What to use for backend?

This article will explore some of the best technologies to use for backend development. It will cover backend development tools, backend frameworks, and backend programming languages.

Backend plays a crucial role in server-side programming. But it is still complicated for many startups, businesses and novice developers what to use for backend.

Whether you are going to develop the backend of your web, desktop or mobile applications, this guide is definitely discussing everything to use for the backend.

Backend Overview

Before discussing what to use for backend development, this article would like to clarify all of your doubts about the backend, backend development and its role.

What is a Backend?

A backend is a programming software or website component that can only be accessed and operated by developers. Programmers also call the backend ‘data access layer’, which typically comprises the database, server and application.

For example, when a shopping app user browses the products, he interacts with the client-side. Similarly, all operations that gather his information in a database and authorize his purchase are known as backend functions.

What is Backend Development?

All server-side activities that development teams perform to build an application or website refer to backend development.

In simple words, all functions that involve backend logic, script APIs, create libraries, emphasize databases and deal with servers and architecture are considered a part of backend development.

The Role of Backend in Web and Mobile Development

Developers and businesses confer web and mobile applications for end users, but it is impossible to provide them with better software functionality without a proper backend.

Yes, it is backend development that makes the operations smooth and eye-catching. Likewise, if the client-side of an application shows any error or problem, it is associated with obstacles to backend code, framework or technology.

So, businesses must employ a good backend development team in this regard. Here are the core responsibilities of backend developers:

  • It is the primary responsibility of a backend developer to choose the most reliable and effective server-side tools, frameworks, servers and languages to build mobile or web applications. These backend technologies should be user-friendly, cross-platform and compatible with your project.
  • Backend developers are also responsible for scripting high-quality and clean backend codes.
  • Server-side developers are liable for providing great speed, scalability and efficiency for a web or mobile application.
  • Troubleshooting problems, optimizing UI/UX design, conducting quality assurance testing, and managing databases and servers are also duties of backend development teams.

What are the Most Common Backend Types?

Here are the most common backend types:

Server-Oriented Backend

Server-oriented is the simplest and most traditional type of backend that allows developers to write and run code on the server.

This backend type is considered reliable for most demanding projects. Also, it provides more control to backend developers over the server.

Server-oriented backends are also secure because developers use on-premises servers to host data. This type of backend programming doesn’t depend on internet connectivity as well.

Serverless Backend

Serverless backend doesn’t mean developers script server-side codes in the absence of a server. But in actuality, development teams don’t have to manage and administer the server because cloud computing platforms take care of server infrastructure.

If we talk about its advantages, then serverless backends are quick to build, inexpensive and highly scalable.

Decentralized Backend

This type of backend depends on peer-to-peer connections to build server-side of mobile or web applications.

This backend follows an architecture that uses multiple servers instead of a single server. These servers act independently and overcome the points of weaknesses. Blockchain storage is an example of a decentralized backend.

What are Most Common Backend Infrastructure Architectures?

IaaS

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing architecture that confers virtualized resources, including storage, networking and compute.

IaaS platforms help businesses to minimize their on-premises maintenance and hardware costs. DigitalOcean, Google Compute Engine, Vultr, AWS and Linode are renowned IaaS providers.

PaaS

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is another backend infrastructure that facilitates the developers with hardware, infrastructure and software that they need to build, run and administer their applications.

In this regard, PaaS architecture offers them servers, development tools, middleware, network, databases, operating systems and storage.

Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine and IBM Cloud Platform are some examples of PaaS platforms.

BaaS

Backend as a Service (BaaS) is one of the most advanced types of backend architecture where developers don’t need to worry about server-side operations.

Indeed, BaaS allows businesses to emphasize frontend tasks because it takes care of backend functionalities. It has much resemblance with serverless computing.

Database management, user authentication, hosting, push notifications, and cloud storage are the primary properties of BaaS.

However, if you are looking for trusted BaaS vendors, then you should consider using Back4App, Firebase, AWS and Backendless.

What are Some Common Backend Stacks?

MEAN Stack

MEAN is an open-source stack that is based on technologies including, Express JS, Angular JS and Node JS.

