Top 10 Backend Technologies

Backend technologies are paramount in the development of day-to-day software projects. Either you are a startup founder, IT head, or a corporate decision-maker, selecting the right backend technology is crucial to determine your project’s success.

Indeed, well-chosen backend technologies can guarantee scalability, functioning speed and instantly respond to customers’ queries and needs. Withal, it is challenging to pick the appropriate option, especially if you are a non-programmer.

This guide will share the top 10 backend technologies, features, limitations, and further details comprehensively. Hopefully, it would assist you in making the right decision.

Let’s have a look.

What is a Backend?

Backend is a technical term that is used by computer professionals and coders. Basically, the backend is the programmer’s code that deals with server-side operations, including CRUD functions with database and all server logic. The majority of operating syntax and data is backlogged and obtained in the backend of any application. Users can’t access the backend of any computer application.

Top 10 Backend Technologies You Should Know

Here we are going to discuss one of the best leading backend technologies. Each server-side technology has its core features and limitations. It is crucial to decide which one is suitable according to the requirements of your project. Here is an overview:

Programming LanguageFamous AppsFrameworks
JavaScriptNetflix
Candy Crush
Facebook
Express.js
React
Vue
Angular
PythonInstagram
Google
Spotify
Django
Flask
CherryPy
RubyGitHub
Zendesk
Basecamp
Ruby on Rails
Sinatra
Padrino
PHPYahoo
Workpress
Wikipedia
Laravel
Cake PHP
Symfony
JavaNASA WorldWind
Hadoop
Jenkins
Blade
Dropwizard
GWT
C#Visual Studio
Windows Installer
NMath
.NET
Xamarin
Unity
PerlIMDB
Amazon
BBC
Catalyst
Dancer
TAP
C++Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Office
Mozilla Firefox
Apache
APR
ASL
KotlinSquare
Trello
Evernote
Javalin
KTor
Spark
ScalaFinagle by Twitter
Lichess
Apache Kafka
Play
Akka
Chaos

Want to know more about each technology? Keep on reading.

JavaScript

For the last eight years, JavaScript has consecutively won the first position as the most commonly used programming technology in Stack Overflow Annual Surveys. The 2020 Developer Survey of Stack Overflow also presents that 69.7% of professional developers (47,184 responders participated) voted in favor of JavaScript as the most popular technology.

With the assistance of Node.js, you can execute server-side operations under JavaScript programming technology. But it is also essential to understand that Node.js works as a platform and mostly uses Express.js as its server-side framework. In simple words, Express.js is an open-source backend framework for Node.js.

Express.js in conjunction with Node.js uses JavaScript as both front and backend language. It also develops application programming interfaces (APIs) for web, mobile, hybrid, single and multi-page applications. 

JavaScript Features

Speedy Development: JavaScript allows developers to use it as both front and backend technology. That’s why it is quick and easier to produce both mobile and web applications with this scripting language.

Less Overhead: This backend technology helps with its built-in features for DOM access and hoop etc. This leads to fewer scripting overheads and improves performance.

Minimalist Backend Technology: JavaScript’s backend platform like Express.js offers Express middleware modules to figure out different development challenges. These middleware packages consist of HTTP request logger, error handling, security headers and POST data functions. Moreover, JavaScript also an undoctrinaire framework which works without stringent regulations. Developers can use middleware of their choice without any restriction.

Reduce Expenses: JavaScript backend scripting performs in a very efficient manner. The same language is used for producing software’s front and server-side coding. That’s why it becomes easy to handle in terms of effort and budget.

Open-Source Community: The scope of improvement becomes lesser without community contribution and feedback. Luckily, JavaScript is an open-source community and backend engineers always have the chance to be reviewed. Such reviews also lead to an improvement in your backend coding.

I/O Request Handling: Express.js in conjunction with Node.js, has enough power to handle thousands of notifications and I/O requests from application users.

JavaScript Limitations

  • It isn’t easy to understand the event-driven nature of JavaScript backends. Especially developers who work with other coding languages misread the callbacks and draft entire code in callbacks. However, this problem is rare in the latest versions.
  • Programmers usually misinterpret the concept of middleware while using JavaScript server-side programming.
  • It is also hard to host backend frameworks of JavaScript with MySQL databases.
  • Few backend engineers also complain against the unopinionated nature of JavaScript backend technologies. According to them, standard designing is much better instead of this freedom.

