Top 10 backend frameworks

Backend frameworks are quintessential to application development for countless businesses across the world today. Finding the right backend framework can be quite crucial for developers to ensure optimal performance and scalability. With so many options available today, choosing relevant ones can be a hassle.

Take a look at the top 10 backend frameworks mentioned below to get a better idea. It can help you make the right decision. 

What is a backend framework?

A software framework is a foundation where developers can make applications is a faster and standardized way. The example below, available at StackOverFlow, is pretty helpful in understanding the concept of a framework. 

Why use a backend framework?

According to Wikipedia, a framework’s main objective is to automate the overhead correlated with software development activities. The core advantages of using a framework for development are:

  • Time-Saving
  • Scalability
  • Robustness
  • Security
  • Integrations

On top of that, most of the frameworks are Open-Source.

The best 10 backend frameworks for your web application

The table below summarizes the best ten frameworks for web development and continue reading to find granular information about each framework.

FrameworkProgramming LanguageFamous Use Cases
DjangoPythonInstagram
Pinterest
Coursera
LaravelPHPDeltanet Travel
Neighborhood Lender
MyRank
Ruby on RailsRubyZendDesk
Shopify
GitHub
ExpressJSNodeJSMySpace
GeekList
Storify
CakePHPPHPMapme
Educationunlimited
Followmy Tv
FlaskPythonRed Hat
Rackspace
Reddit
Asp .NETC#Microsoft
Godaddy
Ancestry
Spring BootJavaTrivago
Via Varejo
Intuit
KoaNodeJS
PhoenixElixirFinancial Times
Fox 10
ABC15

Here are the details of each framework.

1. Django

Django is a leading open-source backend framework based on the Python programming language. It follows the model view controller (MVC) pattern. Django is suitable for the development of sophisticated and feature-rich database-driven websites.

This backend framework facilitates optimal pluggability, reduced coding, greater reusability, and faster development. It uses Python for all operations in Django and provides an optional admin interface to help create, read, update, and delete operations. Django is utilized by many renowned websites such as Disqus, Mozilla, and The Washington Times.

Advantages of Django

Fast framework – Django is easy to use, and a low learning curve framework created for helping developers speed up the entire development process from start to finish. 

Feature rich – Django provides a wide variety of features to help users take care of some common web development requirements. It helps in tasks such as user authentication, sitemaps, content administration, and much more. 

Optimal security – Django is a secure framework that helps its users prevent several security issues, including cross-site scripting, clickjacking, SQL injection, and request forgery. It provides a system for user authentication to enable users to store and manage passwords and accounts securely. 

High scalability – Django offers a high level of scalability to its users. That is why many of the world’s leading websites rely on it to meet their high operational demands easily. 

Versatile framework – Django is a framework that can be used for the development of a wide array of application types. Some of these include social networking applications, content management systems, and computing platforms. 

Django Features

Open source – Django is an open-source framework used for Python-based web applications. It is simple, easy to use, and reliable. 

Naming system – Django features its own making system for all tools and features. Also, it also has an easy to use admin panel in comparison to Yii and Lavarel. 

Some of Django’s key features include simple syntax, MVC core architecture, ORM (Object Relational Mapper), Middleware support, and HTTP libraries. Django also has its own web server, a framework for Python unit testing, and components required to solve some cases.

2. Laravel

Lavarel is an open-source PHP web framework for developing Symfony-based web applications that follow the model–view–controller (MVC) architecture. It offers a modular packaging system equipped with a dedicated dependency manager. Laravel also provides its users with multiple ways of accessing relational databases along with application maintenance and deployment utilities. Laravel has an MIT license and has a source code hosted on GitHub. 

Laravel Advantages

Authentication: Implementing authentication is quite simple with Laravel, as it offers easy configuration. Laravel facilitates simple authorization logic organization and easy control of access resources. 

Simple API: Laravel offers a simple API that works fluidly with the SwiftMailer library. Laravel offers drivers for Mandrill, SMTP, Mailgun, Amazon SES, and SparkPost. It also features drivers for PHP mail and sends mail. Laravel enables fast application mail sending through a cloud-based or local service. It also provides notification sending support across multiple delivery channels.

