The detailed design and installation of a distributed database environment deals with a wide range of issues. Because so many people will ultimately benefit from or be affected by the distributed database management system (DBMS), the selection of the most appropriate hardware and software for an organization’s specific needs is paramount. The hardware design issue is centered on the client/server model. The node with the fastest or most powerful computing power is generally assigned the role of server. For most commercially available distributed DBMSs, the software consists of a family of products that are available on a variety of hardware platforms. The family of software packages used in a distributed database environment is configured according to the role of each node in the network. For a client node without a database server service, minimum software packages are required. When the communications network is selected or designed, the following factors should be considered: cost, reliability, performance, and Open Systems Interconnection.