Backend is the server side of web development which focuses on how a website or web application works. There are several technologies used by backend developers to ensure the backend remains strong, smooth, and scalable however, continuous evolution in technology keeps presenting better options for users.
This article is an attempt to look at some of the most used and popular backend technologies.
However, which technology will work the best for your business is determined by several factors.
Time required to write the codes and perform specific functions and how easy is to learn
The security threshold required and time needed to fix issues and breaches and debugging.
The ability to support multiple paradigms or perform more than just building a database
Availability of talent
A popular technology will ensure the ready availability of developers with the desired skill set
After reading this article one will be in a position to carefully evaluate which technology will meet all the specific business requirements.
It is an open source PHP based framework used to create a wide range of custom web applications. A server side framework developed by Taylor Otwell , manages data with the help of Model View Controller which allows the back end architecture to be broken into small logical components.
More than 7000 companies and over 17000 sites use Laravel framework including some big names like Pfizer, BBC, Wattpad, Gitlab and many more. So what makes this framework so popular?
- MVC Support and Object-Oriented Approach
- Built-In Authentication and Authorization
- Packaging System
- Artisan Console
- Eloquent ORM
- Templating engine
- Task Scheduling
- Events and Broadcasting
With an option to choose from various packages allowing integration of more features makes this very popular with the developers.
Used by companies like Fox Sports, PayPal, Uber, and IBM, it is a framework that builds single page, multipage, and hybrid web and mobile applications.
Some of the advantages of Express js are:
- Is lightweight and flexible
- Saves Backend coding time
- Uses Java Script which is a popular and well-known programming language
- Is easy to use and creates efficient mobile applications
- Routing for multiple request handling, dynamic views, flash negotiation, content negotiation, and app-level views
- Easier debugging
- Easy scaling by adding nodes
- Caching function eliminates the need to recompile the code over and over again which enables the websites to load faster
- The same language is used for frontend and backend
- Easier to link to databases like MySQL and MongoDB
- A large community of developers to help
If you need secure and maintainable websites with the minimal hassle of web development, Django is the framework for you. Some of the benefits that can be listed are:
- Django is one single product with everything a developer needs to create an application. It works seamlessly and follows consistent design principles with extensive up-to-date documentation.
- Django is extremely versatile and can be used to create content management systems, social networks or news sites, eg. Instagram
- With a framework designed to do the right thing Django helps avoid commonly made security mistakes
- Django comes with a “shared nothing” architecture where each component works independently of the other. So if a component needs to be scaled by adding hardware at any level like caching servers, database servers, or application servers, it can be done easily.
- It has design principles and patterns that work on maintainable and reusable codes thus reducing duplication and amount of codes.
- It is also portable and can run on several platforms.
CakePHP is an open-source web framework. It follows the model–view–controller (MVC) approach and is written in PHP, modeled after the concepts of Ruby on Rails, and distributed under the MIT License. CakePHP uses well-known software engineering concepts and software design patterns, such as convention over configuration, model–view–controller, active record, association data mapping, and front controller. It allows web developers to create robust applications without compromising on flexibility.
Some of the key benefits of Cake PHP include:
- Extensive, feature-rich framework
- Reduces developmental cost and time through code generation and scaffolding features
- Since it is conventional, the code base is consistent, understandable, and readable
Ruby on Rails
Ruby was created in the 1990s by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto and over the years has cemented its place as one of the most popular backend programming languages. A general-purpose language like Java, it is best suited for web programming. Ruby on Rails is software code built on top of Ruby. An open-source web development framework, it provides developers a time-saving alternative to developing code. Though this backend technology is old, over 390,300 websites are using Ruby on Rails and there are 252,210 unique domains.
Some of the most popular websites that use Ruby on Rails are GitHub, Airbnb, Basecamp, etc.
So what makes Ruby on Rails popular?
