Michael C. McKay

Understanding Two Tier Architecture and Its Functionality

client layer, client tier, presentation layer, server layer, two-tier architecture

What is Two Tier Architecture and How Does it Work?

The two-tier architecture is a software architecture that separates the presentation layer and the application logic layer into two distinct tiers. In this architecture, the client interacts directly with the server, which then retrieves data from the database.

The first tier, also known as the client tier, is responsible for presenting the information to the user. It handles the user interface and user input. This tier is typically implemented using web browsers or mobile applications. The client tier communicates with the server tier to request data and perform actions.

The second tier, also known as the server tier, houses the application logic and handles the business rules and processing. It acts as an intermediary between the client and the database. The server tier receives requests from the client and processes them, retrieving the required data from the database and sending it back to the client.

One advantage of the two-tier architecture is its simplicity and modularity. The separation of the presentation layer and the application logic layer allows for easy maintenance and updates. It also provides better performance and reliability as the client and server can be optimized independently.

Another advantage is improved security. With the client and server communicating directly, it is easier to implement security measures to protect data and prevent unauthorized access.

However, the two-tier architecture also has its limitations. It may suffer from scalability issues as the workload increases, as the server is responsible for both processing and data storage. Additionally, the client tier may become overloaded if multiple clients are accessing the server simultaneously.

In summary, the two-tier architecture provides a separation of concerns, with the presentation and application logic layers residing in separate tiers. While it offers simplicity, modularity, and security, scalability and performance can become challenges as the application grows in size and complexity.

Overview

Two-tier architecture is a software architecture that divides an application into two distinct layers: the client layer and the server layer. The two layers are responsible for different aspects of the application’s functionality.

In the two-tier architecture, the client layer is responsible for communication with the user and the presentation of the application’s user interface. It interacts with the user and sends requests to the server layer for processing. The client layer is typically implemented using technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

On the other hand, the server layer is responsible for the logic and integration of the application. It receives requests from the client layer, processes them, and sends back the appropriate responses. The server layer interacts with the application’s database and performs any necessary operations to retrieve or update data.

The separation of the application into these two layers provides several benefits. Firstly, it allows for flexibility and modularity in the design of the application. The client and server layers can be developed and maintained independently, making it easier to update or replace one layer without affecting the other.

Secondly, the two-tier architecture can improve performance by reducing the amount of data transferred between the client and server layers. Only necessary data is passed between the layers, optimizing network usage.

Additionally, the separation of concerns in the two-tier architecture enhances security and reliability of the application. The client layer can handle user authentication and validation, while the server layer can enforce business rules and ensure data integrity.

Overall, the two-tier architecture is a popular choice for developing scalable and efficient applications. It provides a clear separation of responsibilities between the client and server layers, promoting a modular and maintainable design.

Definition

In the context of software development, Two Tier Architecture is an architectural model that separates an application into two layers: the client layer and the server layer. This architecture provides security and scalability, allowing for flexibility and modularity in the design and implementation of the application.

The first tier, known as the client layer, is responsible for the presentation of the application to the user. It manages the user interface and handles user interactions, providing an intuitive and user-friendly experience. This layer communicates with the server layer to fetch and display data.

The second tier, known as the server layer, houses the business logic and database functionality of the application. It handles complex operations, data processing, and storage. The server layer communicates with the client layer to send requested data and provide necessary functionalities.

The Two Tier Architecture model offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows for the separation of concerns, enabling developers to focus on specific aspects of the application. It also enhances performance as the client layer can handle simple tasks independently. Additionally, it ensures reliability and stability, as any issues with the server layer won’t affect the client layer. Moreover, the architecture supports easy integration with other systems or modules, facilitating seamless communication and data exchange.

In summary, Two Tier Architecture is an effective and efficient model for building software applications. It provides a clear separation of logic and presentation layers, ensuring security, scalability, and flexibility. This architecture is widely adopted in various domains due to its robustness and modularity.

