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Why It Is So Difficult to Build N-Tiered Enterprise Applications

By Christoph Hartwich and Freie Universitaet Berlin


Structuring enterprise applications into multiple tiers is a welltried and successful approach to improve scalability and achieve a better separation of concerns. Unfortunately, state-ojCthe-art object-oriented middleware standards and component models, like CORBA, RMI, Enterprise JavaBeans, and the CORBA Component Model, do not support well-structured applications with an arbitrary number of tiers. Attempts to build n-tier applications on top of them often result in bad performance, unexpected complexity, and severe architectural problems. This paper provides a definition of n-tier structures, motivates their use for large-scale enterprise applications, and analyzes problems that occur when n-tiered enterprise applications are developed based on object-oriented middleware standards or component models. In addition, an approach to solving these problems is outlined

Year: 2001
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