This JavaScript stack is considered an excellent option for building the backend of cloud-hosted applications.

LAMP Stack

If you are building the backend for a Linux-based program, then you must try LAMP Stack. It comprises Linux, MySQL, PHP and Apache technologies.

This open-source backend stack is also beneficial if you choose to build your server-side using MySQL database and PHP language.

RoR Stack

ROR or Ruby on Rails Stack is one of the best options for backend developers who are willing to write their code in Ruby.

In simple words, it is an RoR environment that utilizes default structures to deal with databases and web pages.

What Technology to Use to Create a Backend?

What to use for backend

We categorize technologies to use to create a backend into the following three sections:

Most Popular App Development Tools

Back4app

Back4app is a potent and easy-to-use backend development tool that creates a wide variety of different apps.

This open-source BaaS provider has made it rapid to build, deploy and operate server-side of web and mobile applications.

Features

Realtime Database — Real-time database is the most attractive feature of this BaaS platform. You can perform different queries within seconds on Back4App. It also allows you to spin the database in minutes.

Multiplatform Development — It allows you to develop your app for Android and iOS at the same time. The same codebase is used across platforms, so there is no need to write multiple codes for different operating systems.

Automated Testing — It has automated testing tools that allow you to test your application on real devices without any hiccups. This will save a lot of time for developers by preventing them from manually trying their apps on various devices.

Fast Deployment — The deployment feature allows you to efficiently distribute your app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store within a few minutes of uploading it onto Back4App servers. Similarly, you can also benefit from REST & GraphQL APIs and SDKs of your choice.

Firebase

Firebase is one of the most popular and influential cloud-based software platforms. It provides a complete set of features that allow you to build backends of high-quality apps, grow your business, and earn more money.

Features

Realtime Database — You can store and sync data in real-time and build user-friendly apps without writing backend code or managing infrastructure.

Authentication — Firebase allows you to develop robust authentication flows for your users without building them yourself or integrating third-party services.

Analytics — You can track user behavior in real-time on smartphones or tablets with Firebase Analytics. It is a free service that lets you track active users and retention rates to optimize conversions, engagement, and monetization.

Manage Multiple Projects — In addition, it is a valuable tool for developers who need to manage various tasks across different platforms. Especially those who are working remotely or don’t have time to learn new software or programming languages.

Heroku

Heroku is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider that allows developers to build, run, and operate apps without managing servers. The platform has been used to host over one million web applications since its inception.

Features

Easy Deployment — Developers can push code to Heroku’s Git repository, and the system will take care of the rest.

Rapid Iteration — Coders enjoy the fast build and deploy times because all changes are made in the development environment. So, there is no need for a complete appearance before testing.

Configuration Management — Developers can use Git for configuration management, storing all application configurations in a version control system and tracking changes over time. This makes it easier to understand why changes were made when they were made.

Scalable Architecture — Heroku uses an innovative architecture that allows apps to scale automatically as needed by adding or removing dynos (virtual servers) based on load.

Speed — Heroku’s ephemeral compute model enables you to deploy code changes with zero downtime, allowing you to iterate quickly.

Backendless

Backendless is a powerful, scalable and easy-to-use cloud platform to build and grow the backend of your applications. With Backendless, you can focus on building your app and not worry about scalability or reliability issues.

Features

Data Storage — It provides secure, robust, and scalable object storage. You can store any data and retrieve it instantly.

Data Synchronization — This BaaS tool automatically syncs your data across all devices, so you always have your latest content.

Realtime Cloud Database — Mobile database as a service with real-time synchronization between devices and easy data sharing between users. No need to worry about scaling your database or keeping it up to date with changes made on different devices.

Social Login — You can easily integrate social networks into your app using built-in Facebook, Twitter, and Google authentication options. Developers can also use its custom authentication system.

Analytics & Reports — Programmers can get insights into user behavior by sending events anywhere in their application through our analytics APIs. They can then view reports based on these events to track everything from user activity.

DigitalOcean App Platform

The DigitalOcean App Platform is a platform that allows you to run your applications securely, scale them quickly, and access them from anywhere. The platform includes a suite of services that make it easy to build, deploy and manage your applications.