Advantages

Two-tier architecture offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for applications:

  • Separation of concerns: The two-tier architecture separates the presentation layer from the database layer, allowing for easier management and development of each layer independently.
  • Modularity: The two-tier architecture structure allows for easy integration of new features or modules into the existing system without affecting other layers.
  • Flexibility: The client layer in a two-tier architecture can be easily customized or updated to meet the specific needs of the users.
  • Scalability: Two-tier architecture enables easy scaling of the application by adding more servers to handle increased user loads.
  • Performance: With a two-tier architecture, the client can directly communicate with the server, reducing the network latency and improving the overall performance of the application.
  • Reliability: Two-tier architecture offers improved reliability as compared to multi-tier architectures, since there are fewer components and potential points of failure.
  • Security: The two-tier architecture provides better security as the communication between the client and server layers can be secured through encryption and authentication mechanisms.

In summary, the two-tier architecture offers benefits such as improved modularity, scalability, performance, reliability, flexibility, and security, making it a suitable choice for many application development projects.

Disadvantages

Two tier architecture, despite its various advantages, also has some disadvantages that need to be considered:

  1. Lack of separation of presentation and database logic: In a two tier architecture, the presentation layer and the database logic are tightly coupled, which can lead to difficulties in maintenance and reusability of code.
  2. Lack of modularity: Due to the absence of a separate middle tier, the application logic is tightly integrated with the presentation layer and the database. This can make the system less modular and more difficult to scale or modify.
  3. Security concerns: As the presentation layer directly communicates with the database layer, there is an increased risk of security breaches. Any vulnerabilities in the client application can potentially expose the entire database.
  4. Performance limitations: Two tier architecture may not be suitable for applications that require high performance and scalability. The absence of a separate middle tier can lead to increased load on the client application, affecting its responsiveness and overall performance.
  5. Lack of flexibility and integration: The absence of a separate middle tier can limit the flexibility of the system to integrate with other applications or services. Any changes in the database schema or the presentation layer may directly impact the client application, making it less adaptable to changes.

Overall, while two tier architecture has certain advantages such as simplicity and cost-effectiveness, it may not be the best choice for complex or large-scale applications that require high flexibility, security, and scalability.

Components

In a two-tier architecture, the application is divided into two main layers: the presentation layer and the logic layer. This separation allows for better modularity and scalability of the system.

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The presentation layer is responsible for handling the user interface and displaying information to the client. It provides an interactive and user-friendly interface for the application. This layer communicates with the logic layer to retrieve and update data from the database.

The logic layer contains the business logic of the application. It processes the requests from the client and performs the necessary operations to fulfill those requests. This layer is responsible for the integration of the application with the database and other external systems.

The database layer is responsible for storing and retrieving data. It provides a reliable and efficient way to manage the application’s data. The database layer communicates with the logic layer to perform data operations and provide the necessary information to the client.

The two-tier architecture provides several benefits such as flexibility, performance, and reliability. The separation of the presentation layer and the logic layer allows for easier maintenance and updates. It also improves the performance of the application by reducing the communication overhead between the client and the server. Additionally, the two-tier architecture allows for better scalability as the logic layer can be easily scaled independently from the presentation layer.

In summary, the components of a two-tier architecture include the presentation layer, logic layer, and database layer. Each component has its own role and responsibilities in the communication and integration of the application. This architecture provides a modular and scalable solution for building reliable and efficient applications.

Client Tier

The client tier is one of the two tiers in the two-tier architecture model. It involves the presentation layer of the application. This tier is responsible for providing the user interface through which the client interacts with the server. It focuses on the display and manipulation of data in a user-friendly manner.

One of the key features of the client tier is its modularity. It allows for the separation of the presentation layer from the business logic and data storage layers. This separation enhances flexibility, as changes can be made to the user interface without affecting the other tiers. It also enables the reuse of components, improving development efficiency.

The client tier plays a crucial role in ensuring security. It implements the necessary measures to authenticate users and control access to the application. It also handles data validation and enforces security policies to protect against unauthorized actions or data breaches.

Performance is another important aspect of the client tier. It optimizes the communication with the server, reducing latency and providing a smooth user experience. It utilizes caching and data compression techniques to minimize network traffic and improve response time.

In terms of scalability, the client tier allows for the distribution of workload across multiple clients. It can handle a large number of simultaneous users by efficiently managing their interactions with the server. It also supports integration with external services or APIs, enabling the client to access additional functionalities.

