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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

One-Tier Architecture

Author Malay Gain
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A single computer which contains a database and a front-end to access the database is known as a one-tier architecture system. 


Generally, this kind of system is found in small businesses. There should one computer that stores all data of the company on a single database. The interface that is used to interact with the database may be part of another program or the database that ties into the database itself.




  • In one-tier architecture, data is directly provided to the user so that the user can directly use the database.
  • This kind of architecture is used for the enhancement of local applications of a system.
  • If any updates are done, that will reflect directly on the database.
  • This architecture is mainly used for the applications where a programmer directly interacts with the database.


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  • A one-tier system requires only one computer. 
  • It requires only one installation of proprietary software. This makes it the most cost-effective system . 
  • In one-tier architecture, a single user can access the system fast as communication with another system is not required here.



  • This type of system can be used by only one user at a time.
  • This kind of system is unscalable. 
  • A single-tier system is impractical for an organization and it requires two or more users to interact with the organizational data store at the same time.  



1. What are the use cases of one-tier architecture?

Smaller organizations and businesses generally use One-tier architecture due to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness.


2. What are a few limitations of the one-tier architecture systems?

The major limitation in the capabilities of a one-tier architecture is data backup and availability assurance, as there is only a single instance/single replica of the database. 


Key Takeaways

This article covered the basics of one-tiered system architecture design, its characteristics, advantages, and limitations.

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Recommended Reading: Instruction Format in Computer Architecture

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