Python

Python is a leading all-purpose programming language created by a Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum in 1991. With core competency of concise and readable codes, Python supports backend programmers to write rational and explicit scripts. 

According to the 2020 Developer Survey of Stack Overflow, it is the most wanted back-end technology that developers want to learn. Yes, it is the fourth year in a row where developers want to learn Python as a priority. It maintains the third position among the most loved programming technologies as well.

Python Features

Easy to Understand & Code: The core competency of Python is its readability feature. Actually, Python’s precise scripting makes it easy to understand and code for both newbies and programmers. Sometimes, it also seems like the English sentences. 

Extensive Libraries: The backend programming technology downloads extensive libraries. These libraries include codes for unit-testing, databases, regular expressions, browsing, and email, etc. In short, with the support of extensive libraries, backend engineers don’t have to write each code manually.

Affordable: Python is open-source and free. That is why developers and companies have the chance to use free extensive libraries and other sources for their projects. 

IoT Opportunities: With the help of Python’s modern programming features, you can build physical projects on Raspberry Pi. 

Embeddable: It is easy to insert your Python code in the source code of languages like C++. However, the coder shouldn’t forget the Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA) rule here. 

Python Limitations

  • Any interruption in Python’s coding can lead to slow execution. It can badly affect the speed of the project as well. 
  • As compared to other backend technologies, the database access layers of Python are not fully developed.
  • Python also needs additional testing to detect bugs and other errors.
  • It depends on third-party libraries and frameworks.

Ruby

Ruby is another open-source backend technology that was designed by Japanese computer scientist Yukihiro Matsumoto in the 1990s. This scripting language has similarities with Python, Java, and Perl. Ruby is usually used for the development of web applications and is considered the favorite for prototyping. 

Tech businesses like Esty, Airbnb, and Shopify are using Ruby as backend scripting technology due to its object-oriented, scalability, and flexible programming features.

Ruby Features

Productive: Due to short readable code and 3rd party libraries’ availability, Ruby is a very product backend technology. Developers typically need fewer separate documentation with Ruby. It allows backend technologies to use already available projects.

Metaprogramming: Ruby also backs metaprogramming. In metaprogramming, the developer scripts code in Ruby, and the program presents the other code itself. With flexible tools like ghost methods, introspection, and macros, it is convenient to script in a short duration.

Libraries: Ruby offers 3rd party modules. You can find all of its libraries at RubyGems.

Testing: Ruby backend technology is also worth-using for the development of high-quality projects. These are testing automation features and valuable libraries of Ruby that make it happen. 

Fast & Stable: Compared to other backend scripting languages, Ruby takes 40% less time in developing a code. It is also quick for making requests and further processing steps. In the same token, Ruby is also more resilient due to its object-oriented characteristics. 

Ruby Limitations

  • The runtime speed of Ruby is slow as compared to other scripting languages.
  • Although Ruby is an open-source community but unluckily, it doesn’t have enough libraries and sources. 
  • As compared to other programming languages, Ruby is new and functions with its own code. It is hard for other backend technologists to learn it.
  • It is challenging to debug a code written in Ruby.

PHP

PHP is a leading server-side scripting technology that was introduced by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. This open-source backend technology is commonly used for websites. Around 79.1% of websites on the internet use PHP as server-side technology, according to a recent survey of W3Techs. 

This general-purpose scripting language is easy to use and emend information in the databases. The availability of several modern frameworks, massive community, robust codebase, and easy deployment also adds tremendous value to this technology. It is better to use PHP together with MySQL and Linux Apache.

PHP Features

Open Source & Platform Independent: A variety of free PHP libraries are available on the web. Coders can use them for fast backend development. Though operating systems like Windows, Linux, etc., primarily support PHP, but you can also run PHP web applications on any platform. 

Cost-Effective: With the presence of free and open-source communities, it is quite convenient to code with PHP. That is why it is inexpensive to hire a PHP backend developer. It also has the second last position among the top paying technologies in the United States as per the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey. 

Simplifies Programming: Instead of using lengthy SQL code, PHP frameworks allow developers to get the benefit of providing object-relational mapping (ORM) systems. Similarly, the use of model-view-controller (MVC) architecture also makes it easy to code server-side functions for developers.

Best for Beginners: PHP is suitable to learn for first-time backend engineers. Features like running sequence and no learning curve make PHP beginners’ choice to learn.

