machines.
  • URL-driven
  • Disconnected mode (stateless)
  • Unlimited number of users.
  • Many issues like Hardware Compatibility, Browser Compatibility, Version Compatibility, Security Issues, Performance Issues, etc.

As per the difference in both, the applications come from where and how to access the resources. In Client-Server, once the connection is made, it will be in the state on connected, whereas in case the web testing HTTP protocol is stateless, then there comes logic of cookies, which is not in Client-Server.

For Client-Server application, users are well known, whereas for web application any user can log in and access the content, he/she will use it as per his intentions.

So, there are always issues of security and compatibility for a Web Application.

Over to you: On which application are you working on? Desktop, Client-Server or Web Application? What is your experience while testing these applications?

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136 thoughts on “What is Client-Server and Web Based Testing: How to Test these Applications?”

  1. hi everyone,

    this is very informative blog.please help me in testing CLIENT SERVER application manually.or send any link for testing these appln.please help me…


  2. hi everyone,

    please help me in testing CLIENT SERVER and web site application manually.or send any link for testing these appln.please help me…


  3. I need to know the difference between web application and web-based application. I only know that applications like softwaretestinghelp.com is a web app and applications like QC is web based. can anyone please elaborate a little more?

  4. I’m looking at building my skills in Software Quality assurance. I have the certification through series of training but havent had any tangible practical experience.

    Can you advise of any institute in india I can attend to attain this practical experience where I will have opportunity of working on a real life project. Currently based in the UK. Will appreciate your prompt response.

  5. hello sir,
    iam senthil kumar BE(ECE) with 2yrs exp in hardware testing i.e pcb board level testing.iam now looking for s/w testing.i heard about vskills certification.will it help me get job?i know some java.so can i go for web based testing and do
    Certified Software Testing Professional VS-1023
    Certified Selenium Professional VS-1083.
    or which skill set i need to have like qtp,qc etc?

    • @n.senthil kumar: Came across your post. I will recommend you to apply for Scientificgames Inc company. I have been working there for more than 8 yrs. Company is in Casino gaming domain. As you are having hardware testing exp. will be a great benefit for you due to the domain this company having. company has offices in Pune, Bangalore, Channai and all over world. Do check website and apply. You will get good package also.

  6. This is very useful site!!!! Thanks so much i was always confused with the client server and web based applications. But i guess now i am clear about what exactly they are!!!

  7. This article is very helpful,can you please give us detail points ,what we test in server /client architectur and what other points we should keep in mind while testing client server architecture

  8. Hi Vijay,
    Thanks for all your efforts ,its really proving to be helpful :).Your way of expressing the things is really nice i appreciate that.

    Vijay ,My query is regarding the automation testing ,I am in manual testing and want to learn automation ,which tool should i go for i.e Junit or sellenium .
    Is Junit used most by programmers not testers as it is used for testing classes .

    Which automation tool is most demanding in market .

    Waiting eagerly for your suggestion


  9. Hemant, if you want to learn Automation testing then go for Selenium tool as it is hot now-a-days. The Junit which you have mentioned is the framework used in Selenium. So, if you are learning Selenium tool then, you will definitely learn Junit also.

  10. Hi vijay,
    I want sugession from u.i m sandeep i hv done my B.E. in 2007 i have exp in telicomm sector dut due to 2G scam i have left my job.right now i did SQT course i want to go in manual testing.could u plz suggest me how i get the job in software testing.i dont have any exp in testing.plz help me.

  11. hi…. my name is akshay i have completed my BCS in 2012. N i have done a course in software testing from NIIT but as d market is low there is no opening for testing for freshers can u pls guide me with some companies where will i get job as well as experience. I m from mumbai pls pls pls help me out

  12. hi….
    ,what we test in server /client architectur and what other points we should keep in mind while testing client server architecture other

  13. hello , i want to know how more than one ownership web sites will be test??
    gray box why fail when web site is multi ownership web site?

  14. Hi Vijay,
    Appreciate if you could list out good beta and user testing sites/links and also details about real time QA and testing carried out in an eLearning environment. Ex: the process, testing types and methods etc.
    Thanks and regards,

  15. Hi,guys,
    I have some query about automation tools like WINRUNNER , Rational Robot & Test Director.
    pls send me more information in detail.

  16. I tried to read most of the comments to see, if anyone gave example to Single Tier, Client server, Web based applications, so that it would be easy for readers to relate. Appreciate if someone can give details on application, front end languages, backend, database details.

    I have no idea and want to understand better with real time examples. Thanks

  17. Hello Vijay Sir,

    Are both Desktop applications and Windows based applications same ? If not what are the differences ? Looks confusing, is there any similarities between them? Could you please explain with real time examples.

  18. Hi,
    Very informative article.
    Could you explain the difference between distributed application and enterprise application in java?
    Java Geek

  19. Hi,

    Can anyone give example of client server application in our day today life..
    Also please explain how testing will be carried out in Client Server Applications.





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