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Chapter 9. STANDALONE APPLICATION DEVELO... > DEVELOPING WITH AN N-TIERED ARCHITEC...

DEVELOPING WITH AN N-TIERED ARCHITECTURE

Rather than cramming all your application’s code into a single interdependent mass, an n-tiered architecture mandates that you divide it up into sections—or tiers—which talk to each other through a (hopefully) simple, well-defined protocol or API (application programming interface). In a relatively simple web application, your topmost tier might be responsible for generating dynamic HTML content and processing requests from clients (usually browsers). The tier below that might validate that data, and the bottommost tier is generally responsible for data persistence (usually using a database).

Let’s say, for example, in the process of creating an account for an e-commerce application, you enter a login name and a password (see Figure 9.1). The top tier hands your registration data to the middle tier, which determines that the login name you chose is not unique, so the top tier is told to rerender the registration form with a message asking you to choose a different login name. The second time the form is submitted, the middle tier confirms that the name is unique this time, so the data is handed to the bottommost tier where it is stored in a database and used for authentication purposes each time you log in to your account.


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