High Level System Architecture – Environment System Name Field PC DC Web Server COMMUNICATIONS Protocol Hardware COMMUNICATIONS Protocol Hardware Computer type OS Computer type OS Telecommunications Language Middleware Telecommunications Language Middleware Reports DB Screens Distributor DB Mainframe OS Telecommnication Language DB Tiers – The top parallel line crossed by the three vertical lines represent the tiers of the architecture. This is a three tier system. You may have a one tier (stand alone), two tier (client and one server) or two tier (client, server and upper level server). Double Arrow – represents the communication links between the tiers. The top line is the protocol used and the lower line is the hardware communications equipment. The squares define the environment of each of the machines, the languages, operating system, etc. The disks represent the database server being used. The convex/concave arced rectangle represents the input/output hardware/software. The printer paper represents the reporting hardware and software.