Cache backends: Laravel readily offers support for Redis, Memcached, and other widely-used cache backends. It uses the file cache driver, which performs cached object storage in a file system. Larger apps use an in-memory cache like APC or Memcached. Laravel also enables users to configure multiple cache configurations. 

Logs: A Laravel project has a pre-configured exception and error handling. Laravel also has Monolog logging library integration and offers support for multiple log handlers. 

Testing: Laravel is test-friendly and offers PHPUnit support along with a ready-to-use phpunit.xml file for applications. The framework comes with helper methods for expressive application testing. Laravel also provides easy user behavior simulation for activities such as form filling, link clicks, and application requests. 

Laravel Features

Template Engine: The Laravel framework features lightweight built-in templates that can be utilized for generating layouts and seeding content. It also provides widgets with JS and CSS code. Laravel templates are designed for the development of both simple and complex sectioned layouts. 

MVC Architecture Support: Laravel offers MVC architecture pattern support to effectively separate presentation and business logic layers. The Laravel MVC offers many functions, facilitates better performance, and improves both scalability and security. 

Eloquent Object Relational Mapping: Laravel users can utilize Eloquent Object Relational Mapping (ORM), including a simple PHP Active Record implementation. ORM lets application developers construct database queries using PHP syntax without writing SQL code. An ORM is comparatively faster than other PHP frameworks. 

Security: Laravel framework provides robust web application security, with salted and hashed password modalities. As a result, passwords are not stored in plain text format within databases. The Bcrypt Hashing Algorithm is also utilized by Laravel for encrypted password generation. This development framework utilizes prepared SQL statements to reduce the eventualities of injection attacks. 

3. Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, also known as Rails, is a Ruby-based server-side web application framework with an MIT License. Rails is an MVC framework offering database default structures, web pages, and web services. Ruby on Rails promotes the use of web standards like XML or JSON for data transfers and CSS, JavaScript, and HTML for interfacing. Rails prioritizes the use of software engineering patterns such as active record pattern, convention over configuration (CoC), and don’t repeat yourself (DRY).

Advantages of Ruby on Rails

Time-efficiency – Ruby on Rails offers multiple ready-made modules and plugins, which let developers reduce the time needed for creating boilerplate code. It enables development teams to minimize application build times compared to cases in which they are using other frameworks. 

Consistency – Ruby on Rails provides developers the ability to use standardized file storage systems and programming conventions. It helps to maintain the structural consistency and readability of a project while saving a significant amount of time. 

Cost-effective – Ruby on Rails is open-source and offered under the MIT license. It means that users do not have to pay anything to obtain the framework. With Gems, users can add features without developing them from the ground up. As a result, they can save a lot of time and effort. Gems are available for many purposes and can be downloaded from the open-source platform GitHub. 

Quality development – Ruby on Rails enables users to achieve bug-free software development. The Minitest tool within the Rails core gives users many testing features such as mocking, expectation syntax, and test benchmarking. Ruby on Rails is most suitable for behavior-driven deployment (BDD) and test-driven deployment (TDD). Both of these development approaches are useful for reducing development costs. 

Scalability – Ruby on Rails is a backend that offers a great deal of scalability to users. It is more well-suited than many of its alternatives for websites that are focussed on servicing a high volume of customers. Scalability is one of the reasons for many users to opt for Ruby on Rails. 

Ruby on Rails Features

MVC Architecture – Ruby on Rails is MVC-based, one of the most widely used web application architectures globally. Developers who are already experienced in working with MVC patterns can quickly start using Ruby on Rails. This architecture separates codes by their functions i.e., data layer, presentation layer, and maintaining a resource layer. 

Active Record – Ruby on Rails relies on a library known as an active record, enabling developers to perform database interaction query design effortlessly. Queries are written on the Ruby programming language and converted into SQL queries that receive outputs and return objects. The Ruby on Rails active record library is quite capable, and the need for developing a query in SQL is reduced. 

Convention over Configuration – Configuration files are not utilized by Ruby on Rails as it provides dynamic runtime extensions, reflections, and conventions. It follows a “Convention over Configuration” approach for automatically assigning value without requiring user intervention. Multiple configuration files are utilized by software systems like Java web application frameworks, with each having multiple settings. Convention raises productivity as users are not required to assign time for config file setup. 