- It is based on MVC Architecture which is widely used and so developers proficient in other frameworks too will find Ruby on Rails, easy to use
- With a robust and powerful library called active records, developers can easily design their database queries in Ruby programming language which automatically gets converted into a SQL query that receives the output and returns an object
- Convention over configuration allows assigning value automatically without user intervention, unlike other web application frameworks that require multiple config files, each with several settings which is very tedious. It means less time spent on assigning values and names to each configuration
- RSpec the testing setup for Ruby on Rails is easy to learn. It can be used to test the functions employed in the application by separately calling them
- The Ruby on Rails libraries allows the backend code to proceed to production with less effort & reduced time. An initial one-time setup and every change in the production system can be done with a single line on the command interface
- Ruby is an object-oriented programming language and virtual objects can be created in codes
Spring is a backend application framework for Java that came into existence in 2003, as an addition to Enterprise JavaBeans and as a solution to problems faced by developers while using EJB like creating the home and remote interfaces and implementing lifecycle callback methods which lead to the complexity of providing code for EJBs and many others. Spring was supposed to solve that and it did.
Spring is an open-source backend framework and has the following modules:
- Core – DI (Dependency Injection), Internationalization, Validation, and AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming)
- Data Access- Supports data access through JTA (Java Transaction API), JPA (Java Persistence API), and JDBC (Java Database Connectivity)
- Web – Supports both Servlet API (Spring MVC) and of recently Reactive API (Spring WebFlux), and additionally supports WebSockets, STOMP, and WebClient
- Integration – Supports integration to Enterprise Java through JMS (Java Message Service), JMX (Java Management Extension), and RMI (Remote Method Invocation)
- Testing – Unit and integration testing through Mock Objects, Test Fixtures, Context Management, and Caching
Spring has a strong ecosystem and continues to evolve.
“Practically Everything Really Likable“, one of the acronyms Perl goes by along with “Practical Extraction and Reporting Language” which processes text and extracts the required information from a specified text file that was originally developed for text processing like extracting the required information from a specified text file and converting the text file into a different form. It supports both procedural and object-oriented programming. It is syntactically similar to C or C++ and therefore easy to learn.
Some of the reasons why Perl is used are:
- Ease of starting- It is closer to programming languages like C, C++ and therefore easy to learn
- Text Processing- It can manipulate different texts to generate reports
- Features- It contains the best features of the features of different languages like C, sed, awk, and sh, etc which makes it useful and productive
- System Administration- Perl makes system administration easy because of its ability to script in different languages
- Web and Perl- Perl has the DBI package, which makes web-database integration very easy
Scala is a type of safe JVM backend language that supports both object-oriented and functional programming. It is concise, logical, and a powerful language and was first introduced in 2003 with an aim to improve upon Java and be a language that is scalable as per the user requirement. Though Scala provides language interoperability with Java, it comes with features that are not present in Java.
- Features of functional programming languages (like Scheme, Standard ML, and Haskell), including currying, immutability, lazy evaluation, and pattern matching
- An advanced type system supporting algebraic data types, covariance and contravariance, higher-order types (but not higher-rank types), and anonymous types
- Features like operator overloading, optional parameters, named parameters, and raw strings
Scala has code distinctions and paradigm shifts which makes it different from Java with a much cleaner and organized language which is efficient and increases productivity.
Flask is a backend microframework for web development. It comes with tools, libraries, and technologies that allow developers to build a web application without having to set up many things to get the web app hosted and running. It becomes super functional for small web app development and helps save a lot of time and cost on maintenance.
Flask is Python’s micro-framework developed by Armin Ronacher along with a team of python enthusiasts from all over the world called Pocco. Flask implements Werkzeug which is one of the most advanced Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI) modules that contains several tools to facilitate web development.
The two reasons to use Flask are simply the ease to set up and the freedom to build the web structure as per the requirements as Flask does not come with rules.
Strapi is an extremely popular open-source backend content management system that improves the quality of content created, managed, and published to any digital platform or device. It gives a very consistent experience and can be integrated with any technology. The “locale” feature on Strapi allows users to create, manage and distribute localized content in multiple languages. It is a boon for e-commerce websites that can display their content in multiple languages and optimize the international search engines in the process.
These were some of the top backend technologies that any tech career aspirant should be aware of. One can also pick anyone and gain expertise. Each of these backend technologies is growing and can open several job opportunities.
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