Automate the Development Tasks: With PHP scripting technology, it is easy to automate development tasks like session management, URL mapping, authentication, etc.

Security Against Target Attacks: No doubt, developers take PHP as an unsecured backend language. But with built-in security functions, you can avoid these threats. 

PHP Limitations

  • The popularity of PHP is declining day-by-day. Developers rarely consider to include PHP in their skillset nowadays.
  • PHP is not competing with modern backend technologies like Python and Ruby due to a lack of advanced libraries.
  • Due to the open-source nature of PHP, it is accessible to misuse bugs in the coding.

Java

Java is one of the most powerful backend technologies, which has the second rank, according to TIOBE Index 2021. James Gosling originally developed this programming technology in 1991, but it was published in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. 

Developers prefer to make feature-rich and adaptable web applications with Java for years. Howbeit, you can use Java for mobile devices, severe, and microcontroller software development as well.

Java Features

Simple & Highly Scalable: Java EE is highly scalable because it permits numerous instances to server requests. Instant availability of Java components and unambiguous syntax technology also makes it simple for developers to use this backend language.   

Multi-Threading: Java allows to handle all requests in independent threads due to a multi-threaded web server. With this multi-threading feature, Java functions very well for CPU-intensive applications.

Open-Source Libraries: A variety of open-source libraries such JSON parsing, messaging, PDF, unit testing and excel libraries available for Java. Java developers can use these resources to expedite their server-side tasks.

Security: Java offers terrific features to overcome security risks. Likewise, Java Virtual Machines examine java bytecodes to detect and reduce the risk of viruses. Similarly, the security model of Java and testing of reusable codes help developers in avoiding security threats.

Java Limitations

  • This server-side programming consumes more time and memory.
  • Java doesn’t offer command over garbage collection, and low-level programming support is also missing in Java.
  • Due to high hardware cost, it may be expensive to use Java.
  • Swing toolkit, which Java is using GUI applications is different as compared to trendy ones.

C# .NET

C# known as C-sharp is one of the most famous backend programming languages preferred for automation in the Windows environment. C# is also used for web development in the ASP.net framework. It is one of the oldest programming languages and an extension to C++. 

This backend technology is most commonly used for desktop applications and embedded systems in this era. The execution speed of C# is faster than most of the other programming languages, i.e., Python. In the modern world, C# is most widely used in game development using Unity like platforms. Backend engineers also use this backend technology to develop console applications.

C# Features

Object-Oriented Language: C# is an object-oriented language that means you can structure your code using classes and relationships. It is helpful to implement the system with easy troubleshooting if something goes wrong.

Cross-Platform: The applications that use the C# backend can operate in different operating systems such as Windows, macOS, etc. Please read this article about cross platform frameworks to know more.

Compatibility: C# applications allow interoperability with older legacy systems. This backend scripting technology is also useful for organizations that are not updated and using old programming frameworks.

Automatic Garbage Collection: C# has the ability to remove all the garbage on the system. This feature is beneficial for the quick execution of the program. This garbage collection does not let the system hang during the execution of the application.

C# Limitations

  • C# is a high-level language, so it does not let the programmer interact with the hardware directly. 
  • This backend technology is less flexible as compared to other scripting languages. Yes, it only runs in the .NET framework and can only be hosted on the Windows platform.

Perl

Perl is another general-purpose backend technology that Larry Wall developed 32 years ago. According to the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Perl is the topmost paying technology globally. By the way, it is significant to know that the same survey also ranks Perl among the first three dreaded languages.

Whereas Perl is pretty old-fashioned, but developers are still using Perl 5 for quick automation and prototyping. 

Perl Features

Multi-Platform: Perl can operate with distinct platforms, including Macintosh, Windows, and Most UNIX variants.

Open-Source: Like the other rival backend technologies, Perl also offers open-source and free libraries. However, in many cases, they could again ask for small copying charges.

Embeddable & Extensible: Perl can easily embed in any of C++ and C applications. Though SWIG and XS, Perl also backs external libraries of C and C++.

Text Processing: Perl is a perfect scripting language for text processing. Luckily, Perl’s recent versions also maintain POSIX-compliant systems and process socket calls with other advanced features. 

