Have you ever wondered how all your profile data, your friends and connections, and new recommendations to you are done so efficiently by social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram? Whenever you make a transaction from your bank account, the change is instantly reflected in your bank balance. How do you get connected to the closest ride to you whenever you book on Uber or Ola? How many players from various geographical locations can play together and compete with each other in online games? All this is possible due to the backend systems that are essential for a wide range of applications.
Backend refers to that part of the application where all the major operations that keep the application working take place. It is responsible for accessing and managing data, implementing the business logic, and maintaining the desired overall functionality of the application. Users of the application cannot access or interact with this part directly as it is possible for the front end of the application. It comprises all the databases, authentication tools, application programming interfaces (APIs) and other server-side functionalities like routing, logic and interfaces. Backend being the backbone of the application, choosing the right backend technology is important according to your use case. In this article, we’ll discuss the various backend technologies available in the market and how to choose among them.
What are Backend Technologies?
Backend technologies refer to the tools, frameworks and languages used to build and maintain the backend systems of applications. They are a set of server-side technologies that make up the architecture and functionality of the application. Backend technologies are responsible for handling tasks such as,
- Data Storage – storing and retrieving data,
- Server-side Logic – implementing the business logic,
- Application Programming Interface – managing and creating APIs,
- Authentication and Security – implementing authentication/authorization and ensuring security,
- Robust – improving performance,
- Deployment – managing container orchestration and deployment process,
- Error handling – logging and error handling.
Components of Backend
- Server – The server being the most central unit of the architecture is responsible for addressing the requests by clients and responding to them with the desired information. They can provide various services like database services, web services, VoIP services, DNS services etc.
- Database – Data being the central and soul of application, it needs to be managed properly. A database is an organised and structured collection of data that is used for storage and data management. It can be of different types like relational database, NoSQL database and in-memory database.
- Logic – This component contains the business logic of the application that describes the operations that are performed by the application.
- APIs – APIs act as a bridge between the servers and clients. API verifies the request sent by the client before sending it to the server. It adds a layer of security to the application.
Backend Technologies Available in the Market
The following are the popular backend technologies available in the market:
- Ruby on Rails
- Single-threaded: Node.js is based on a Single-threaded Event Loop Model architecture. It can handle multiple client requests. A single thread is used to execute the main event loop while the input-output in the background is done by different threads.
- Asynchronous: Node.js is asynchronous. It has non-blocking operations. On receiving a request from a client, the server accepts the requests on a single thread.
- Performance: Node.js provides faster code execution. The asynchronous and non-blocking input-output operations improve its performance.
- Scalability: The asynchronous nature of Node.js makes it highly scalable. The single thread can readily take up a request send the response and be ready for the next request.
Laravel is an open-source PHP framework. It is robust and easy to understand following a model-view-controller design. Its rich set of functionalities provides basic features of PHP also.
- MVC Architecture: Laravel provides MVC architectural patterns for building applications. It brings order and structure to your code by defining a set of rules.
- Artisan CLI: Laravel uses an Artisan CLI that helps migrate, manage data and generate boilerplates with only a few commands.
- Blade Template Engine: The Blade Template Engine that comes with Laravel can connect data models, divert output to text files or other streams and process application code inside template tags.
- Eloquent ORM: Eloquent Object-relational Mapper is a database management tool that comes along with the Laravel framework.
- Security: Django provides a secure environment for development and although it is not as evident it provides a fully secure environment.
- Portability: Django is a Python framework that makes it compatible across platforms and the code can be easily executed over diverse environments.
- Search Engine Optimized: Using Django, you can create search engine optimized URLs. Sitemaps built-in with Django makes it easy for developers to make the application search engine optimized.
- Speed: Django makes the development process faster and easier without having to write the entire code from scratch.
Springboot is an open-source Java framework. It can be used to create microservices. It is a platform used by developers to build spring applications that can be readily executed. It proves an asset in the industry due to its performance and scalability.