Testing is simple – Ruby on Rails offers RSpec, an easy-to-use unit testing setup. Users can easily test functions through separate calls and make sure that an application undergoes adequate testing.

4. ExpressJS

Express.js, also known as Express, is a Node.js web application framework and open-source software available under the MIT license. It is used for building APIs and web applications and is considered as a standard Node.js server framework. Express is a MEAN stack back-end component along with the AngularJS frontend framework and MongoDB databases. 

Express JS Advantages

Easy learning curve – JavaScript is among the most widely-used programming languages, and most front-end developers rely on it. Developers can easily start utilizing the Node.js backend as learning it does not require much effort or time. 

It is a single programming language – Node.js lets developers use JavaScript for writing server-side applications. It enables Node.js developers to create both the back-end and front-end web applications by utilizing a JavaScript runtime environment. Developers are not required to utilize any other server-side language. Web application deployment becomes much more straightforward as most widely-used browsers support JavaScript. 

Utilizes Full-stack JS features – Node.js as a backend is a full-stack JavaScript for both the server-side and client-side applications. As a result, there is no need to rely on separate developers for front-end and backend development. Using it is a great way to save time and money. 

Provides high performance – Node.js uses the V8 JavaScript engine from Google for interpreting Node.js. The engine facilitates JavaScript-based code into machine code and makes it easier to implement the code effectively. The runtime environment also improves execution speed as JavaScript supports non-blocking I/O operations. 

Express JS Features

Fast Server-Side programming – Express.js is a Node.js framework offering many of the more widely-used features of Node.js. These features can be utilized at different points in the program. Express JS developers can easily incorporate a few code lines instantly instead of writing high volumes of code. Web application development with Express is faster than developing with only Node.js. 

Routing – Routing is a feature that lets web applications retain webpage states through URLs. URLs can be shared with others, and users can visit the URLs to reach the state-storage page. Node.js offers a fundamental routing mechanism, in comparison to Express.js, which provides a more sophisticated routing mechanism capable of handling dynamic URLs. 

Debugging – Bugs are quite common during development projects and can cause full-scale malfunctions to applications. Developers have to identify bug sources and correct bugs without any delay. Express.js offers a convenient debugging system to let developers easily identify the causes of application bugs. 

5. CakePHP

CakePHP is a widely-used open-source web framework. It is written in PHP and follows the MVC architecture. It has been made available under an MIT license and is based on the Ruby on Rails concepts. CakePHP utilizes popular software design and engineering concepts, including active record, front controller, model-view-controller, convention over configuration, and data mapping. 

CakePHP Advantages

ORM – ORM or Object Relational Mapping is a data conversion technique used to convert data for an incompatible system. CakePHP possesses a feature-rich inbuilt ORM, making it easy for users to perform CRUD and database operations. Data is made available as classes which are necessary for defining relations. CakePHP users can also use the backend for predefining callbacks. 

Extendability – CakePHP is a backend that lets users create reusable code parts across multiple projects. Users can utilize many functionalities such as helpers, components, behaviors, and plug-ins without growing libraries. The backend’s website has many tools and plug-ins for the convenience of developers. 

CRUD functionality – CakePHP offers CRUD functionality that enables users to create, read, update, and delete actions within an application. Developers can create, view, read, update, and delete entities easily. This makes application demoing easier and lets them perform easy model and controller modifications for specific purposes. Data management also becomes easier during the web development process. Users find this advantageous as a single line of code can be sufficient for creating a preliminary application view. 

CakePHP Features

  • Database interactions with integrated CRUD
  • Community is friendly
  • Application scaffolding
  • Licensing is flexible 
  • MVC architecture
  • Multiple PHP version compatibility
  • Code generation
  • In-built validation
  • AJAX, HTML forms, JavaScript View Helpers
  • Request dispatcher containing routes and custom URLs
  • Agile templating with helper-equipped PHP syntax
  • ACL flexibility
  • Caching flexibility
  • Localization
  • Components for Cookie, Session, Email and Request Handling
  • Functional across website directories without needing much Apache configuration

6. Flask

Flask is a Python-based micro web framework that does not require specific libraries and tools. This backend does not have form validation, a database abstraction layer, or components that require functions from external sources. Flask provides support for extensions that can add features in a manner that seems like they are implemented within Flask. 

