Database Architecture

From InterBase

Go Up to Designing Database Applications

Database applications are built from user interface elements, components that manage the database or databases, and components that represent the data contained by the tables in those databases (datasets). How you organize these pieces is the architecture of your database application.

By isolating database access components in data modules, you can develop forms in your database applications that provide a consistent user interface. By storing links to well-designed forms and data modules in the Object Repository, you and other developers can build on existing foundations rather than starting over from scratch for each new project. Sharing forms and modules also makes it possible for you to develop corporate standards for database access and application interfaces.

Many aspects of the architecture of your database application depend on the number of users who will be sharing the database information and the type of information you are working with.

When writing applications that use information that is not shared among several users, you may want to use a local database in a single-tiered application. This approach can have the advantage of speed (because data is stored locally), and does not require the purchase of a separate database server and expensive site licences. However, it is limited in how much data the tables can hold and the number of users your application can support.

Writing a two-tiered application provides more multi-user support and lets you use large remote databases that can store far more information.

When the database information includes complicated relationships between several tables, or when the number of clients grows, you may want to use a multi-tiered application. Multi-tiered applications include middle tiers that centralize the logic that governs database interactions so that there is centralized control over data relationships. This allows different client applications to use the same data while ensuring that the data logic is consistent. They also allow for smaller client applications because much of the processing is off-loaded onto middle tiers. These smaller client applications are easier to install, configure, and maintain because they do not include the database connectivity software. Multi-tiered applications can also improve performance by spreading the data-processing tasks over several systems.


Advance To: