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End User Tier Tier 1 End-User Tier The end user tier is the path by which users gain access to the application tier. Users access the application via their own computers and a URL address. From the URL address, users enter a user name and password (previously defined at the application tier), which grants them access to the application tier. Once onto the application tier, user access is governed by responsibilities assigned to the user. Tier 2 - Application Tier The application layer, or middleware, contains the key application programs as well as programs to support web use, screens and administrative tasks within the system. There are several key servers that may exist within this layer some of which are detailed below: 1.2.1. Web Server (Oracle Portal) The Portal manages access to Oracle Forms (note that this is the definition Oracle uses to describe screens or windows displayed on the monitor). 1.2.2. Forms Server The forms server stores the format of the Oracle forms. This is also where the application and some administrative functions reside (i.e. entering and posting of journal entries). The forms server interfaces directly to the Database tier. 1.2.3. Concurrent Processing The Concurrent Processing's primary purpose is to load balance the system and enhance performance. Concurrent processing is managed through a scheduling system that controls when updates occur. Along with the scheduling system, concurrent processing can prioritize activities based on transaction importance. It is also used to provide batch processing capability. Reports and other requests are executed by this server, which interfaces directly to the Database tier. 1.2.4. Administration Server This server interfaces directly to the Database tier and provides operational support such as backup, recovery, startup and shutdown. In addition, it provides statistical information on system use and performance. 1.3. Database Tier The database environment allows for storage and retrieval of user and administrative data and of other application programs and components. Oracle Enterprise Database Management System (DBMS) is the only DBMS that will work with Oracle applications. Releases of Oracle DBMS are intended to operate with specific versions of Oracle applications. The version numbers of the database do not correspond

with the Oracle applications version numbers. Within Oracle EBS, all data (master, standing, security and transactional) are stored in the Oracle DBMS. Since the Oracle DBMS contains all Oracle-related financially-significant data, the Oracle DBMS is considered the highest risk of the three tiers. 1.4. File System Oracle has made a primary change to the file structure supporting the applications in Release 12. Oracle has now provided an instance-specific directory(s) to support each unique environment - dev, test, prod, etc. The new instance home model supports two key concepts: The base configuration directories APPL_TOP and ORACLE_HOME can be read-only to support change control. With instance-specific data files separated into dedicated directories, upgrades and migrations should be more easily controlled. Common application files are not touched for instance-specific modifications. Another advantage of employing the concept of an Instance Home is that log files can be stored centrally for an instance, and therefore managed more easily. This is particularly significant from a security perspective, as log files may contain sensitive data that should not be accessible to general users.