A common question that is raised in the world of computing is whether to use synchronous or synchronous collaboration. Let’s explore these two options and you can determine which one suits your needs best.
Synchronous Communications: In this mode, a person sends a message to another person who then sends an acknowledgment back. This process can be repeated as often as necessary until the message has been received and acknowledged by the receiving party. The problem with this type of communication is that it ties up resources at both ends, making them unavailable for other purposes and leading to latency problems between transmissions.
This problem is eliminated when the receiving party sends an acknowledgment back to the sender via a separate channel, so that the sending party knows that the first message has been received and is being processed. While this may seem perfectly logical, this introduces another problem: There will be a discrepancy in which party has control of the channel. This can cause problems if there is a changeover in power while one party is waiting for an acknowledgment from another.
Asynchronous Communications: In this case, a person sends a message to another person who then sends a response at some other time. In other words, no acknowledgments are involved. This mode of communication is often used in the case of two computers connecting to each other via the internet to exchange information. Asynchronous communication is excellent if there is a significant difference in speed between the two computers. Sometimes it’s better to have your computer sending interrupt requests at a fast rate, allowing your computer to remain responsive while another computer, much slower, is processing the request or information.
The problem with this mode of communication is that it introduces delay into the system and can affect performance. In other words, you and someone else communicating at different speeds might find yourself waiting for each other to catch up or be impatient wondering what exactly you are doing while you are awaiting their response.
Asynchronous communications is used in situations where there are a large number of computers communicating with each other. It is also helpful in communicating between very slow computers or high-speed computers. The problem with this type of communication is that it introduces delay into the system and can affect performance. In other words, you and someone else communicating at different speeds might find yourself waiting for each other to catch up or be impatient wondering what exactly you are doing while you are awaiting their response.
Depending on your needs and the intention behind how you intend to use a computer, synchronous or asynchronous communications may be appropriate for the initial transmission and receipt of information from one computer to another.