FossLook Platform Structure

FossLook platform has client-server architecture, also known as two-tier architecture. The client sends data to the server which stores the information in the database.


FossLook Server — application that implements the business logic and provides interaction of the client software with the database. The application includes a number of software modules to handle different processes. The server component runs as a Windows service, and you can see it in the service manager:

FossLook server

The application server is written in C# programming language and runs on various Windows platforms (Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, MS Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2008, and 2012).

The server's default installation path is: "C:\Program Files\FOSS\FossLook\FossLook Application Server".

The "Instances" folder of the server contains logs and the license file "License.xml". The "App.config" file contains the database connection settings, port settings and other technical parameters. It allows you to connect local server to the remote database.

FossLook allows you to extend existing functionality by developing your own modules. Of course, to build your own modules you need to have some experience in C# programming.


FossLook Client — client application which allows users to connect to an application server (via LAN or Internet) and work with documents. The client application has a familiar UI that resembles well known e-mail clients. It can send and receive emails using server's external module called "Mail Server". You can find out more information about the client console in this article: FossLook Client program.

FossLook Client: user's workstation


FossLook Administrator — administration console that allows users to administer application server (create user accounts, share folders, enable additional functions, create document workflows, create new types of documents etc.). More information about the program can be found in this article: FossLook Administrator program.

FossLook Administrator

The server installation contains two versions of the FossLook administration console. The first one - simplified, and the second one - advanced ("Extended mode"). It is highly recommended to start learning the software using simplified version to avoid unnecessary complications.

DBMS used in FossLook

FossLook platform supports the following databases:

  • SQL Express;
  • Microsoft SQL Server;
  • MySQL;
  • Oracle.

All these database servers have their advantages and disadvantages. It's known that one FossLook document without attachments with a standard set of fields and 1-2 workflows occupies approximately 100 Kb in the database. Note that all attached files are stored directly on the disc (Filestream mode).

Many small and medium-sized organizations could use Free MS SQL Express DBMS with Filestream mode enabled. It may be perfectly acceptable option to start working with the FossLook system and obtain quite comfortable results during a period of a few years and even more. Next, it would be logical to move to a commercial DBMS MS SQL Server. For large organizations (over 100 clients) or a large volume of documents per month (about 1000 new documents and more) - it is optimal to use MS SQL Server Standard, or free MySQL, which is a bit more complicated to maintain and requires technical staff having higher qualifications than for MS SQL. Also in the case of MySQL, you may need to use more productive system storage controllers (RAID, SSD).

Using Oracle DBMS to work with FossLook is recommended for organizations that already have this DBMS installed and have highly-qualified technical staff for its administration.

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