While software development practices have shifted towards the user and tend to cater to the customer’s needs and visual preferences, the backend is what actually fuels the software. Without excellent backend technologies, web and mobile applications will lack scalability, functionality, and responsiveness. Backend is the so-called “behind the scenes” of the software solution that focuses on the app architecture and acts as a bridge between the frontend and the database.
Especially for a non-tech expert, choosing the right backend technologies is a tough task. Hopefully, our extensive guide will help you understand the differences between the most used backend languages and find the suitable technology for your next project. You will learn about old reliable backend tools, as well as new web development technologies that are also worth your attention.
What are backend technologies and how can the right tools improve your application? What is the difference between front end and back end technologies, and why are we talking about backend programming?
What is a backend and what is it responsible for? Backend is the server-side of the software that stores and analyzes data, as well as ensuring smooth application performance. Backend developers take on a range of duties, such as writing APIs, libraries and working with system components, business processes, and data architecture.
Being a process that stays invisible for users, backend development sends and receives information, communicates with the frontend, and displays the data as a web page.
Frontend and backend are the most essential terms of software development. Backend technologies are in charge of the server-side, whereas frontend tools refer to the client-side of the application. Both sides need to operate flawlessly for the software solution to be effective and responsive.
We have prepared a concise list of backend technologies for a quick overview. The following list contains the top 10 backend technologies 2021.
Features: Light-weight Scripting, Dynamic Typing, Object-Oriented programming, Huge community support.
Additional tools: Node.js, Express, MeteorJS
Features: GUI Programming Support, Object-Oriented, Portability, Large Standard Library.
Additional tools: Django, Flask, Pyramid, CherryPy
Features: Object-oriented, Flexibility, Expressive feature, Dynamic typing, Duck typing.
Additional tools: Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Grape, Padrino
Features: Cross-platform compatibility, Error reporting and exceptions, Active community support, Real-time access monitoring.
Additional tools: Laravel, Cake PHP, Symfony, CodeIgniter
Features: Object-Oriented, Platform Independent, Portability, Multithreaded, Dynamic typing.
Additional tools: Spring, Grails, Blade, Dropwizard
Features: Powerful Standard Library, Concurrency, Testing Support, Object-oriented, System Programming.
Additional tools: Gin, Beego, Echo
Features: Cross-platform support, Asynchronous programming, Dependency Injection, CSRF Protection.
Additional tools: .NET, Xamarin
Features: Mission-critical, Object-oriented, Database integration, Embeddable.
Additional tools: Catalyst, Mojolicious, Dancer
Features: Object-Oriented, Platform and Machine Independent, Compiler-Based, Dynamic Memory Allocation.
Additional tools: Boost, Qt
Features: Clean and compact syntax, Null safety, Functional programming, Operator overloading.
Additional tools: Javalin, Spark
Although we have mentioned the top 10 backend languages, we will focus on the six most-used backend technologies. When should you use Python or Java? We will dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each backend development language and help you decide which technology to use for your next project.
|Scalability||Frontend and backend developers can benefit from the high level of scalability that Node.js offers. This language provides both vertical and horizontal scalability options and allows the addition of extra nodes as well as additional resources.|
Its event-driven architecture and asynchronous data processing make Node.js a perfect choice for IoT, real-time chats, and single page applications. Node.js’s Stream API feature allows developers to build streaming apps, while Node’s best back end frameworks like Express or NestJS facilitate the creation of apps with microservices architecture.
|Support libraries||Python delivers a variety of standard libraries that simplify the process of development. Libraries for string operations, web service tools, protocols, and others, allow coders to reuse the ready scripts which shorten the development cycles.|
|Security||What makes Python for backend such a popular choice is the high level of security that it offers. Thanks to Open-Source Web Application Security Project for Python (OWASP), coders can create a hardened version of the application that is less vulnerable to attacks and helps companies to build a secure solution.|
|Conciseness||Python’s motto is concise yet expressive coding that reduces the coding time and allows developers to execute the same operations with fewer code lines. Python is also known to be less complicated than other backend technologies, which make the coding easier and less prone to errors and bugs.|
What are Python backend technologies’ most suitable use cases? Python’s wide range of frameworks like Django, Pyramid, and Flask made this backend programming language the number one choice for web development. The rich selection of libraries entices developers to utilize Python for game development, as well as complex scientific and numeric applications. Finally, Python’s simplicity and conciseness allows coders to use it for AI, ML, and IoT projects.
