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3 years ago
In about 100 words, describe how an n-tier architecture might be used by an online business. Include in your answer an outline of the functions that would likely be performed by computers configured in this way.

Q. 2

Write a paragraph in which you explain the purpose of a request message in a two-tier client-server architecture.

Q. 3

Name three types of server (other than Web servers) that are commonly used by online businesses and provide a brief description of the function performed by each.

Q. 4

In a paragraph or two, outline the different meanings of the term Web server.

Q. 5

In a paragraph or two, describe the two basic approaches that can be used to create dynamic Web pages.

Q. 6

Define the term static Web page and, in about a paragraph, outline the disadvantages of building a Web site using such pages.
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Answer to #1

Architectures that have more than three tiers are often called n-tier architectures. N-tier systems can track customer purchases stored in shopping carts, look up sales tax rates, keep track of customer preferences, update in-stock inventory databases, and keep the product catalog current.

Answer to #2

The basic Web client/server model is a two-tier model because it has only one client and one server. All communication takes place on the Internet between the client and the server. Of course, other computers are involved in forwarding packets of information across the Internet, but the messages are created and read only by the client and the server computers in a two-tier client/server architecture. The message that a Web client sends to request a file or files from a Web server is called a request message.

Answer to #3

The server computer that handles incoming and outgoing e-mail is usually called an e-mail server, and the software that manages e-mail activity on that server is frequently called e-mail server software. The server computer on which database management software runs is often called a database server. The computer on which a company runs its accounting and inventory management software is sometimes called a transaction server.

Answer to #4

A server is any computer used to provide (or serve) files or make programs available to other computers connected to it through a network (such as a LAN or a WAN). The software that the server computer uses to make these files and programs available to the other computers is often called server software. Sometimes this server software is included as part of the operating system that is running on the server computer. Thus, some information systems professionals informally refer to the operating system software on a server computer as server software, a practice that adds considerable confusion to the use of the term server.
Some servers are connected through a router to the Internet. These servers can run software, called Web server software, which makes files on those servers available to other computers on the Internet.
When a server computer is connected to the Internet and is running Web server software (usually in addition to the server software it runs to serve files to client computers on its own network), it is called a Web server.

Answer to #5

Web site designers can incorporate dynamic content using two basic approaches. In the first approach, called client-side scripting, software operates on the Web client (the browser) to change what is displayed on the Web page in response to a users actions (such as mouse clicks or keyboard text input). In client-side scripting, changes are generated within the browser using software such as JavaScript or Adobe Flash. The Web client retrieves a file from the Web server that includes code (JavaScript, for example). The code instructs the Web client to request specific page elements from the Web server and dictates how they will be displayed in the Web browser.
In the second approach, called server-side scripting, a program running on a Web server creates a Web page in response to a request for specific information from a Web client. The content of the request can be determined by several things, including text that a user has entered into a Web form in the browser, extra text added to the end of a URL, the type of Web browser making the request, or simply the passage of time. For example, if you are logged into an online banking site and do not enter any text or click anywhere on the page for a few minutes, the Web server might end your connection and send a page to your browser indicating that your session has expired.

Answer to #6

A static page is an unchanging page retrieved from a file or set of files stored on a Web server. Following are some disadvantages:

  • The content gets stagnant.

  • The site requires expertise to update content.

  • The site is not as interesting to the user.

  • There are higher maintenance costs if content needs to be changed frequently.

They are difficult to maintain when the site gets large.
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