Perl Limitations

  • It is difficult to fix bugs and separate infectious data with Perl.
  • Perl doesn’t provide high-performance processing as compared to other backend technologies.
  • Perl libraries are not advanced enough.
  • It agitates when code is extensive.
  • Perl is not the right option if you want to improve the scalability and speed of your project.
  • It is expensive to hire Perl backend engineers because it is slightly outdated, and developers don’t prefer to learn it.

C++

C++ is an extended version of C language. C++ was introduced with classes. This concept of classes or object-oriented programming was missing in C language. The idea of object-oriented programming is vital for any programming language in the modern world to write structured code using classes and by defining their relationships. 

C++ is one of the oldest programming languages and is mostly used in system programming & embedded systems. C++ is a low-level language, and it can interact with the hardware resources. It is used for gaming applications, operating systems, database software, etc.

C++ Features

Portability: Platform independence is one of the critical features of C++ applications. You can execute C++ applications on different platforms or operating systems.

Object-Oriented Programming: C language does not support object-oriented programming, but C++ fulfills this deficiency. This feature makes this language more powerful and easy to code with structured programming.

Memory Management: Programmers get complete control over memory management using C++. It can help the programmer to manage memory effectively to execute the program.

Low-Level Language: C++ is a low-level language and close to the system. Therefore, most of the embedded systems are built in C++ because it can directly interact with the hardware resources. 

C++ Limitations

  • There are some security issues in C++. With C++ backend technology, users can directly interact with the hardware using C++ as a low language. 
  • There is no garbage collection in C++ to filter out unnecessary data. 

Kotlin

Kotlin is a backend programming language that is being used for the development of android applications. It is taking over Java for the development of android applications, and its demand is increasing day-by-day. Over 60% of android app developers are using Kotlin at the backend. Kotlin interoperates completely with Java & JVM.

JetBrains introduced Kotlin as a backend programming language for Android applications in 2011. Since then, it has become one of the most famous programming languages in the world of computer science.

Kotlin Features

Concise Code: Programmers can solve more significant problems by writing fewer code lines than in other languages. 

Easy to Maintain: Due to concise code, Kotlin helps the programmers easily read and maintain the code.

Interoperable with Java: This programming technology is completely compatible with Java. Programmers do not need to change the whole project to switch to Kotlin. With all Java tools & technologies, you can add it to your Kotlin project to implement additional functionalities.

Kotlin Limitations

  • Kotlin has no primitive types for variables & functions. Programmers are used to working with primitive types in Java & other languages.
  • It is challenging to manage variables & functions output with the absence of primitive types. 
  • Java is faster in compilation than Kotlin when it comes to clean builds of android applications.

Scala

Scala is a high-level language that combines object-oriented & functional programming to make it more concise. You can build high-performance systems accessing vast libraries of its JVM & JavaScript runtimes. Scala is interoperable with Java because it runs on JVM and can mix both languages’ code to give an ultimate solution.

The Scala compiler is helpful for static types. You do not need to work for types as the system will work for you about static types. It makes this backend programming language more helpful & useful.

Scala Features

Concise: This backend programming language combines object-oriented & functional programming. That makes the code more concise & more comfortable to maintain.

Interoperable with Java: Scala runs on JVM, and it is entirely compatible with Java programming language. The code can be written in Java & Scala at the same time to get the desired results from the system. This seamless integration with Java is beneficial for Java developers to use this backend technology.

Easy to Maintain: The concise Scala code can easily maintain & programmers can read the code easily. It helps the programmers to understand the code quickly, significantly when a project is shifted from one programmer to another.

Scala Limitations

  • Scala presents an entirely different paradigm and different from traditional Java programming techniques. 
  • It is a bit harder for the programmers to understand the type of information as it is not done at the developer end. It is a combination of functional & object-oriented programming. 

Conclusion

This guide shared one of the leading backend technologies with readers. We considered TIOBE Index 2021, Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020, and web technology survey of W3Techs to fetch statistical data regarding server-side technologies. Hopefully, the top backend technologies we explained above would help you in making the right decision.

I hope you liked this article! If so, you may also be interested to know more about the best backend frameworks. To know more, please read the article Top 10 Backend Frameworks.

FAQ

What is a backend?

The backend is the programmer’s code that deals with server-side operations, including CRUD functions with database and all server logic.

What are the best backend technologies?

– JavaScript
– Python
– Ruby
– PHP
– Java
– C#
– C++
– Perl
– Scala
– Kotlin


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