Ruby is another language for the web development backend. Mainly used for prototyping, Ruby is relatively easy to learn and supports various programming options like functional, object-oriented, and procedura. What are Ruby’s main advantages?
|Metaprogramming||Metaprogramming is an exciting feature of Ruby as it allows developers to create a program that will autonomously write the code. Using a variety of sophisticated tools like introspection, class macros, and ghost methods, metaprogramming provides flexibility and shorter development cycles.|
|Ruby on Rails||Probably the best part about Ruby is Rails - a web application framework. Rails simplifies the coding with Ruby and provides a testing framework to write test scenarios that make the application more robust and secure.|
|RubyGems||Ruby’s libraries for web application features are called gems, and there are already more than 160,000 of them. Gems are of great help when developers face problems that they cannot solve on their own, as gems offer a solution that you can access in the RubyGems repository. And if new coders still cannot find the right solution, they can refer to Ruby’s large community for help and answers.|
Ruby’s extensive libraries, also known as gems, help developers create web applications, especially eCommerce apps, as many gems are directed at the eCommerce issues. Besides that, Ruby is great for prototyping and creating custom databases.
PHP is next on the list of backend technologies. According to the research from W3Techs, almost 80% of all websites use PHP for their backend. Being mostly used for web development, PHP runs across operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, Unix, etc. Is the PHP backend suitable for your project and what are the main benefits of this language?
|Database flexibility||PHP has a built-in module that facilitates a seamless connection to databases. PHP allows for smooth working with multiple databases, such as MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, SQLite, and many others.|
|Part of a well-tested stack||LAMP stack is one of the most used tech stacks, and together with Apache HTTP, MySQL, and Linux, PHP is a part of it. First of all, this tech stack has been tested and validated by multiple businesses, which makes it an appealing backend technology. Secondly, all of the LAMP’s elements are free of charge, which saves companies a good portion of their budgets.|
|Access to cloud services||PHP back end applications can be easily deployed on a cloud server like Amazon Web Services. The popularity of cloud services derives from the scalability that they provide, which is why PHP apps are known to be scalable.|
The database accessibility and flexibility that PHP provides makes it one of the best backend programming languages for search engines and eCommerce platforms. PHP is also a popular choice for gaming apps, social media platforms, and remote access for businesses.
Java is a 25 years old language that is commonly used to build feature-rich web applications. Are Java backend technologies as advanced as Python and PHP, and what are Java’s strengths?
|Automatic garbage collection||The name of the feature is self-explanatory as it implies that Java automatically gets rid of unused or redundant objects. This is possible with the Java Virtual Machine that facilitates automatic memory management that tracks the objects in the code, and removes unused parts without human involvement.|
|Multithreading||Multithreading is a very exciting feature of back end Java technology. The threads are also known as the smallest units of processes and run independently with Java, without disrupting each other. This function allows coders to execute multiple processes at the same time, thus maximizing CPU capacity.|
|Efficiency||Java is proven to be a simple and well-designed backend technology that delivers efficient solutions. The powerful set of APIs, advanced features, and Java backend frameworks like Grails and Spring play into the popularity of the language, and make it a beloved technology for many backend developers.|
You may check out one of the courses, like Java for beginners on Codegym. It’s a great option for both newbies and advanced users who want to develop their skills in a non-boring interactive way. With the help of an enthusiastic community and virtual mentor, one may learn faster and practice a lot, constantly improving the level due to feedback regarding tasks. Also, the crucial benefit is working with IntelliJ IDEA which gives a possibility to get acquainted with one of the most popular modern IDEs at the very beginning of your coding career.
So step-by-step you discover new Java features, build simple online games, test your app development, and create programming solutions for various cases.
Java’s security and portability make it the best language for backend for building scientific applications, enterprise solutions, as well as games. Besides that, Java is a common choice for web applications and Android mobile products.
