A stand-alone computer in a local area network that holds and manages the database. It implies that database management functions, such as locating the actual record being requested, is performed in the server computer. Contrast with file server, which acts as a remote disk drive and requires that large parts of the database, for example, entire indexes, be transmitted to the user's computer where the real database management tasks are performed.
First-generation personal computer database software was not designed for a network; thus, modified versions of the software released by the vendors employed the file server concept. Second-generation products, designed for local area networks, perform the management tasks in the server where they should be done, and consequently are turning the file server into a database server.