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    I am totally confused

    I am just starting in my first semester of earning a degree to become a programmer. I am confused on something that is part of the homework (only a smart part) and I need help understanding it. I am confused between a file based system and a server based one. Our text book doesn't talk about it and all the information I find online has so much going on I can't get a straight answer. Can anyone tell me something about them and how the questions below would be answered? I am totally confused and have no idea. Thank you in advance. Here is the question and background to support it:

    After initial review of the existing systems, you have determined that the shipping system used by your company is a Cobol program and files stand alone and are not tied to any other department. In a similar fashion, the receiving department is using a program designed and developed in DBase. The management team wants the two systems integrated.

    Your supervisor has asked you how the use of a database management system will improve the overall processing of the information system within the company. Describe the pros and cons of a file-based verses a server-based solution and what benefits are be gained from using a server-based solution. Your post should include the following details:

    Pros and cons of each solution.
    The missed opportunity for data sharing using the 2 independent systems.
    The advantage of using a single database for both shipping and receiving
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    This is a rather silly naming convention that the question has adopted!

    It really depends on what the person who wrote this question decided to define as "file-based" and "server-based".

    Reading this rather poorly worded question I get the following impression:

    There are two companies (company A and compnay B).

    Company A use a legacy system based on COBAL

    Company B use a DBase system.

    These are separate systems. Thus data transfer between them will be required.

    If both applications used the SAME database (on a server). Then this would eliminate the need for "transferring" data between two applications.

    Having a single database, means that you can develop as many "Front End" systems as you need. These "clients" then connect to the same database.

    These "Front End" systems can be tailored to each business domain/department.

    I hope that helps.
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    If you're talking about specific database systems, then I would think it would look at something like Microsoft Access as a file based system & then PostgreSQL which is full blow relational database management system (server based) as in it has clients that connect to it and read / modify data. Then again I have no idea what your course is looking for...just adding my .02.

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