The client tier interacts with the server tier by sending requests and receiving responses. It utilizes various protocols, such as HTTP or WebSocket, for communication. It also handles data synchronization, ensuring consistency between the client and the server. Additionally, it may implement local storage mechanisms, such as cookies or session management, for maintaining user-specific data.

The client tier is essential for the overall success of the two-tier architecture. Its role in providing a user-friendly interface, ensuring security, optimizing performance, supporting scalability, and enabling integration makes it a crucial component of any application.

Server Tier

The server tier is a fundamental component of the two-tier architecture model. It is responsible for handling the business logic and the communication between the client and the database. This tier acts as the intermediary between the presentation layer and the data layer.

One of the key advantages of the server tier is its scalability. It can handle a large number of clients simultaneously, making it suitable for applications with high traffic. The server tier also provides integration and modularity, allowing different components of the application to communicate and work together efficiently.

Another important aspect of the server tier is security. It ensures that only authorized users can access the database and that sensitive information is protected. This includes implementing authentication and authorization mechanisms to control access to the system.

The server tier interacts directly with the database layer, retrieving and storing data. It executes the necessary queries and transactions to manipulate the data and ensure data integrity. By separating the presentation layer from the data layer, the server tier allows for flexibility and ease of maintenance. Changes or updates in the presentation layer can be made without impacting the underlying data structure.

The server tier is also responsible for ensuring the reliability and availability of the application. It can handle errors and exceptions gracefully, providing appropriate error messages to the client. It can also handle failover and load balancing to distribute the workload across multiple servers for improved performance.

In summary, the server tier in the two-tier architecture model is a critical component that handles the logic and communication between the client and the database. It provides scalability, security, integration, flexibility, and reliability to the application. By separating the responsibilities into different tiers, this architecture model promotes a modular and efficient development process.

Database Tier

The database tier is a crucial component of the two-tier architecture. It is responsible for storing and managing data in an organized and efficient manner. The database tier ensures that the data is securely stored, and provides mechanisms for data access and manipulation.

In the two-tier architecture, the database tier is separate from the presentation tier, allowing for better scalability and modularity. The separation of the database tier from the presentation tier enables the system to handle a large number of clients and ensures that performance is optimized.

The database tier consists of a database server that manages the storage and retrieval of data. It provides a reliable and efficient method for storing and querying data. It also handles communication with the client tier, allowing for seamless integration between the two tiers.

The database model used in the database tier plays a crucial role in the overall functionality of the system. It defines the structure and relationships of the data, and ensures consistency and integrity. The database model can be relational, object-oriented, or hierarchical, depending on the requirements of the system.

The database tier provides flexibility and adaptability, allowing for easy modification and expansion of the system. It enables the addition of new features and functionality without disrupting the existing system. The database tier also ensures data security, by implementing measures such as encryption and access control.

Overall, the database tier is an essential part of the two-tier architecture. It is responsible for managing data, providing efficient and secure storage, and enabling seamless communication and integration with the client tier. The database tier ensures the reliability, scalability, and performance of the system, making it a critical component in the overall architecture.

Working Principle

The working principle of a two-tier architecture involves the separation of the application logic and the data management into two distinct layers or tiers. The first tier, known as the client tier, is responsible for interaction with the end-user and handling the presentation layer. It includes the user interface and any associated functionality.

The second tier, known as the server tier, is responsible for handling the business logic, data processing, and data storage. It includes the application server and the database server. The server tier is responsible for executing the requested tasks and providing the necessary data to the client tier.

This architecture model offers several benefits. Firstly, it improves scalability and flexibility as the client and server tiers can be scaled independently based on the application’s needs. This allows for efficient resource allocation and enhances performance.

Secondly, the two-tier architecture enables modular development and easy integration of different components. The separation of the application logic and data management allows for better code organization and facilitates maintenance and updates.

Furthermore, this architecture model ensures enhanced security as the sensitive data resides in the server tier, offering better control and protection against unauthorized access. The communication between the client and server tiers can be secured using encryption protocols.

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In conclusion, the two-tier architecture is a robust and efficient model for building applications. Its clear separation of responsibilities and modular design enable improved performance, reliability, and security.

Data Flow

In a Two Tier Architecture, the data flow is a crucial aspect of the application’s functionality and efficiency. The data flow in this architecture involves the communication between the client and the server.

