CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Raul Salazar

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to explain how to migrate a medium-sized or large company to client/server computing. It draws heavily on the recent IBM Boca Raton migration experience. The client/server computing model is introduced and related, by a Business Reengineering Model, to the major trends that are affecting most businesses today, including business process reengineering, empowered teams, and quality management. A recommended information technology strategy is presented. A business case development approach, necessary to justify the large expenditures required for a client/server migration, is discussed. A five-phase migration management methodology is presented to explain how a business can be transformed from mid-range or mainframe-centric computing to client/server computing. Requirements definition, selection methodology, and development alternatives for client/server applications are presented. Applications are broadly categorized for use by individuals (personal applications) or teams. Client systems, server systems, and network infrastructures are described along with discussions of requirements definition, selection, installation, and support. The issues of user communication, education, and support with respect to a large client/server infrastructure are explored. Measurements for evaluation of a client/server computing environment are discussed with actual results achieved at the IBM Boca Raton site during the 1994 migration. The dissertation concludes with critical success factors for client/server computing investments and perspectives regarding future technology in each major area.

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