Flask Advantages

Development simplicity – Developers that have a grasp on Python can easily adapt to working with Flask. Learning to use this backend platform is easier as there are far fewer standards. 

It is flexible – Many components of Flask can be modified safely based on requirements. This is because it is quite simple and easy to configure. 

Optimal performance – The Flask micro-framework is designed to provide high performance for most users. This is because it has fewer abstraction levels between the user and the database, cache, and requests. It is capable of offering a high level of performance. 

Modular nature – Flask uses modular code that makes the entire process simpler for developers. It lets them instantly create multiple Flask servers and applications, which are distributed across extensive server networks with specific purposes. The modular nature of Flask facilitates improved testability and efficiency. 

Flask Features

  • Offers debugger functions and development servers
  • WSGI compliance 
  • Unicode-based backend
  • Google App Engine friendly
  • Utilizes Jinja2 templates
  • Integrated unit testing aid
  • Extensions for better functionality
  • Secure cookies can be created

7. ASP .NET Core

ASP.NET Core is an open-source and free framework that follows in the footsteps of ASP.NET, a widely-used backend created in partnership with the .NET Foundation. ASP.NET Core is a modular framework that can run across the entirety of the .NET Framework across on Windows and .NET Core.

ASP.NET Core Advantages

Cross-platform support – Web application development requires developers to ensure that an application provides support for all platforms. The new ASP.NET Core is a cross-platform web application backend framework that offers support for various platforms. ASP.NET Core is a cross-platform solution for developing web applications for the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The backend uses the same C# code across all platforms. 

Minimal coding – ASP.NET Core uses technology that requires lesser coding. It means that developers find using the backend quite convenient as they have to construct fewer statements. Less coding translates to less time required to create an application. As a result, developers require lesser time to create an application, and the process is also cost-effective. 

Maintenance is easy – Lesser code also means lesser maintenance. ASP.NET Core can be automatically maintained in cases with a small amount of code. Experienced developers can easily get a grasp on reducing maintenance effort for an ASP.NET Core backend. They can optimize ASP.NET Code with just a few statements. 

Better performance – The biggest advantage of using the ASP.NET Core framework is the performance improvement it offers. Using updates and the latest improvements helps developers to improve code and enhance the performance of an application. Performance is also high as users are not required to change code. The in-built compiler of the ASP.NET is capable of enhancing code when the ASP.NET Core framework is recompiled with the code. The framework’s performance is much more than its alternatives. 

ASP.NET Core Features

Cross-platform and support for containers – ASP.NET Core lets developers create applications that can be deployed on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. The backend is most suitable for the Linux platform. 

Asynchronous – ASP.NET Core provides developers the option of using patterns of asynchronous programming. Async is a common implementation across all .NET Framework classes and many external libraries. Many applications delegate significant amounts of time and CPU cycles for web service calls, database queries, and I/O operations. 

High performance – Performance is one of the key features of the ASP.NET Core backend framework. The Kestrel web server and ASP.NET Core available to developers now make ASP.NET one of the most agile web application frameworks. Performance is one of the biggest factors that makes ASP.NET Core the web application framework of choice for numerous developers.  

8. Spring Boot

Spring Framework is an open-source application framework and the Java platform’s inversion of control container. Java applications can utilize the core features of this framework. Users can also use many extensions for creating web apps based on the Java EE platform.

Spring Boot Advantages

  • Embedded support for Undertow, Jetty and Tomcat 
  • Boilerplate configuration is not needed
  • Server auto restart is for code and config updates is facilitated through DevTools
  • Dependency management is easier 
  • Profile-specific properties are easily managed
  • Application properties are easily customized
  • SpringBoot Starters are convenient for developers

Spring Boot Features

Initialization – SpringBoot aids developers in performing lazy initialization. Enabling this feature helps developers create beans based on requirements, rather than during an application is starting up. Hence, lazy initialization can cut down the time needed for the application to start. 

Banner customization – Startup banners can be modified by users by adding a banner.txt file to their classpath. Banners can also be modified by pointing the spring.banner.location property to the relevant file location. Users can set a spring.banner.charset for files using encoding outside of UTF-8. Users can add a banner.jpg, banner.gif and banner.png images along with text files to a classpath. They can also set spring.banner.image.location.