When a client makes a request, it is sent to the server for processing. The server then retrieves the required data from the database and processes it according to the logic defined in the application’s model. This data is then sent back to the client for presentation.

The two-tier architecture provides a balanced approach to data flow, allowing for optimal performance, scalability, and reliability. By separating the presentation layer and the logic layer into two distinct tiers, the architecture offers flexibility in terms of modifying or updating each layer independently.

The separation of layers also contributes to improved performance and security. The logic layer can handle complex calculations and data manipulation, while the presentation layer focuses on displaying the data to the user in a user-friendly format. This separation also enhances security by ensuring that sensitive information is not directly exposed to the client.

The data flow in a two-tier architecture also allows for easy integration with other systems or databases. The server acts as a mediator between the client and the database, enabling seamless data exchange and integration.

With its modular design, the two-tier architecture provides a streamlined approach to managing data flow in an application. Each tier can be developed, tested, and maintained independently, making it easier to troubleshoot and update specific components without affecting the entire application.

In summary, in a two-tier architecture, data flows from the client to the server, where it is processed and retrieved from the database. The data is then sent back to the client for presentation. This architecture offers performance, scalability, reliability, security, and integration capabilities, while also ensuring logical and physical separation of different layers.

Communication

Communication is a critical aspect of the two-tier architecture. It involves the transfer of data and information between the server and the client application. This communication is facilitated by a set of protocols and methods that ensure reliability, security, and efficiency.

In the two-tier architecture, the communication typically involves the client sending requests to the server, which then processes the requests and responds with the required data. This communication can be synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the application requirements and the design choices made by the developers.

The communication layer of the two-tier architecture is responsible for handling the exchange of information and ensuring that the data is transmitted securely and accurately. It handles tasks such as data validation, error detection and handling, and data transformation.

Additionally, the communication layer also facilitates the integration of the client application with the database server. It handles tasks such as database connectivity, query execution, and result retrieval. This integration is crucial for the overall functionality and performance of the two-tier architecture.

The communication in the two-tier architecture is designed to provide scalability, performance, and flexibility. It allows for the efficient transmission of data and ensures that the client application can access and manipulate the data stored in the database server.

In terms of modularity and separation of concerns, the communication layer of the two-tier architecture provides a clear separation between the client application logic and the database server. This separation allows for easier maintenance and updating of the application components, as well as better security and reliability.

Overall, effective communication is essential for the proper functioning of the two-tier architecture. It enables the client application to interact with the server and retrieve the necessary data, while ensuring reliability, security, and performance.

Processing

In a two-tier architecture, processing is divided between two layers: the client layer and the server layer. The client layer is responsible for handling the presentation and user interface of the application, while the server layer takes care of the logic and data processing.

This separation of processing allows for better modularity and flexibility in the application. The client layer can focus on providing a user-friendly interface, while the server layer handles the complex business logic and data management.

The client layer communicates with the server layer through various protocols and APIs, ensuring reliable and secure data transfer. This communication enables the integration of different systems and enhances the overall functionality of the application.

The two-tier architecture also provides scalability and performance benefits. As the load on the server increases, additional server resources can be added to handle the increased demand. This scalability ensures that the application performs well even under heavy loads.

Additionally, the two-tier architecture provides enhanced security for the application. With the logic and data processing handled on the server side, sensitive information can be protected and access control can be implemented effectively.

Overall, the two-tier architecture offers a balanced approach to application development, with the client layer focusing on presentation and user experience, and the server layer handling the logic and data processing. This separation of concerns leads to a more reliable, secure, and scalable application.

