One-Tier Architecture

What Does One-Tier Architecture Mean?

One-tier architecture involves putting all of the required components for a software application or technology on a single server or platform. This kind of architecture is often contrasted with multi-tiered architecture or the three-tier architecture that’s used for some Web applications and other technologies where various presentation, business and data access layers are housed separately.


One-tier architecture is also known as single-tier architecture.

Techopedia Explains One-Tier Architecture

Basically, a one-tier architecture keeps all of the elements of an application, including the interface, middleware and back-end data, in one place. Developers see these types of systems as the simplest and most direct. Some experts describe them as applications that could be installed and run on a single computer. The need for distributed models for Web applications and cloud hosting solutions has created many situations where one-tier architectures are not sufficient. That caused three-tier or multi-tier architecture to become more popular. The benefits of a multi-tier solution are often evident. They can provide better security, better performance and more scalability, as well as individual environments for data centers and front-end applications. However, the appeal of a single-tier architecture can relate to the costs that are involved, where it might make more sense to keep simpler applications contained in one easy platform.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…