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To select between the two methods, consider your runtime deployment requirements. In general, the more complex the configuration problem becomes, the fewer the number of concurrent users that are likely to access it. For example, if one were deploying a Web-based configuration application to end-consumers to configure something simple like an automobile, or a computer laptop, one would want to plan for peak concurrent user loads well into the thousands. At the other extreme, if one were deploying an application to allow business customers and field salespeople to configure specialized semiconductor manufacturing systems, one would expect a much lower number of possible simultaneous users.
Siebel eConfigurator's server-based deployment mode can support simple to extremely sophisticated configuration models. Scaling to larger user communities in this mode is done through the addition of infrastructure, such as more processors or additional servers as necessary.
Also consider the impact your product line will have on runtime deployment. A broad product line with individual product categories is a good fit for browser-based deployment. Other product categories would be more easily deployed using a server-based, constraint model.
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