Fluent builder API – developers can use SpringApplicationBuilder if they need to build an ApplicationContext hierarchy or utilize your fluent builder API. 

Liveness State – An application’s Liveness state is responsible for notifying if its internal state allows it to function or process recovery in case of a failure. If a Liveness state is broken, the application is in a non-recoverable state, and its infrastructure restarts the application. 

9. Koa

Koa is a web framework designed by the Express team to be a more expressive, sturdier, and more robust foundation for APIs and web applications. Using async functions enables Koa users to abandon callbacks and enhance error-handling. Koa is free from any core Middleware and offers users a collection of speedy server writing methods.

Koa Advantages

  • Fast application development
  • It is fully customizable
  • Learning curve is easier
  • Scalable and flexible 
  • Convenient middleware and third-party services integration
  • Close to the Node.js middleware
  • Browser-focused to facilitate rendering and templating easily

Koa Features

Minimal footprint – Koa.js is a lightweight and scalable Node.js framework. It is known for having a smaller footprint than most Node.js frameworks. Developers using Koa for server-side application development use Koa.js for writing improved and lighter middleware. Koa.js also offers users the option of scaling up their framework depending on changing project requirements with the use of modules. 

Futuristic framework – Koa.js is different from many Node.js frameworks, as it has been built following the ECMAScript 2015 and ECMAScript 6. ECMAScript 2015 makes developing complex applications easier by offering many new modules and classes. Koa.js incorporates generators that belong to the ECMAScript 2015 specification. Using it helps developers to make applications that can be utilized for longer time periods. 

Generators – Koa.js uses generators, which is a specification of ECMAScript 2015. Generators simplify synchronous programming and also enable both downstream or upstream control flows. Developers can use generators as functions for resuming and stopping the execution of code within a stack. Web application performance can be improved upon by implementing custom script execution. 

10. Phoenix

Phoenix is a development framework written in the Elixir programming language. It utilizes an MVC pattern and is based on Plug library and the Cowboy Erlang framework. Phoenix was developed to facilitate the creation of scalable and high-performance applications. It offers the request/response functionality from the Cowboy server, along with the real-time external client communication through Websockets and agnostic channels.

Phoenix Advantages

Reliability – Phoenix is a reliable backend for web applications. Erlang and Elixir facilitate reliability for developers and make managing application resources easier. 

Concurrency – Concurrency is the ability to run many processes together to keep the processes independent from each other. Both Erlang and Elixir facilitate high concurrency. 

Productivity – Elixir enables users to raise the speed of development. Elixir syntax makes it easy to construct clean and decipherable code while maintaining development productivity. 

Fault tolerance – Elixir is capable of tolerating faults that rise out of two programming mistake types. These include issues outside an application like network issues and internal issues like logic bugs. 

Phoenix Features

Real-Time – Phoenix developers can easily interact with users and monitor connections across single or multiple nodes. This is made possible through the use of the in-built Presence and Channels technologies. LiveView is a new way of developing real-time applications that are free from client-side hurdles. 

Versatility – Phoenix users do not need to work with convoluted messaging systems or 3rd party tools for the management of cache layers. The Erlang VM features used by Phoenix helps it to incorporate ready-made scaling and real-time systems. As a result, operational complexity is reduced, and developers find processes to be simpler. 

Model view controller – Phoenix is a robust web framework that enhances the very familiar Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture with new functional ideas. Phoenix lays the focus on helping users obtain instantaneous productivity and code maintainability. 

Ideal for production – Phoenix helps development teams accelerate from the development to the production process. It offers integrated instrumentation along with a live dashboard feature. Developers gain an insight into Erlang VM capabilities for handling numerous connections with the tooling features of Elixir. 

Conclusion

The information provided above can help you make the right choice among the top 10 backend frameworks available now. Get in touch with an experienced software consultant to gain more insight. 

FAQ

What is a backend framework?

A software framework is a foundation where developers can make applications is a faster and standardized way.

Why use a backend framework?

– Time-Saving
– Scalability
– Robustness
– Security
– Integrations

What are the best 10 backend frameworks?

– Django
-Laravel
– Ruby on Rails
– ExpressJS
– CakePHP
– Flask
– Asp .NET
– Spring Boot
– Koa
– Phoenix


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