The Architecture of OpenERP¶
To access OpenERP you can:
use a web browser pointed at the OpenERP server, or
use an application client (the GTK client) installed on each computer.
Both access methods give similar facilities, and you can use both on the same server at the same time. It is best to use the web browser if the OpenERP server is some distance away (such as on another continent) because it is more tolerant of time delays between the two than the GTK client is. The web client is also easier to maintain, because it is generally already installed on users' computers.
Conversely you would be better off with the application client (called the GTK client because of the technology it is built with) if you are using a local server (such as in the same building). In this case the GTK client will be more responsive, so more satisfying to use.
Web Client and GTK Client
There is little functional difference between the two OpenERP clients - the web client and the GTK client at present. The web client offers more functionality, for instance, the Corporate Intelligence feature, and the Gantt view.
The OpenERP company will continue to support two clients for the foreseeable future, so you can use whichever client you prefer.
An OpenERP system is formed from two components:
the PostgreSQL database server, which contains all of the databases, each of which contains all data and most elements of the OpenERP system configuration,
the OpenERP application server, which contains all of the enterprise logic and ensures that OpenERP runs optimally. It also contains the web server.
PostgreSQL, the relational and object database management system.
It is a free and open-source high-performance system that compares well with other database management systems such as MySQL and FirebirdSQL (both free), Sybase, DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server (all proprietary). It runs on all types of Operating System, from Unix/Linux to the various releases of Windows, via Mac OS X, Solaris, SunOS and BSD.
Both components can be installed on the same server or distributed onto separate computer servers, if performance considerations require it.