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Comparison and Contrast of Systems Analysis Tools

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Comparison and Contrast of Systems Analysis Tools

Utilizing systems architecture or design is acknowledged as best practice in dealing with various types of information systems problems. System design is an essential prerequisite for successful enterprise approach. Multi-tier and software development lifecycle (SDLC) are system analysis tools essential in system analysis and design, and implementation for enterprise and client/server environments.


Multi-tier architecture or also known as n-tier architecture refers to the design of application that consists of three logical layers. According to Febish and Sarna (1995) that multi-tier architecture offers a compelling way to develop client-server business solutions and it is technology-neutral and can be implemented on any vendor's technology that enables standard interfaces for each of the logical levels call "tiers." Each layers in n-tier architecture interacts only the layer below it. Presentation, business, and data layer are the three logical layers of n-tier architecture; each has specific functions.

Software development life cycle (SDLC) is a structure methodology based on the waterfall model and is the complete process of formal, logical steps or phases in software development or altering systems. The phases of SDLC include the following: conceptualization, requirements and cost/benefits analysis, detailed specification of the software requirements, software design, programming, testing, user and technical training, and maintenance (MKS, n.d.). As stated above, SDLC is based on the waterfall model; it follows a chronological design process that progresses in a downward flow. Completion of individual phases is imperative prior to moving on to the next phase.

Comparison and Contrast

Most prevalent use of n-tier architecture is the three-tier architecture, which client/server system utilizes separate systems for presentation, application, and single database servers (Curran & Ladd, 2000). Presentation layer is at the top level of the application and is responsible for presenting the user interface. Business layer is accountable for retrieving data to modify and delete to and from the data tier, the aftermath is send to the presentation layer. Data layer consists of database (DB) servers where data in retrieved and stored. Presentation and data layer can run on different platforms, whereas application layer is tuned for transaction management, scalability, performance, and ease of maintenance or upgrades (Curran & Ladd, 2000). In system design, multi-tier architecture permits the breakdown of multifaceted business issues into distinct services. By breaking down complex job to smaller tasks, risk is reduced, better comprehension of what task is needed to implement, and cost and time is reduced. According to MKS (n.d.) that the multitier developer is able to concentrate more on the delivery of these services incrementally. Portability, investment protection, multilevel implementation, optimum load distribution, and interoperability are several benefits of a three-tier architecture on client/server environment.

As stated above, SDLC



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