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Microsoft Business Solutions-Axapta 3.0 is now part of Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0. All references to Microsoft Business Solutions-Axapta and Microsoft Axapta pertain to Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Explanation of 2-tier versus 3-tier and thin vs. fat clients.
2-tier technology = In a 2-tier environment all clients connect to a database and an application. The client then runs all business logic and the Graphical User Interface (GUI).
3-tier technology = In 3-tier environments an Object Server called Axapta Object Server (AOS) is implemented. The AOS runs all business logic and generates all the objects which are transferred to the client.
In the standard 3-tier setup the clients only run the GUI. This is called a Thin Client, since data transfer is reduced to a minimum.
In a 3-tier Fat setup the clients run both the business logic and the GUI, but the AOS still produces all of the objects.