Features

SSH Access — Developers can access their Droplets using SSH to quickly debug problems or install new software updates without worrying about rebuilding the entire environment each time they need to make changes.

Easy Application Deployment — The Droplet creation process takes only a few minutes. Simply drag-and-drop files into your instance.

DNS Management — Custom domains can be added through DigitalOcean’s control panel or by setting up records for each domain name in your account settings.

Application Security — It protects your application from unauthorized access by configuring security groups that restrict access based on IP address, port, and protocol type (TCP or UDP).

Dockerized Application Hosting — You can deploy your own Dockerized application using DigitalOcean’s public cloud or private cloud infrastructure.

Most Popular Backend Frameworks

Django

With more than 65k repository stars and 27k forks on GitHub, Django is one of the ideal backend frameworks. This Python-based, open-source and free framework was initially launched in 2005.

Features

Rapid Prototyping — Django offers a ready-made template for rapid prototyping. It also permits developers to create database-driven websites without worrying about backend programming.

Good Documentation — It comes with excellent documentation, making it easy for new users to understand the working of this framework.

MVC Architecture — This framework supports Model-View-Controller architecture, making it easier for developers to keep track of all the files they need to work on while developing their applications.

Security Features — One of the best things about Django is that it has built-in security features that prevent hackers from accessing sensitive data or destroying your website when attacked by them.

Built-In Admin Interface — It has a built-in admin interface that allows you to manage your models (your database) and their data. This makes it very easy to get started with Django.

Laravel

Laravel is another trustworthy server-side framework that Taylor Otwell introduced in 2011. This open-source backend framework acts upon the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern.

Features

Blade Templating Engine — Blade is a dynamic template engine provided with Laravel. It allows you to write HTML code in your views using a simplified syntax.

Support for SoftDeletes — An Eloquent model’s SoftDeletes property can be used to define which properties should be included when performing a soft delete operation.

Migrations & Seeds — In Laravel, all database tables are represented as eloquent models and are automatically managed by the framework’s migrations feature. Furthermore, seeds are provided so that you may populate your database with dummy content during development.

Artisan CLI — Artisan is the command line interface tool provided by Laravel to help you manage your project’s files and folders and perform various tasks related to handling code and server configuration.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a full-stack web framework that includes everything from the model to the view, and it’s very extensible.

It’s built on the principles of convention over configuration and DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself), which make it easy for developers to create applications quickly.

Features

Database Integration — Rails has built-in support for various databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and others.

ActiveRecord — This is the ORM (Object Relational Mapping) library that lets you interact with your database in Ruby code instead of SQL queries.

Action Pack/Action View — These two components are responsible for rendering views (and generating HTML). Action Pack processes incoming requests while Action View prepares view templates based on controller actions.

Express JS

Express.js is an ideal backend framework that businesses can use to build the server-side of their applications.

This lightweight backend framework works with Node.js and can be used to create a variety of applications with great scalability and speed.

Features

Built on Connect — Express JS was initially built on top of Connect. But now, it has been rewritten from the ground up in CoffeeScript with an entirely different API and many improvements.

No Configuration Required — This backend framework has no configuration files or boilerplate code; you use it by referencing the package directly via require (‘express’).

Routing — Express uses regular expressions to match incoming requests against a list of routes (URLs). When a match is found, Express executes the associated handler function and passes it an HTTP request object as its first argument.

Plugins — Express has built-in support for middleware and template engines such as Connect-based middleware and Jade. However, you can install third-party plugins by NPM into your project directory.

ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a server-side technology that can be used to create dynamic web pages, web applications, and mobile apps. ASP.NET is built on Microsoft’s .NET Framework and is compatible with all programming languages that target .NET.

Features

Dynamic Page Generation — Dynamically generated pages can be laid out depending on the data requested from the database.

State Management — State management allows developers to keep track of user interaction with a particular page or site so they can return to that page later without entering information again.

Security — Security is implemented through an extensible set of authentication and authorization mechanisms and message handlers, which allow developers to restrict access based on factors such as IP address, browser type, etc.

Support all Major Browsers — It supports all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari. The ASP.NET Web Forms are compatible with mobile devices as well.

