iPhone Client/Server Application - when?

Apr 9, 2011

When should you write a client application that takes an input from the server?
Should you write the iPhone application as a client only application, all the data is taken from the iPhone
or should part of the application reside on the server (client/server application). 

Let’s take an example a flowers shop. What will happen if you want to change the price of the
flowers bouquet or add a new the flowers bouquet?
There are two alternatives: The first one is to update the application with the new information and send
the updated application for approval by Apple (every change requires an approval).
The second option which seems more reasonable is that the iPhone application will retrieve the updated information when it is loaded.

In this approach, the shop administrator can update the shop whenever he wants and the iPhone
application will receive the changes every time it is started. There is an option to improve this approach
so that the iPhone application will load the changes from the previous update,
this way the size of the data that will be brought from the server will be smaller

. Another example of a client/server application is a news application. Client/Server applications have also disadvantages like: response time. If you load a lot of data, the end user might have to
wait until the update is concluded. If for some reason the server is down, the user will have to wait
until the server is recovered. It is recommended that the client will keep part of the data locally and update the local storage when the communication with the server is recovered.
Another example is that the user has
already a Web site. In addition the user has already an iPhone application that is updated based on the server content. it is recommended that the iPhone application will update its content whenever the server (the Web side) is updated,

As a summary, let’s take an example the What’s up application that sends SMS messages between iPhone
devices for free. Such application must have a server side since only this component can know if a specific
user has already installed  the application. Moreover, in order to make this application simpler, ever message between two clients should be transferred by the server

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