Database architecture refers to the development, design, implementation, and maintenance of all the computer programs that organize and store information for agencies, businesses, and institutions. The database architect’s role is to develop and execute the software targeted to meet the user needs of the system. The design of any database management system relies on its architecture.
What are the different types of database architecture?
There are three types of database architecture. They are-
They have been explained in brief below-
1. Single-tier- Here, the database is available on the machine that belongs to the client. Any client request does not need a network connection for performing a database action. For example, suppose you want to access employee records from your database that is available in the computer system. In that case, this request will be made by the computer itself both when it comes to fetching the details of your employee and fetching the desired records. There is no one else involved, which is why this system is popularly referred to as a local database.
2. Two-tier architecture – Here, the database is located in the server, and the application for the DBMS is at the client machine. Both of these machines are connected by a reliable network. When the client machine issues a request to access the server’s database system, a query language, for example, SQL, is used. The server will carry out the request on the database and give it back to the client. This application connection like ODBC and JDBC is used for the interaction between the client and server.
3. Three-tier architecture – In this type of architecture, another layer is located between the server and the client machine. Here, the client application does not directly interact with the database located in the server machine. Rather it interacts with the application server that in turn interacts with the database located in the server.
Importance of database architecture review
Skilled DBAs are asked to design and minutely plant the database infrastructure for new business applications or upgrade present systems. To propose new solutions or to verify any existing architecture, the DBA must have a defined understanding of the system’s requirements.
Specialists from the eminent company in the field of database management and administration, RemoteDBA.com lists the following tips for new DBAs to consider when they are designing innovative systems or are reviewing new proposed solutions for the company-
Note that DBAs have multiple responsibilities, and one of them is that of a skilled system architect. Professionals that deal with the development of the database spend most of their time reviewing the system’s extensive technical specifications, understanding flow charts and pseudo codes before they validate the object structures of the database. They offer recommendations to database developers about table indexes that are missing, create re-usable functions, and the advantages of deploying table variables.
A DBA specialist in database infrastructure, again, may not have detailed knowledge about the application. However, the professional will have a detailed knowledge of the business enterprise application scenario. The expert needs the nature of the applications deployed in production, the database back-ends used, and how the virtual and storage applications are provisioned, and other factors. When you know your exact requirements you can make use of the available resources for database management to get better results and ensure streamlining.
For example, if you consider yourself to be a DBA working on several sample tasks, you might be asked to conduct the following-
- The third-party who is new has supplied a document management system currently being implemented in the company and based on SharePoint. The vendor undertakes all the hard work and has come up with an extensive document for architecture. The work starts the following week, and the parties have unanimously agreed it to be a good design. You have been asked to join this project last minute and been requested to review the database architecture. Here, you, as the DBA, need to pass the last verdict as to whether the design conforms to the best database practices or not.
- After some months of project deployment, testing, and polishing off, the business is now ready to proceed to the next step with version 2.0 of the core application scheduled for rollout. Here, as a DBA, you need to suggest to the team the best path that should be taken for a seamless migration. At the same time, you need to consider and decide on the best method for roll-back.
- Management has been finally assigned the green light when it comes to the enhancement of the application project. The Manager of the project has started meetings every week with DBAs, architects, and developers. There is a lot of brainstorming and whiteboard drawings taking place, and the team desires to know the best configuration you should embrace for the database server.
The role of experienced and savvy DBAs
Savvy and experienced DBAs should have the ability to assess the design of the database system and recommend the best solutions for the system tier or suggest a better approach. The professional should be able to architect the layer of the database from scratch and render support to the design. The DBA’s primary thing to do is to comprehend the goal of the database system and collect as much data as possible for the above task.
Therefore, when it comes to reviewing the database architecture, it is prudent to have your list of metrics and questions available with you. Once you have these questions set, your project will have an extended and encompassing set of key specifications. When the DBA asks questions, all these answers might not be available instantly. There are some questions where the DBA and his peers might not be aware of or sure about. A good DBA will note these unpredictable areas and suggest solutions that are possible for informing and educating everyone else working on the project.