Multitier Architectures Of Web Based Applications Computer Science Essay

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In web application field, multi-tier architecture refers to the logical system of separating different application or information layers when developing a specific app. The web based applications like Google calendar or horde groupware system are best examples of multi-tier architectures system because it incorporates different logical steps that are involved in the making of these types of applications. It is considered an integral part of software engineering because all of the steps that are involved in developing these applications come under the umbrella of this field.

In its essence, multitier architecture involves the process of logically separating presentation, application processing, and data management functions. These functions form the core of these web based applications and hence it is important to categorize and organize them into their respective structures. In the development phases of these web based applications, it is always important to separate its functions so that the application can perform with maximum efficiency and the chances of errors or bugs are reduced to minimum.

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In the web based field, the most common type of multi-architectural used is three-tier architecture. This type of architecture is more commonly known as client-server architecture and in this type of architecture, the functional logic process, user interface, data access and computer data storage are maintained and developed as independent modules because each of them is developed specifically to perform individual functions. If they are put together or are not separated then they can pose potential problems in the use of these web based applications.

How the Web Works

In all its essence, a web is a source of information that is available to a user with a single press of a button or a click of a mouse. The simplicity lies in its design and application which allows the user to obtain any kind of relevant information without getting into too many complications. To obtain this information or to use the web, the user must have a computer, an internet connection and a web browser to display the information. These are the basic necessities that are required for using the web.

Web browsers are the main tools of obtaining information from the web. When a computer user opens a web browser, it catches and displays information on the computer screen. The main function of a web browser is to interpret programming languages like HTML and transform it into a series of words or pictures that a user sees on the screen. For an average person, these programming languages cannot be understood by them and hence the role of web browser here is justified as it is the one responsible for making this type of information legible. If a person requires more information from the web, all he or she has to do is to clink on a hyperlink which is the main source of connection to other information that is available on the web. On every page that is present on the web, certain things are highlighted which depicts hyperlink. When these highlighted or coded items are clicked, the browser immediately shifts to another page that contains relevant information.

The web documents are stored on web server computers which are specialized in handling these kinds of applications. The users can request the specific type of pages from these web servers. The computers who are involved in the web are connected with these web servers and each other through the internet. Internet acts as a main gateway and networking tool which is responsible for bringing the user required information right up to their computer screen.

The importance of the network cannot be denied in the application of the web. The web works great in accordance with the requirements setup by the network. When a user clicks on an hyperlink in a web page, the web browser request that document from another computer that is connected through the network, receives that document through a 'back-mail' and then displays it. The user is then free to review the information in any way he wants without further hogging up network resources.

Difference between the web and internet

The web and the internet are not the same thing. Although, both of them work together to achieve the same goal, their method of performance is different. Web is just one of the many different internet based communication services that performs a specific task. To better understand the relationship between the web and internet, an analogy can be made with the global road system. The internet like the road system has three essential components: the physical components (cables and roads), the common behavior (internet protocols and circulation routes) and the services rendered (the WWW and mail delivery).

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Connecting the cables with the computer is not enough for the internet to start working and for the web to start functioning. All the computers that are connected through cables must come to common terms so that they can function properly. Just like the cars on the road that have to obey traffic rules, computers also must work on certain set of cable arrangement and conditions. Just like the highways that connect numerous spots, a computer user can find a continuous connection that have been established due to different interchanging nodes between the user's computer and other ones.

Also for the successful working of the web and internet, it is also important for the computers to communicate in a common language which is done by the programming and coding languages. The data transfer in the internet is done through little packets of data and for these packets to be successful in delivering the message; they have to use the same communication protocol. Communication protocol lays out the basic infrastructure for the connected computers so that they can communicate with each other easily. For a computer to successfully connect to the internet, it must respect the communication protocols of the web based interface and data connections.

The services that the web provides to the computer user depend upon the requirements of that user. Procurement of information is the most common service provided by the web service and most of the users log onto the internet to use this service.

Presentation Layer

JavaScript

To make the web page interactive and user friendly JavaScript is used which is a type of programming language. JavaScript runs on the visitor's computer and does not require regular downloads from the web page which makes it more convenient and easy to handle. The best example of application of JavaScript is online polls and quizzes in which it is used.

JavaScript and Java are not the same and they are two completely different programming languages. Some people confuse them of being the same thing because of the similarity in their names.

