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2-tier architecture

(also two-tier architecture)

2-tier architecture definition

Software architecture model where the interface runs on a client while the data layer is stored on a server. The client is on the first tier, and the server and web application are on the second tier. The client applications interact with the server directly, as opposed to three-tier architecture, where a third application is added as an intermediary.


  • Easy to develop applications
  • Good performance due to the client being physically close to the server.


  • Limited number of users — difficult to scale.
  • Client applications depend on the database structure and therefore are difficult to redesign.