Database Architecture in DBMS: 1-Tier, 2-Tier and 3-Tier

What is Database Architecture?

A Database Architecture is a representation of DBMS design. It helps to design, develop, implement, and maintain the database management system. A DBMS architecture allows dividing the database system into individual components that can be independently modified, changed, replaced, and altered. It also helps to understand the components of a database.

A Database stores critical information and helps access data quickly and securely. Therefore, selecting the correct Architecture of DBMS helps in easy and efficient data management.

Types of DBMS Architecture

There are mainly three types of DBMS architecture:

  • One Tier Architecture (Single Tier Architecture)
  • Two Tier Architecture
  • Three Tier Architecture

Now, we will learn about different architecture of DBMS with diagram.

1-Tier Architecture

1 Tier Architecture in DBMS is the simplest architecture of Database in which the client, server, and Database all reside on the same machine. A simple one tier architecture example would be anytime you install a Database in your system and access it to practice SQL queries. But such architecture is rarely used in production.

1-Tier Architecture Diagram
1 Tier Architecture Diagram

2-Tier Architecture

A 2 Tier Architecture in DBMS is a Database architecture where the presentation layer runs on a client (PC, Mobile, Tablet, etc.), and data is stored on a server called the second tier. Two tier architecture provides added security to the DBMS as it is not exposed to the end-user directly. It also provides direct and faster communication.

2-Tier Architecture Diagram
2 Tier Architecture Diagram

In the above 2 Tier client-server architecture of database management system, we can see that one server is connected with clients 1, 2, and 3.

Two Tier Architecture Example:

A Contact Management System created using MS- Access.

3-Tier Architecture

A 3 Tier Architecture in DBMS is the most popular client server architecture in DBMS in which the development and maintenance of functional processes, logic, data access, data storage, and user interface is done independently as separate modules. Three Tier architecture contains a presentation layer, an application layer, and a database server.

3-Tier database Architecture design is an extension of the 2-tier client-server architecture. A 3-tier architecture has the following layers:

  1. Presentation layer (your PC, Tablet, Mobile, etc.)
  2. Application layer (server)
  3. Database Server
3-Tier Architecture Diagram
3 Tier Architecture Diagram

The Application layer resides between the user and the DBMS, which is responsible for communicating the user’s request to the DBMS system and send the response from the DBMS to the user. The application layer(business logic layer) also processes functional logic, constraint, and rules before passing data to the user or down to the DBMS.

The goal of Three Tier client-server architecture is:

  • To separate the user applications and physical database
  • To support DBMS characteristics
  • Program-data independence
  • Supporting multiple views of the data

Three Tier Architecture Example:

Any large website on the internet, including


  • An Architecture of DBMS helps in design, development, implementation, and maintenance of a database
  • The simplest database system architecture is 1 tier where the Client, Server, and Database all reside on the same machine
  • A two-tier architecture is a database architecture in DBMS where presentation layer runs on a client and data is stored on a server
  • Three-tier client-server architecture consists of the Presentation layer (PC, Tablet, Mobile, etc.), Application layer (server) and Database Server