A 3-tier architecture is a type of software architecture that consists of three “tiers” or “layers” of logical computing. They are often used in applications such as a specific type of client-server system. 3-tier architectures offer many benefits to development and production environments by modularizing the user interface, business logic, and data warehouse layers. This gives development teams more flexibility because they can update a particular part of an application independently of the other parts. This added flexibility can reduce total time to market and shorten development cycle times by allowing development teams to replace or upgrade separate layers without affecting other parts of the system.
This architectural system is often ideal for embedding and integrating third-party software into an existing application. This integration flexibility also makes it ideal for incorporating analytics software into existing applications, and for this reason it is widely used by embedded analytics providers. 3-tier architectures are often used in on-premises or cloud applications, as well as SaaS (software as a service) applications.