Use Cases

A two-tier architecture is commonly used in various use cases due to its flexibility, scalability, and performance. Some of the key use cases include:

  1. Web-based applications: Two-tier architecture is well-suited for building web-based applications that require a database backend. The presentation layer, which includes the user interface, is implemented on the client side, while the logic layer and database reside on the server side. This separation allows for efficient integration of the client and server components, enhancing the overall application performance.
  2. Enterprise systems: In large-scale enterprise systems, where reliability, scalability, and security are crucial, a two-tier architecture is often employed. The server component handles the business logic and application processing, while the client component serves as the interface for users to interact with the system. This model ensures efficient data access and improves data security.
  3. Data-intensive applications: Two-tier architecture is particularly useful for data-intensive applications, such as data warehousing, where large volumes of data need to be processed and stored. The database layer in the server component handles the storage and retrieval of data, while the client component provides a user-friendly interface for data analysis and reporting.
  4. Modular applications: Two-tier architecture allows for the development of modular applications, where different components can be easily added or modified without affecting the entire system. This modularity enables developers to enhance specific functionality or introduce new features without disrupting the overall application structure.
  5. Client-server applications: Two-tier architecture is the foundation of client-server applications, where the server component manages and processes the data, while the client component handles the presentation and user interaction. This separation of concerns enables effective resource management and improves the overall system performance.

In summary, the use of a two-tier architecture provides a solid foundation for building applications that require efficient data management, performance optimization, and modular design. It enables the separation of logic and presentation layers, enhances data security and reliability, and supports scalability as businesses grow.

Web Applications

Web applications are software programs that run on a web server and are accessed through a web browser. They are built using a two-tier architecture, which consists of a client tier and a server tier. This architecture provides separation of logic and presentation, allowing for flexibility in the development and deployment of web applications.

The client tier of a web application is responsible for the presentation and user interaction. It includes the user interface components and handles the communication between the user and the server. The client tier ensures the reliability and security of the application by implementing validation, authentication, and encryption mechanisms.

The server tier of a web application is responsible for handling the business logic and data processing. It includes the application server, which receives requests from the client and processes them accordingly. The server tier also interacts with the database layer to retrieve and store data, ensuring data integrity and security.

Web applications rely on the communication between the client and server tiers to provide a seamless user experience. This communication is usually performed using HTTP, a protocol that allows for the exchange of data between the client and server. The two-tier architecture enables efficient communication and contributes to the performance and scalability of the application.

The two-tier architecture of web applications also promotes modularity and maintainability. The separation of logic and presentation allows for easier development and debugging, as changes in one tier do not affect the other. It also allows for the integration of third-party services and APIs, enhancing the functionality and capabilities of the application.

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Overall, web applications built using a two-tier architecture offer enhanced performance, scalability, reliability, and security. They provide a flexible and modular approach to application development, allowing for easier maintenance and updates. The layering of logic and presentation enables efficient communication and integration with databases and other external systems.

Desktop Applications

Desktop Applications

A desktop application is a type of software that is installed on a user’s desktop computer and is typically run locally on that machine. It is a self-contained program that is designed to perform specific tasks or provide specific functionalities. Desktop applications are often used for a wide range of purposes, including productivity, entertainment, communication, and more.

One of the key components of a desktop application is its database layer. This layer is responsible for storing and managing the application’s data. It provides a secure and efficient way to retrieve, update, and delete information, ensuring data integrity and reliability.

Security is also a crucial aspect of desktop applications. They often include features such as user authentication and authorization to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information. Additionally, desktop applications may implement encryption techniques to protect data during transmission and storage.

Performance is another important consideration when designing a desktop application. By utilizing efficient algorithms and optimizing code, developers can ensure that the application runs smoothly and responds quickly to user actions. Performance optimizations can include caching data, minimizing network requests, and tuning resource consumption.

Modularity and flexibility are essential to desktop applications’ development. By dividing the application into separate modules or layers, developers can isolate different functionalities and components. This separation allows for easier maintenance, testing, and upgrades without affecting the entire application. It also enables the integration of third-party libraries or modules to enhance the application’s capabilities.

A two-tier architecture is commonly used in desktop applications. This architecture consists of two tiers: the client tier and the server tier. The client tier handles the presentation and user interaction, while the server tier takes care of the application’s logic and data processing. This separation allows for better scalability, as multiple clients can be connected to a single server.

Communication between the client and server is crucial in desktop applications. This usually occurs over a network connection, and protocols such as HTTP or TCP/IP are commonly used. Reliable communication protocols ensure that data is transmitted accurately and without loss, further enhancing the overall reliability of the application.

In conclusion, desktop applications offer a powerful and versatile platform for a wide range of tasks. Their architecture, encompassing database layers, security measures, performance optimizations, modularity, flexibility, and integration capabilities, allows for the development of robust and efficient applications. With the right combination of technologies and approaches, desktop applications can provide an excellent user experience and meet various business requirements.