- Spring Application: It is a class which provides a convenient way to bootstrap a spring application which can be started from the main method.
- YAML Support: It provides an easy way to specify hierarchical configuration. It is a superset of JSON and supports YAML.
- Admin Support: It provides admin-related features for the application. You can access and manage the application remotely.
- Events and Listeners: Springboot uses events to handle tasks. It allows you to add factories using which you can add listeners.
5. Ruby on Rails
- Symbol Garbage Collector: Passing symbols makes your system more attack-prone. The symbol garbage collector collects the symbols that in turn help prevent your system from several attacks.
- Keyword Arguments: Using keyword arguments helps reduce memory consumption by Rails applications.
- Turbolinks: Most webpages take forever to load as they aim to load the entire webpage at once. Turbolink loads only the page’s content first and gradually the entire page is loaded.
- Application Programming Interface: It allows you to generate API and clean all middleware that is not necessary for the application.
Choosing the Right Backend Technology
Choosing among a plethora of backend technologies is an important and hectic task. Choosing a backend technology must include criteria like reliability, security, speed and scalability. The company’s and the project’s requirements are also to be considered rather than the latest trends. Following is a step-by-step guide to help make a decision about your backend technology to be chosen:
1. Project Requirements
Defining your project requirements and understanding your project is very crucial. Understand and define the following for your project.
- Functionality– Defining what the application does and its features, functions and operations.
- Scalability– Defining the potential growth of the application. How will the application grow among users?
- Performance– Assessing the performance and responsive parameters of the application.
2. Understanding Backend Technologies
The developer should know about the various backend technologies available in the market. A brief discussion on this topic is done earlier in the article.
3. Team’s Expertise
Your team’s development skills and expertise play an important role in deciding among various technologies. Consider the following:
- Skills– Assess the skills and experience of your team for various languages and frameworks.
- Training– The team’s willingness to learn is important. The technology that is being considered to be used should have a smooth learning curve too.
Considering this aspect helps increase speed and quality and reduce the development time.
4. Performance and Scalability
Evaluation of performance and scalability is an important aspect as it impacts the responsiveness and reliability of the application to handle demands.
- Load Handling– Choosing a technology that can handle various levels of traffic without fail is a plus point.
- Caching– Technologies using caching techniques improve performance and scalability.
Security is the top requirement for any application and the technology used makes a great impact on that.
- Data Security– The technology used should ensure data security and protect user data at all costs.
- Authentication and Authorization– The technology must ensure only permitted users and prevent any breach.
- Backups and Recovery– Backups are necessary in case of failures or breaches to ensure data security.
The financial aspect of the project is an important part to look into. The technologies to be chosen must lie within your budget. Many financial considerations like licensing fees, hosting and infrastructure costs, operational costs and scalability costs are to be looked into.
7. Trends and Industry Standards
Going with the trends and industry standards is essential for your project to remain competitive, secure and interoperable with other systems.
After considering all the factors mentioned above it’s time to make the final decision. Weight the pros and cons, consult an expert, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, document the decision and lay the plan out.
In conclusion, choosing the right backend technology is a multi-faceted process that requires a strategic approach. This requires careful analysis of project needs, performance, safety and cost considerations, all while leveraging the expertise of the team. Flexibility and adherence to industry standards are essential to future-proof the project. Testing and prototyping provide useful insights, helping to make informed decisions. The choice must align with project objectives, budget and timeline, and be in line with current industry trends. By diligently following these steps, you can confidently select groundbreaking backend technologies for successful, secure, efficient, and scalable work for changing needs.
FAQs on Backend Technologies
1. What are the Popular Backend Languages?
2. What is a Backend Technology?
Backend technology is the software that runs on the server, handling data, calculations, and interactions behind the scenes of websites and apps.
3. How can I make sure My Backend is Safe?
Keep data safe with encryption, use strong user passwords and permissions, and test for security problems.
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