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7 Examples of Synchronous Communications and Processes

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Synchronous is a term that describes processes that work together in time. The following are common types of synchronous process.


Synchronous communication between devices such as a web browser that requests an image and waits for a response. This tends to be inefficient so it is more common for a web browser to use asynchronous communication whereby a request is made without waiting for a response.


Synchronous communication between people is typically known as a conversation whereby one person talks and another listens and replies. An example of asynchronous communication is an email whereby you send a message and then continue with your life without waiting for a reply.


A single threaded computer program that executes sequential instructions is a synchronous process. Asynchronous processes require multiple threads or network communication such that work can be done in parallel. Threads that work in parallel without coordination of any kind are asynchronous. Threads that coordinate work in a way that requires waiting for a result are synchronous.


A line for a single bank machine is a synchronous service as the machine serves one person at a time in sequence. A banking website that serves thousands of users concurrently is an asynchronous service.

Business Processes

A synchronous step in a business process has dependencies such that it needs to wait for other steps to complete before starting or finishing. It is common for a business process to have both synchronous and asynchronous steps as some things can be done in parallel and others have to be synchronized.


Synchronous learning is when a class of students learn the same things at the same time. Asynchronous learning allows each student to advance slower, faster or in different directions.


A synchronous orbit is when an orbiting object in space completes a rotation in the same time as the body being orbited. A synchronous orbit that is both equatorial and circular results in the orbiting object hovering over the same spot at all times.
Overview: Synchronous
A process coordinated in time.
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