The open concept: Multiclient network

What is it?

Client/server based software that consists of a server computer (a computer directly connected to the microscope, and video camera) and a client computer (one or more remote computers). The server and client of the ZEM software communicate with each other over a network. The server computer provides services (graphical information, audio and visual conferencing information) to the client(s).

The server part is passive and waits for the client part's requests. When the client puts in a request, the server makes sure to get the requested item and sends it to the client. If multiple clients put in requests, the server puts them in a queue and serves them in chronological order.

In a Multi-Client situation, which is what the ZEM software is developed for, there can not only be one server and one client, but also one server and many clients. In theory the server part of the ZEM software can serve up to 65000 clients. In reality the server has served up till 12 clients simultaneously.

What are the advantages?

  • The ZEM SOFTWARE provides simultaneous support for different networks (LAN, WAN, Satellite, ISDN, ADSL, and modem) at different speeds on different platforms (WIN NT/2000/98/95, Mac).
  • A large number of people can participate in a session. During these sessions there can be real-time, interactive exchange of information between all participants.
  • As the client software is free of charge, the software could be installed on as many computers at various locations. The architecture of the software allows the software be run on standard computers. Due to the presence of the Internet the microscope could be accessed and controlled from all these computers located at various locations. Also previous sessions could be reviewed when the database is accessed. In the ZEM case, a pathologist is free to travel, go home etc. As long as there is a computer available that can be connected to the network (for instance the Internet), he/she can participate in sessions from wherever he/she happens to be.
  • Educational purposes: each student can have his/her own client software installed and follow classes/sessions. Moreover, the students do not even have to be in the same room, or the same building, city or country.

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