Golang is one of the newest web development technologies that has already made a splash in the software development community. Created in 2009 by Google developers, Golang was supposed to simplify the building of complex architectures and processes and made it to our top backend technologies in 2021. Is Golang one of the top backend languages? Which features helped Golang gain traction and why is it becoming increasingly more popular?
|Concurrency||Much like Java, Golang also supports concurrency, however, it makes it lighter and better. The feature called Goroutines refers to simultaneously running functions. Whenever you need to execute several processes at the same time, the Goroutines function will come into play. The best part of this feature is its lightweight and non-blocking nature that allows developers to use millions of Goroutines without negatively affecting the system.|
|Backend development tools||Golang is open-source and provides a multitude of different development tools for your project. You can use open-source editors, IDEs, and plugins that you can access through the GitHub repository, as well as online communities where Golang developers will answer your questions.|
|High speed||Golang’s simple structure and syntax make it an easy-to-learn language with a high velocity. Without using classes and types, developers can write code based on functions, which makes the code cleaner and simpler.|
Having been created by Google and mainly for Google, Golang is the gateway to native cloud solutions. Golang is also a great backend technology for building highly scalable databases, as well as for web development.
Backend technologies and tools vary from for different types of development. In this section, we will go into more detail about the specific tools for mobile, web, and embedded development.
What is backend programming for mobile devices demanding from the technology? Mobile apps need solid data synchronization as well as a notification and alert system. Backend technologies for mobile apps that enable notifications and synchronization are:
Besides the already mentioned backend programming languages and frameworks, there are other tools, databases, and backend technologies in web development that are worth your attention.
Complex software solutions can entail a plethora of different technologies, for example, IoT applications, AI or ML solutions, as well as data science programs. To develop software with complex architecture you need robust and advanced backend technologies like the following:
Embedded software development implies the creation of applications for hardware. The development process requires a number of tools that oversee the entire cycle from analyzing, designing, and documenting, to writing, testing, and optimizing the software.
We have already talked about the backend vs. frontend regarding the software development process. However, what is the distinction when it comes to backend vs. frontend developers? In this part, we will discuss the skills and responsibilities of backend developers, and what separates them from frontend technologies experts.
Backend developers should be well-versed in a variety of technologies:
Soft skills are more universal as compared to hard skills, and do not differ for frontend vs backend developers. Both backend and frontend developers need to be able to efficiently communicate, coherently argue, and thoroughly listen to other people’s opinions. Asking for help is also a necessary quality for tech workers, as well as creative problem-solving.
In front end vs back end, the former requires excellent communication skills, whereas flexibility and the ability to quickly adjust to the situation is something that backend coders need.
Backend technologies are the backbone of the software development process. Without programming backend professionals, the fancy design and intuitive interface delivered through front end coding languages are not going to be enough. Backend is what makes the website or application perform well, be responsive, fast, and functional.
If you need help in choosing the right backend technology, do not hesitate to invoke the expertise of professionals. DOIT Software is a software development company with extensive knowledge and years of experience. We are ready to support you and help you find the best solution to your problem. Contact DOIT Software and ask us anything about different backend technologies and software development and we will share our expertise with you.
What all the backend technologies have in common is that they are meant to deal with the server-side and make sure that the application performs well. The most prominent backend languages are Node.JS, Java, Ruby, Python, Golang, and PHP.
Java is a programming language used for the creation of feature-rich web applications. Together with app backend frameworks like Spring, Grails, and Dropwizard, Java is a popular backend technology.
There is no single best language for backend, as it depends on the type of the application. For example, Python is often used to create AI and ML applications, whereas Ruby is perfect for eCommerce solutions.
Golang is considered the fastest server-side technology. Being a compiled language, Go’s code is directly translated into processor formats, which accelerates the development.
Yes, C++ is on the list of backend languages and is commonly used to build backend applications. C++ is especially useful for the development of games, GUI apps, databases, and browsers.
Python is the most popular backend technology. It is commonly used for web development, AI, and Machine Learning, as well as data processing.
Ruby is a backend language that is mostly used in tandem with Rails to build eCommerce applications and database solutions. Ruby is also a great technology for building prototypes.