All of the web browsers that are available now have JavaScript built in because without, the web pages lose their interactivity. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox are some of the examples of web browsers that run JavaScript natively. Two things should be kept in mind when browsing web pages that is the browser should support JavaScript and it should be enabled in the settings so that the web pages can be viewed with ease.

Logic Layer

In the field of software engineering, a logic layer or more commonly referred to as Business Logic layer is used in multi-tier architecture web based applications to separate the business logic from other kinds of tiers like the service layer or data access layer. The logic layer mainly consists of calculations but it is not only limited to that. It also contains representation for business objects like person or products that are related to the company.

A business logic layer provides different methods for accessing and preserving the data and sometimes it also provides information on the movement of work from one form or another. Like its name, the BLL defines many other business applications in its structure and it is also referred to as a domain layer because it contains the domain or business logic.

Example

There are many web pages that employ Business Logic Layer in their architectural setup. Examples include the websites of large corporations like Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz Automobiles, PepsiCo foods and others.

Data Layer

MySQL

MySQL is a popular database management system that is developed, supported and distributed by the Oracle Corporation. A database is basically a structured collection of data that can be anything depending upon the type. To manage these stockpiles of information, database management systems are required and MySQL is one of them. As we know that computers are very good at handling large amount of data, database management system plays a key role in dealing with these kinds of data.

MySQL is a type of relational database management system which means that it stores data in separate categories and tables rather than putting it in a large single store-room. The SQL part in MySQL stands for 'Structured Query Language' which is the most conjoint standardized language that is used to access different kinds of databases. MySQL is also open source software meaning that it can be used and modified by anyone. The developers made it easy for users to download the software from the web without paying for anything and they can also modify the source code.

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The database server of MySQL is quite fast and reliable and usually runs without any hiccups. MySQL server was originally developed to handle and control large databases without comprising on efficiency. MySQL has been successful in achieving this goal of managing large databases at ultra-fast speed. MySQL is constantly under development and offers a rich user experience. The working environment of MySQL consists of client/servers or embedded systems. The wide applications of these tools consist of administrative tools and client programs & libraries and a wide range of application programming interfaces (API).

Server-side Programming

ASP.Net

ASP.Net is a web development tool that has become quite popular in the recent times. ASP.Net is basically used to build web applications by completely utilizing the programming languages like C Sharp or VB.Net. Due to the limitations posed by different computers, not all web browsers are same which means that a basic markup language should be used so that everybody can view the web pages. In essence, ASP.Net is a web development tool that is used to produce web based applications.

ASP.Net is used to process all types of codes on a particular server which is accessed by the user. HTML is still rendered by ASP.Net and when this code has been processed, the server of that particular connection returns the processed HTML to the client. Another great feature of ASP.Net is its provision of web services to its clients. The concept of web services details that an individual can have its web application on different servers all around the world. The global distribution of the web based application will not affect its performance because ASP.Net utilization will make sure that the coding languages are rendered properly. ASP.Net also possesses great support for XML (Extensible Markup Language) which is a type of programming language that helps in the transportation and storage of data.

Conclusion

With the passage of time, the need of different companies has changed and they are incorporating more and more layers in their web based applications. This makes the development of web based applications more complex overtime. Due to this reason, different layers are incorporated in the development of these web based applications which include Presentation layer, logic layer and data layer. These different layers are categorized separately during the buildup of these applications to make sure that the application performs efficiently and effectively.

As discussed above, the most popular type of multi-tier architecture is the three-tier architecture which consists of a presentation tier, business tier and data tier. Presentation tier is the topmost tier in an application which is associated with the display of relevant information related to the specific models and objects. Business logic or the application tier is derived from presentation tier and is usually associated with the control of the functionality in an application. Finally the data tier is the last layer and its main role is to store and retrieve the information.

In today's technological world, web has become the main source of information for majority of the people. Through internet connection, one can browse many web pages that contain relevant information at their leisure and this whole process is dictated by a just simple point and click. The main difference between the two is also this point. There are different presentation layers present in an application of which the most famous one is JavaScript. The basic function of this presentation layer is to make the web pages more interactive and lively.

Logic layer or Business logic layer is also being employed by many websites because it helps in the creation of efficient web based applications. Large corporations make it essential to incorporate this business logic layer and there are many examples available on the web of this logic layer. For data layer, MySQL service is quite popular because this database management system was designed to handle large databases with maximum speed.

Regarding the above mentioned discussions, it can be concluded that multi-tier architecture applications involve three layers commonly with each layer having its defined purpose.