I'm developing an application that has no client-server connection by design, all of the work is done locally (no internet connection needed), so I'm wondering if I can call it a client? (I'm asking for documentation purposes)

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    What's wrong with calling it an "application"? That's what it is.... Feb 17, 2022 at 14:24
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    You can call your software whatever you like, if you don't have any objections to confuse the readers of your documentation.
    – Doc Brown
    Feb 17, 2022 at 14:36
  • And it depends on the audience for the documentation. If end users will be reading it, use their terminology - probably "app" or "application". If developers are your audience, it depends on what part of the application they need to deal with. If this is all local, I would probably just call it application, until you get into the architecture. Then it might be worth mentioning that sub components act like client-server architecture. Feb 17, 2022 at 16:25
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    "no client-server connection by design, all of the work is done locally (no internet connection needed)" these two things aren't related. You can have a client-server connection via all kinds of IPC mechanisms (Unix sockets, pipes, signals, shared memory, XPC on macOS, etc.), which doesn't involve the internet at all. So does your application have some kind of IPC or server/client distinction?
    – Alexander
    Feb 17, 2022 at 17:14
  • @Alexander I presume you mean this IPC Feb 17, 2022 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


You can only call it a client if there is some sort of server it communicates with.

Whether that server exists within the same process or is on Mars is irrelevant to the terminology. Also irrelevant is the incarnation of the server. It could be a separate machine but also an object with an interface in the same program.

The point is that the server does something for the client. You are not a customer until you talk to a shop owner or other kind of vendor about acquiring some service or some goods. You can only be a partner if there is someone else.

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