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System Components

The Database

The database contains all of your data (examples include names, addresses, products, and orders). It also contains some of Natural Order’s business logic (for example, a city must have a valid state).  You may have more than one database (live data vs. training data).

The Database Server (The Server)

The Server contains one or more databases, and runs a DBMS (Database Management System) using SQL (Structured Query Language). The Server stores and updates data, prevents users from simultaneously changing the same piece of data, and does commit/rollbacks for transaction integrity.  It executes the server-side business logic, and is usually responsible for data backup. It runs Windows Server as the operating system and Microsoft SQL Server as the DBMS.    You might have more than one database server; i.e., a live server and a test server.

The Workstation (The Client)

The Workstation executes the Natural Order client-side applications (examples: Order Entry, Shipping).   It runs a recent version of Windows – a higher CPU speed and more RAM is always better (certain processes of Natural Order require more horsepower, such as Pick Batch generation, 100+ line Order Entry, and similar).  If it can run the Microsoft Office suite acceptably, it should be fine for Natural Order.

The Application (Natural Order)

Written in PowerBuilder, Natural Order contains much of the business logic, and does all presentation of data.  The Application often resides on a server as a shared copy, but executes only on the client.