Explore DataTables: Client VS Server-side

DataTables – Client-side Processing VS Server-side Processing

Quick Summary: This article discusses the datatables processing and differences between “Server-Side Processing” and “Client-Side Processing.” As we all know, both come up with different features. So learning about how these work is a must. This article will also solve the issues you can encounter when using it. Get well aware of all the details and consider using it!


In the ever-evolving world of web development, providing users with rich and interactive data tables has become essential. The applications will not be accessible to users if they are not user-friendly.

As data-driven applications grow in complexity and scale, developers face the challenge of choosing the most efficient and optimal approach for handling and processing vast amounts of data within these tables. This is when they must decide between the methodologies they can choose from.

Two popular methodologies that address this challenge are “Client-Side Processing” and “Server-Side Processing,” each offering distinct advantages and trade-offs.

This article explores these Datatables, a powerful JavaScript library widely used for displaying and manipulating tabular data in web applications. In detail, we will explore the fundamental differences between Client-Side Processing and Server-Side Processing. So, without further ado, let’s get started and take a first step towards making an Innovative Software Development Company.

Client-Side Processing

Client-side processing involves handling all the data manipulation, sorting, filtering, and pagination directly within the user’s web browser. Upon the initial page load, the client-side receives the entire dataset, and the Datatables library assumes control, executing all necessary operations locally.

This approach offers a smooth and responsive user experience, as there is no need to make additional requests to the server during data interactions. However, handling substantial datasets on the client side may lead to performance issues, particularly on devices with limited resources.

Server-Side Processing

On the other hand, Server-Side Processing shifts the burden of data manipulation and processing from the client to the server. With this approach, Datatables sends requests to the server for specific data subsets based on user interactions, such as sorting, filtering, or paginating. The server processes these requests and returns only the relevant data, reducing the data transferred to the client.

This strategy is highly beneficial for handling large datasets alleviating client-side performance concerns. However, it can lead to slightly slower response times, especially when working with remote servers.

Why do we use DataTables instead of simple Html tables?

DataTables is a powerful jQuery plugin for creating table listings and adding interactions. It provides searching, sorting, and pagination without any configuration, whereas simple HTML tables collect HTML tags and do not give any advanced features like DataTables.

How to use DataTables using the jquery plugin?

Client-Side Processing:

Step: 1
Create an Html page and add the following links.

Jquery CDN link:

<script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.6.0.min.js"></script>

DataTables CDN links:


<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.datatables.net/1.11.4/css/jquery.dataTables.min.css">


<script src="https://cdn.datatables.net/1.11.4/js/jquery.dataTables.min.js"></script>

Step: 2

Create a table on your Html page. Add only one line to your script to convert your simple Html table to DataTables which gives you the functionality of searching, sorting, and pagination by default.

              $(document).ready( function () {

Here, we learn about client-side processing DataTables but many times when reading data from the DOM is too slow or unwieldy, especially when we are dealing with many thousands or millions of data. To address this issue, DataTables offers a server-side processing feature. This feature involves having a database engine on the server-side handle the processing of large amounts of data. As a result, the table can quickly display records comprising millions of rows in the web browser.

Server-Side Processing:

Whenever DataTables requests information from the server (i.e. paging, ordering, searching, etc. ), an AJAX request is made to the server. Several variables will be sent to the server for it to perform the required processing and to allow DataTables to do so.

By using the serverSide option, you can enable server-side processing and configure it using ajax.

When DataTables requests data from the server, with the above parameters, it expects to receive JSON data back with the following parameters:

  • Draw: DataTables uses this counter to ensure that the Ajax results from server-side processing requests are drawn in sequence
  • Records total : number of records in the database, before filtering,
  • Records filtered: Number of records in the database, after filtering
  • Data: Each row will consist of one data source object, which is used by DataTables. Note that the data source object’s name can be changed by using the ajax option’s data-src property.
  • Error: During server-side processing, if an error occurs, you can inform the user using this parameter that it was encountered. Do not include this parameter if there was no error.

Example of DataTables Processing :

$(document).ready(function() {
              var table = $("#table_ID").DataTable({
                "processing" : true,
                "serverSide": true,
                "serverMethod": 'POST',
                'ajax': {
                  'url': '/api',
                  data: function (data) {
                  error: function (error) {
               "columns": [{
                  data: null,
                    "render": function (data) { return data.userId; }
                    data: null,
                    "render": function (data) { return data.id; }
                    data: null,
                    "render": function (data) { return data.title; }
                   data: null,
                   "render": function (data) { return data.body; }
                  "fnRowCallback": function(nRow, aData, iDisplayIndex) {
                     if(aData.id == 2) {
                       $(nRow).css('background-color', '#16aa1633');

Where, fnDrawCallback. Show details.

Why is Server-side processing better than Client-side processing?

  • Server-side rendering is better for SEO than client-side rendering, as it can speed up the loading time of your page, improving user experience and helping your site rank higher in Google search results.
  • Using server-side rendering here can keep the information on the server side and not deliver it to the client, even if you pull from relational databases or NoSQL stores.
  • There is still a lot of incompatibility across browsers regarding JavaScript support, especially when older browsers like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are necessary. You can drastically decrease browser interoperability difficulties because server-side rendering eliminates the requirement for many client-side JavaScript modules.


In conclusion, the choice between Client-Side Processing and Server-Side Processing in Datatables is not a one-size-fits-all decision but a careful consideration of specific application requirements and user expectations. Each processing method offers unique benefits and trade-offs, and understanding their implications is crucial for creating optimal data-driven web applications.

If any confusion prevails, you can search online portals and get the answer right away. Also, experienced developers are available who will help you with it. You can discuss this with them and get the answers right away!


Datatables is a powerful JavaScript library that enables developers to display and manipulate tabular data in web applications. It offers a wide range of features, such as sorting, filtering, pagination, and searching, which significantly enhance the user experience when interacting with large datasets. With Datatables, developers can create dynamic, responsive, and user-friendly data tables, making data presentation more efficient and visually appealing.

Client-Side Processing refers to handling data manipulation directly within the user’s web browser. The entire dataset is transmitted to the client side initially, and all operations, such as sorting and filtering, are performed locally. On the other hand, Server-Side Processing involves delegating data manipulation to the server. Datatables send specific requests to the server for data subsets based on user interactions, reducing the amount of data transferred to the client.

Choose Client-Side Processing when dealing with relatively small datasets and when you prioritize a smoother, more responsive user experience. This approach works well when your users have capable devices and a stable internet connection. Conversely, opt for Server-Side Processing when dealing with large datasets and aiming for better performance on devices with limited resources. Server-Side Processing reduces the amount of data sent to the client, resulting in faster initial load times and more efficient processing.

Client-Side Processing generally provides a snappier and more interactive user experience, as all data manipulations happen locally. However, it can lead to performance issues, particularly with large datasets, as the user’s device must handle all processing tasks. On the other hand, Server-Side Processing reduces the load on the client’s device by delegating operations to the server, but it may result in slightly slower response times due to network requests.

Yes, absolutely, you can! Datatables offer the flexibility to implement a hybrid approach, leveraging the strengths of both Client-Side and Server-Side Processing. For example, you can initially load a subset of data on the client side for quick interactions, and as users perform more complex actions or request additional data, you can switch to Server-Side Processing to handle the heavier tasks. This hybrid approach allows you to strike a balance between performance and user experience, catering to varying data sizes and user requirements.