Most Popular Backend Programming Languages

Python

Python is a general-purpose programming language that was initially introduced in 1991. It is often compared to languages like C, Perl, and Java.

Python is one of the most popular backend programming languages, especially in building web applications with frameworks such as Django and Flask.

Features

Easy to Learn — Python is relatively easy to learn if you have experience with other programming languages like C++ or Java. It’s also quite readable and has few syntax rules to remember.

Python Runs Everywhere — It is open-source software (OSS), so anyone can use it without paying anything upfront or worrying about licensing fees down the road. It’s also cross-platform compatible and runs on virtually every operating system — Linux, Windows, macOS.

Open Source — This language is an open-source programming language that anyone can use or modify freely. This makes learning easy and allows you to see how it works and make your own contributions to help improve it further.

Supports Object-Oriented Programming — OOP allows developers to create classes and objects in their programs, which makes it easier to reuse code and organize programs into modules that can be shared across multiple applications.

PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language that enables you to generate web pages dynamically. PHP is easy to learn and has a relatively low learning curve. It’s also easy to deploy and use.

Features

Open-Source — PHP is an open-source programming language. It’s free to use and can be used on any operating system or platform.

Easy to Use — This backend language is a simple programming language that doesn’t require much code, which makes it easier for developers to write applications quickly.

Scalable — PHP is scalable because it can handle large requests simultaneously, making it perfect for high-volume websites like social networks or e-commerce sites where hundreds of thousands of visitors per day simultaneously access your site!

Cross-Platform Compatibility — PHP runs on Linux/Unix servers and Microsoft Windows servers. There is no need to buy extra licenses or install different versions on each platform. This makes it perfect for building dynamic websites that can be accessed worldwide!

Ruby

Ruby is an excellent language for building backend services. It has a simple syntax, but it also has many features that modern web applications need. You can use Ruby to build APIs, microservices, and other types of services.

Features

Object-Oriented — Ruby is an object-oriented scripting language that supports classes, modules, and inheritance.

Cross-Platform Support — Ruby is an interpreted language that works on many different platforms. You can run Ruby on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. This makes it easier for developers who work with multiple platforms to use the same language across them all.

Open-Source License — Ruby was created by Yukihiro Matsumoto and released under an open-source license. The license lets anyone use the source code to create their own programs, but commercial users must purchase a license.

Domain-Specific Language (DSL) — It means a language that has been designed for a specific purpose. Generally, the goal of Ruby is to write web applications and APIs.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a reliable backend programming language used by thousands of developers around the world.

It is used in client-side scripting in web browsers, but it can also be used as a server-side language to develop web applications and RESTful APIs.

Features

No Need for Compilation — It does not require compilation because it is an interpreted language; you only need to write code, run the script and see its output on your browser.

Portable across Platforms — JavaScript runs on different platforms such as Windows PC, Mac OS X, and Linux. It allows you to develop portable applications across various platforms without having to rewrite your code whenever you want to run them on another platform.

It Runs on Every Browser — Because it runs on every browser with DOM support, there’s no need for anyone to install anything extra (like a flash) when using your website or app; everything works out of the box!

Java

Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. The language is used on both client-side (e.g., web apps) and server-side (e.g., microservices). It’s popular because of its simplicity, flexibility, and scalability.

Features

Platform-Independent — Java is platform-independent because it doesn’t rely on native libraries or operating system features of one medium (e.g., Windows or Linux). You can run your Java application on multiple platforms without changing code!

Portable — Java code can run on any operating system that supports the Java virtual machine (JVM) or on devices like mobile phones and embedded systems.

Secure — Java offers a safe environment for running applications because it prevents outside interference from viruses and other malicious software. It also includes built-in security features such as authentication, authorization, and encryption.

Conclusion

This guide covers all significant aspects of what to use for the backend. Hopefully, you will choose the right framework, language, and further backend technologies for your project.

FAQ

What are some of the best backend development tools?

– Back4App
– Backendless
– Firebase
– Digital Ocean App Platform

What are the most popular backend frameworks?

– Django
– Laravel
– Ruby On Rails

What are the most popular backend programming languages?

– Python
– PHP
– Ruby
– JavaScript
– Java


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