The Guide to Practical and Pragmatic IT Architecture Design

IT Architecture: Front-End Layer

The front-end layer is the interaction layer that is required for users, internal employees as well external customers to access the application. Any application has an interaction of input and output. The input is a user or something that provides the application an input (e.g. a screen input, button push, a certain event happening, or threshold reached). And based on the input there is an output that could be screen response, a movement, printing or anything else. 

This is typically through screen interactions on a desktop PC or laptop, but one needs to also include access through other channels such as mobile application, handheld, ATM or even a kiosk in a supermarket or airport. In some cases, the application can be embedded in other larger applications or platforms such as portals. 

Architecture Framework: Front-End

But the interaction could also happen through voice interaction, bar code reader or a sensor type of environment with movements or augmented reality. Also output management capabilities such as paper or 3D printing needs to be considered here.

Another capability in the front-end is the session management component that facilitates and maintains the interactions between a particular user and the application. When a user has an ongoing session with an application, within that session a client can submit multiple requests and the application retains and facilitates the user´s status. Session management needs to be well integrated with security to provide a means of protecting private data belonging to each unique user session.

Another aspect is content management that is required to show content within a user's interaction. This could be either be screen templates, text field contents, language translations (e.g. English and Spanish), images and videos.

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