N-Tier applications are useful, in that they are able to readily implement Distributed Application Design and architecture concepts. These types of applications also provide strategic benefits to solutions at the enterprise level. It is true that two tier, client server applications may seem deceptively simple from the outset – they are easy to implement and easy to use for Rapid Prototyping. At the same time, these applications can be quite a pain to maintain and secure over time.
N-Tier applications, on the other hand, are advantageous, particularly in the business environment, for a number of reasons.
N-Tier applications typically come loaded with the following components:
- Security. N-Tier applications come with logging mechanisms, monitoring devices, as well as Appropriate Authentication, ensuring that the device and system is always secure.
- Availability + Scalability. N-Tier applications tend to be more reliable. They come loaded with fail over mechanisms like fail over clusters to ensure redundancy.
- Manageability. N-Tier applications are designed with the following capabilities in mind: deployment, monitoring, and troubleshooting. N-Tier devices ensure that one has the sufficient tools at one’s disposal in order to handle any errors that may occur, log those errors, and provide guidance towards correcting those errors.
- Maintenance. Maintenance in N-Tier applications is easy, as the applications adopt coding and deployment standards, as well as data abstraction, modular application design, and frameworks that enable reliable maintenance strategies.
- Data abstraction. N-Tier applications make it so that one can easily adjust the functionality without altering other applications.
Now that we understand the benefits of using an N-Tier application, let us explore the ways that one might go about building such an application.
First off, in order to build a successful N-Tier application, one must first have thorough knowledge of the business in question as well as the domain being used. One must also have sufficient technical and design expertise. In order to successfully distribute an application’s functionality throughout, appropriate “tiers” must be assigned.
As useful as they are, there are also situations when an N-Tier application might not be the most ideal solution for one’s business needs. Most of all, one should keep in mind that building an N-Tier application involves a lot of time, experience, skill, commitment, and maturity – not to mention the high cost. If one is insufficiently prepared in any of these areas, then building an N-Tier application might not be appropriate for you at this moment. Above all, building a successful N-Tier application necessitates a favorable cost benefit ratio from the outset.
First off, you should fully understand what an N-Tier application is, what it does, and how it functions. To put it the simplest terms possible, N-Tier applications help one distribute a system’s overall functionality in to a multitude of layers or “tiers.”
In a usual implementation, for example, you will most likely have at least some of the following layers, if not all: Presentation, Business Rules, Data Access, and Database. In some instances, it could be possible to split one or more of these different layers in to many different sub layers. It is possible to develop each of these layers separately from the others, as long as it can communicate with the other layers and adhere to the standards that have been set out in the specifications.
With an N-Tier application, it is possible for each layer to treat the other layers in a “black box” fashion. That means that the layers do not care how the other layers process information, as long as the data is sent between layers in the correct format.
What N-Tier does?
If you or someone you know works in the computer business, chances are great that you have heard the term “N-Tier” in recent weeks. Indeed, N-Tier is everywhere these days, and for good reason – it gives businesses who rely on computers a lot more freedom and capabilities than they had before.
To put it in simple terms, as outlined above, “N-Tier” means No Limit in Tiers – any number you want. N-Tier systems are useful in that they allow a business to utilize any combination of software and hardware resources that they want or need. What is more, it allows you to use that combination of resources to your advantage, and allows you to add on whatever components you may need, right on the spot.
N-Tier applications provide you with the capability to mix and match whatever forms of computer software and hardware layers you need in order for your business to function to its maximum capabilities. N-Tier applications aid businesses in providing a modular collection of Information Services – an aspect that all businesses in today’s competitive market need to stay afloat.
Any quantity of component based clients, interfaces, middleware, agents, and data servers may be arranged flexibly in to a multitude of different configurations – almost like software Lego!
When you partition your programs in to tiers, every component or layer can be independently developed, deployed, enhanced, and managed – all without outside interference.
These days, everyone in every sector is moving to an N-Tier network computing model. This means that N-Tier is not merely a passing trend – it is becoming the new business reality. The move to N-Tier computing systems has had a major impact on web based computer applications, as well as enterprise based applications.
N-Tier computing systems are also referred to as browser based systems, network centric systems, thin client computing, browser based computing, or multi tiered computing. In fact, N-Tier computing encapsulates all of these concepts and more. What N-Tier computing system provides is the ability to harness and work with the various complexities of computing systems in the modern world. The utilization of an N-Tier framework ensures a simplified and unified mix of otherwise chaotic applications, cross platform networks, as well as interfaces. In fact, there are so many benefits to using an N-Tier architecture that one article alone could not cover all of them!
N-Tier and Distributed Computing
As we have seen above, the term N-Tier can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Depending on your role in the business, N-Tier will apply to you in one or several different ways. Let us take a look at how N-Tier applies to the arena of distributed computing, first of all.
N-Tier applications are applications that one can readily divide in to a number of different logical layers or tiers, all through the use of a reusable, component based method. Such logical layers are able to operate in a number of different configurations and be used through several different physical systems. Thus, N-Tier models provide an unlimited amount of scalability and flexibility that should suit any business’s requirements.
Those seeking to integrate a vast collection of computational resources in to a single unified system should look no further than N-Tier. This model distributes computing systems in an effective manner, and can be created to enable the use of a variety of conflicting computing languages, platforms, as well as different operating systems.
N-Tier systems also provide the user with a flexible framework for a distributed computer environment. This ensures that users are able to take advantage of their resources and infrastructure while also being able to rest assured that they are fully prepared for whatever changes may arise in the future.
Most businesses in the past have relied on a client server computing model. What is so great about N-Tier is that it is based upon this familiar model, so as not to be too confusing. This model relies on Internet and Intranet related computer technology, which enables users to maximize their returns on investments as well as existing skill sets. At the same time, a reliable framework that is fully adaptable to growth and change is provided.
Finally, N-Tier computing systems provide users with a convenient method for centralizing their control over business information that is becoming increasingly critical in our technological era. At the same time, these structures allow for innovation within the departments, while also allowing for increased consumer input and a maximization of supplier input.
N-Tier as 21st Century Technology
A useful way of viewing N-Tier computer architecture is as the computational “unified field theory.” In this theory, everything can be potentially related to everything else. By using an N-Tier model, the existing client server system can be substantially improved and better maintained over time. It provides a multi layered environment that effectively simplifies the distribution of code, as the vast majority of business logistics have been moved from the client to the server in the N-Tier upgrade process.
Once an N-Tier model of computing is being employed, one has the capability of distributing independent components and / or services over as many tiers as you wish, and then linking them to one another in a dynamic fashion. The end result is that application flexibility becomes unlimited.
Remember – The letter N in N-Tier stands for any number of levels or tiers or layers, opportunities, clients or customers, advantages, objects, components, benefits, servers, services, abilities, configurations, and transactions. With N-Tier computing, the sky really is the limit!
N-Tier as “The Way of the Future”
If you are looking for ways to maximize your business, then N-Tier computing is a smart solution. It provides a wide array of advantages, allowing for ready access to maintenance, upgrading, and heightened security. A lot of times, N-Tier applications can be acquired in packages that enable them to work with UDB, SQL Server, and Oracle, as well as other programs. Usually, big enterprise applications are designed as N-Tier applications. Many of them are also web based applications. Not only is this secure, it also makes it easy to use.