- The word Architecture describes both the process and product of planning, designing and construction (from Wikipedia). For us, what is designed and built is a Web information system.
- Architecture is presented in schematics. We will look at a number of them to illustrate various architectures we study.
- An information system is a set of hardware, software (applications) and networks all working together to manage data (or information) and provide features to users.
- Abilities of a system are called features. For example, Facebook has a friending feature that gives you the ability to link to another user.
- The idea of managing information comprises everything from the creation of new information to its eventual retirement when it is no longer needed.
- The Web information systems we will study are just like other information systems except that they run on the hardware, software and networks of the internet.
- The browser is an application (software) running on your computer or other hardware device that is responsible for displaying Web pages.
- The server is an application (software) running on someone else’s computer (hardware) that is in charge of creating Web pages.
- The internet is the network that connects the server and your browser.
- We discussed Web systems as browsers, servers and the internet. Another way to think of the architecture of Web systems is to use the idea of tiers which are levels or layers in the management of the system’s information.
- Tier 2 is on the server. It is called is the “processing tier.” it takes care of all that needs to happen to turn a request you make into a Web page.
- Tier 3 is also on the server. We call it the “data tier.” It stores and retrieves the system’s information.
- Tier 1: Presentation
- Tier 5 (part of the data tier): Data reporting and use
- A taxonomy is an outline of concepts that all relate to each other like the chapters and sections of a book.
- We use the word clients to mean display programs running on your computer. They take care of most or all of the presentation Tier
- Clients that are thin don’t do much. All the action is on the server. Browsers are the most common thin clients
- Clients that are thick do a lot. For example, in Wow, the client and related software and data is about 10 gigabytes. It is a very sophisticated client and “fat” client.
- The WoW login server is the first server you interact with. It contains the part of the processing tier that retrieves your account data from the database, validates you, redirects you to the game server, and downloads patches (software replacement parts).
- A cache is a temporary storage place that holds a copy of data that is stored permanently elsewhere for efficiency and convenience.
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