What is Backend Development?
All that you see on your mobile phones, tablets, and computer systems is the result of the hard work done by developers at backend development. It’s the server-side of your website that keeps the internet running behind the scenes. The developers working at the backend are responsible for writing the codes which help communicate information to the browser.
Being a backend developer, the prime responsibilities include writing APIs, codes for databases, creating libraries, etc. depending upon the size and complexity of the application to be designed.
On the other hand, the heroes responsible for making your overall user experience with the website more engaging and interactive are our front end developers. In simple words, backend web development creates codes that enable websites to process and deliver the required information asked by the user or client at the front end. The jack of this show is our very own full-stack developers who can work with both back-end and front-end technologies with equal efficiency.
Your backend developers or programmers work on five major components at the back end to develop a successful code. This includes:
- Servers: the computer that receives requests.
- Databases: used to organize and persist data
- Application Programming Interface (API)
- Programming languages
The lifeblood of your network system, a server is responsible for listening to incoming requests. They are high-powered computers that provide resources like file storage, security and encryption, databases, email, and web services to your system. So technically, any computer that is connected to a network can act as a server including your own laptop that you use for developing applications.
Databases are commonly attached at the back-end of web applications. Whenever you request for something on a website, say a pair of earphones from Amazon or available hotel rooms on Trivago, the database attached to that website is responsible for accepting your query, fetching your data from the data bucket, and delivering it to your website page. In cases when the server crashes, databases can help retrieve it. Databases also accept changes to data when we enter new information like personal details on a website or application. Uploading pictures, saving card details, posting articles, and interacting on social media are all examples of changes that we make on the database system on a daily basis.
Any software that connects an application’s frontend to its back end is a middleware. Just like the plumbing units of your pipes, middleware is not visible but is important to transfer any communication, requests, and responses between your application and server database. They facilitate connectivity, between server, database, operating systems, and more. In other words, middleware is any code that is executed between a server receiving requests and sending a response. They function by passing on the controls to another middleware function or system. Eventually, a middleware function is called a function that ends the request-response cycle by sending an HTTP response back to the client through appropriate routing.
Developers use a variety of languages to build an application depending on the size and complexity of the design. Some of the most commonly built languages are PHP, Python, Ruby, etc. They defer in size, performance, style of programming, and compatibility. It’s up to you and your developers, and every language has its pros and ideal applications.
Some of the best back end development languages are:
Application Programming Interface (API)
API is a collection of clearly defined methods of communication that connect software, applications, databases, and services. Imagine being at a restaurant, and placing an order looking at the menu. From placing an order from the menu to getting the food made and delivered at your table, you need a service provider, a waiter in this case. An API is that waiter who takes your order/query from the website and delivers you the information you asked for. More specifically, an API is an interface created by the back-end developers that use databases to provide for the clients’ requirements. It plays an integral role as to how server-side software designs are built, commonly replacing complicated programming to allow the software to communicate and data to be transferred.
What happens when we shop?
To connect all the dots, here’s an example of the main steps that happen when a client shops and makes a request to the server.
- Susan is shopping on a website. She looks for a product and clicks on a picture of an earphone, and that click event makes a GET request that looks similar to http://www.###########.com/products/33875
- The URI (uniform resource identifier) mentioned in the address specifies the kind of request being generated by the client: more information about the product by Susan in this case shown by /products/33875
- Every product has a unique product id (here it’s 33875)
- The request then travels across servers and the one server actively listening for requests from all users receives Susan’s request
- The code also called the middleware runs in this process and triggers the servers that match the request generated, i.e. (the HTTP verb: GET, and the URI: /products/33875)
- The server then creates a database query to collect more information about the product requested, (the earphones in this case) i.e. the name of the product, price, size, colour, specifications, etc
- Once the query is executed, the database answers the request and gives the data (in a clustered format) back to the server
- The server then filters the data that it needs from the database, and it is now ready to construct and send its response in a manner asked by the client back to the client’s computer
- The response travels back to Susan’s computer which is received by her browser and uses the information to create a view that Susan asked for.
Hence, Backend Development is a vital aspect of application development that needs to be managed in a systematic manner. It is recommended to get in touch with a renowned software development company with skilled competence and practical experience for getting better knowledge about it.