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Last modified: Thursday, December 06, 2001 

A special type of client/server architecture consisting of three well-defined and separate processes, each running on a different platform:

1. The user interface, which runs on the user's computer (the client).

2. The functional modules that actually process data. This middle tier runs on a server and is often called the application server.

3. A database management system (DBMS) that stores the data required by the middle tier. This tier runs on a second server called the database server.

The three-tier design has many advantages over traditional two-tier or single-tier designs, the chief ones being:

  • The added modularity makes it easier to modify or replace one tier without affecting the other tiers.
  • Separating the application functions from the database functions makes it easier to implement load balancing.
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    For pages about three-tier . Also check out the following links!

    Related Links

    Client/Server Software Architectures - An Overview
    Provides a summary of some common client/server architectures and also summarizes mainframe and file sharing architectures. Links to more detailed descriptions for many of the individual architectures are provided throughout the document

    Crossware and 3-tier Applications
    Explains why 3-tier applications are a desirable evolution for client/server development in the enterprise.

    related categories

    Client/Server Computing


    related terms

    application server

    client/server architecture

    load balancing


    TP monitor


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