Mobile Applications

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications are software programs specifically designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They have become an integral part of our daily lives, providing us with access to a wide range of services and functionalities.

One key aspect of mobile applications is the presentation layer, which is responsible for providing a user-friendly interface for interaction with the app. This layer focuses on the visual design, layout, and responsiveness of the application to ensure an engaging user experience.

Another important component is the separation of the application logic and the data storage. The database layer handles the storage and retrieval of data, while the server layer is responsible for processing user requests and generating responses.

Mobile applications often follow a two-tier architecture, where the client tier runs on the mobile device and the server tier resides on a remote server. This separation allows for better reliability and scalability, as the server can handle a large number of client requests simultaneously.

One of the main benefits of using a two-tier architecture is the flexibility it provides. The client tier can be easily updated without affecting the server tier, allowing for faster deployment of new features and improvements.

In terms of security, mobile applications implement various measures to protect user data and ensure confidentiality. This may include secure communication protocols, data encryption, and user authentication mechanisms.

The use of a two-tier architecture also offers modularity and integration capabilities. Individual components of the application can be developed and tested independently, and then seamlessly integrated to create a cohesive and functional mobile application.

Furthermore, mobile applications need to consider the unique challenges posed by mobile devices, including limited resources such as processing power and battery life. The architecture should be designed to optimize performance and minimize resource consumption, while still providing a smooth user experience.

In summary, mobile applications utilize a two-tier architecture to provide a reliable, flexible, and secure platform for delivering various services and functionalities to users. The separation of the client and server tiers allows for better scalability and modularity, while the presentation layer ensures an engaging user interface. With the continuous advancements in technology, mobile applications will continue to play a crucial role in our digital lives.

FAQ about topic “Understanding Two Tier Architecture and Its Functionality”

What is Two Tier Architecture and How Does it Work?

Two Tier Architecture is a software design pattern where the application is divided into two layers: the client layer and the server layer. The client layer is responsible for the user interface and presentation logic, while the server layer handles the application logic and data storage. The client layer communicates with the server layer to request and receive data or perform certain actions. This architecture is commonly used in client-server applications where the client interacts with the server to retrieve or manipulate data.

What are the advantages of Two Tier Architecture?

Two Tier Architecture has several advantages. Firstly, it allows for better separation of concerns, as the client layer is responsible for the user interface and presentation logic, while the server layer handles the application logic and data storage. This makes the code more modular and easier to maintain. Secondly, it provides better scalability, as each layer can be scaled independently to handle increased load. Thirdly, it improves performance, as the client layer can cache data locally and only communicate with the server layer when necessary. Lastly, it provides better security, as the server layer can control access to sensitive data.

Can Two Tier Architecture be used for web applications?

Yes, Two Tier Architecture can be used for web applications. In this case, the client layer is typically implemented using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, while the server layer is implemented using a back-end programming language such as Java, PHP, or Python. The client layer communicates with the server layer using HTTP requests and responses. This architecture allows for better separation of concerns and scalability, making it suitable for building web applications of various sizes and complexities.

What are the challenges of implementing Two Tier Architecture?

Implementing Two Tier Architecture can pose some challenges. Firstly, it requires a clear understanding of the application requirements and proper design of the client layer and server layer. This involves defining the communication protocols and data formats used between the layers. Secondly, maintaining consistency between the client layer and server layer can be challenging, especially when changes are made to one layer that affect the other. This requires proper coordination and synchronization. Lastly, managing the scalability of each layer can be complex, as the load on the application may not be evenly distributed. Proper load balancing techniques and infrastructure planning are necessary to ensure optimal performance.

Is Two Tier Architecture suitable for large-scale enterprise applications?

Two Tier Architecture is not typically suitable for large-scale enterprise applications. This is because it has limitations in terms of scalability and maintainability. As the size and complexity of an application grow, it becomes harder to manage the client layer and server layer as separate entities. Additionally, as the number of users and transactions increase, a two-tier architecture may become a bottleneck due to the centralized server layer. In such cases, a three-tier or n-tier architecture, where the application is divided into multiple layers, is often preferred as it provides better scalability and separation of concerns.

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