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Chapter 14. Building N-Tier Applications > Access's Role in the N-Tier Model

Access's Role in the N-Tier Model

Access used alone is a one-tier architecture. This means that if you build your forms and reports in Microsoft Access, and you store your data in the MDB file format as well, you are using a one-tier architecture. This is because one application handles both the presentation and the processing of data.

When you introduce SQL Server into the picture, you begin to work with a two-tier model. In the two-tier model, Access is responsible for presenting the data, and SQL Server is responsible for processing the data. This model generally adds a lot more efficiencies, particularly if you develop your application properly. This means that if you take advantage of SQL Server stored procedures, views, functions, and triggers, and you bring as little data over the network wire as possible, you can build a robust client/server application with linked tables.


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