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Top Backend Technologies In 2020: Meaning And Comparison Of Stacks

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What does your software consist of? Frontend and backend, of course. These are the main parts to make your website or mobile app functional.

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Backend plays the most crucial part in this combination since it implements all processes of the users’ requests via the frontend part. And it is highly essential to choose the right back-end technology that will let developers build a solid ground for your software. 

 

By the way, what is backend in detail? What technologies do developers use, and what is their difference? How is mobile and web app backend created? These and a range of other answers are waiting for you in our new article. 

What Is Backend Development?

It is hard to imagine your life without personal gadgets. You wake up, pick up your smartphone, and start reading newsfeed. Everything you see on the mobile screen is frontend, an invisible part of an app is called backend. 

 

Frontend is a client side where images, buttons, animations are displayed. The backend part is a server side that processes your requests when you need to search for something, send messages, download information, etc. 

 

Backend consists of three parts — server, application, database. So the backend's primary goal is to store and organize data, interact with the interface, send and receive the required information that is displayed as a web page.  

The Role Of Backend In Web Or Mobile App Development

Any software is created for the user. And the primary goal of the software is to provide the user with adequate functionality. Therefore, without efficient backend development, it will be impossible to build a working app that meets all potential customers' expectations. 

 

Frontend may be stunning and eye-catching, but it means nothing if the application doesn’t work. The backend is responsible for the interaction with the database, permanent calculations, and the performance depends on how properly everything is assembled in the backend. 

 

It is the backend where the most crucial coding stage is performed during the development process. Thus, if there are many crashes and errors, it means the availability of issues in the backend code. However, the code complexity level may depend on the selected technology since languages and frameworks are different. That is why we prepared the backend technologies list with their comparisons. 

What Are Backend Technologies? 

Backend is created both for mobile and web apps. What is backend web development? It is when a website is created with the application of native backend frameworks and languages. And cloud backend solutions like BaaS (back-end-as-a-service) are not used. We would like to start with a backend stack for websites. 

 

Note: All stacks that will be shown here are referred to full stacks, i.e., they include tools for both frontend and backend development. There is no sense to use backend tools only since the client side and server side are tightly connected.

MEAN stack

MEAN reflects a modern approach to web development. Each development stage applies JavaScript-based tools. That is, MEAN acronym stands for MongoDB (a NoSQL database), Express.js (a backend framework), Angular (a frontend framework), Node.js (a backend platform). This stack allows developers to build a full-fledged website using JavaScript only. 

 

As for pros, when developers use the MEAN stack, the backend part can be created faster, and you can save your money since a couple of JavaScript developers can build a website. You don’t need to hire a large team of experts.

 

But its cons include particularities of MongoDB — this database is suitable for small- and mid-sized web applications. Still, in large-scale projects, it may be the reason for data loss during networking partitioning. 

 

Examples of MEAN stack websites: YAHOO!, YouTube, Netflix, Reddit, etc.

LAMP Stack

This stack is considered to be the primary opponent of the MEAN stack. LAMP acronym consists of Linux (an operating system), Apache (a webserver), MySQL (a database), PHP (a scripting language). Sometimes PHP in the LAMP stack can be replaced with the Perl or Python languages. 

 

As for pros, LAMP provides a secure infrastructure for web app development. When developers choose the LAMP stack, the development process goes faster since every host and the majority of CMSs support backend techs like PHP and MySQL.

 

But due to the wide adoption of the MEAN stack, LAMP loses its popularity since it is not as efficient as MEAN, these are the cons.

 

Examples of the LAMP stack websites: WordPress, Facebook, Tumblr, Wikipedia, etc. 

MEAN Stack Vs. LAMP Stack 

It is time for the server-side technologies comparison that we have just described above. The MEAN stack vs. the LAMP stack is the fight where there are no losers and winners yet. LAMP uses Linux as an operating system, whereas MEAN has no OS at all in its components. So using the LAMP stack, you are limited to one specific OS. 

 

Simultaneously, the LAMP stack allows developers to replace PHP with Python or Perl, but the MEAN stack implies the usage of the JavaScript-based tools only. It also concerns databases — the LAMP developers can replace MySQL with PostgreSQL. But the MEAN stack devs can work with MongoDB only. 

 

Finally, as for frontend components. MEAN uses the Angular framework to enhance and accelerate frontend development. When the website is created using LAMP, developers need to use additional JS-based tools to improve their web app, so MEAN gains the lead.

MERN Stack

What are the particularities of the MERN stack? Backend technologies are identical to the MEAN stack, and it is the first particularity. Second, the only difference in MERN and MEAN stacks is the frontend framework/library. 

 

The MERN stack includes MongoDB as a database, Express.js as a backend framework, React as a library for frontend, and Node.js. So Angular is replaced with React, and the MERN pros and cons are almost the same as the MEAN stack has. However, MERN is one of the LAMP stack alternatives that doesn’t play into the latter one's hands. 

 

Examples of the MERN stack websites: eBay, GitHub, PayPal, Bloomberg, etc. 

MERN Stack Vs. MEAN Stack 

Although these two stacks are almost identical, it is possible to compare them to find some pros and cons. MERN is better for faster development since React allows developers to write the code faster. The performance of React is higher than the Angular framework has. 

 

However, MEAN is used for enterprise applications since the maintenance of architecture is more accessible with Angular. It is suitable for supporting MVC architecture, whereas React cannot boast about the same features. 

 

And MEAN allows the application of third-party tools easily since Angular comes with integrated features for compatibility with many third-party libraries. React requires additional configuration to work with third parties, and it takes more time. So MEAN may win this race. 

RoR Stack

Another stack consists of two primary backend technologies — the Ruby on Rails framework and the Ruby programming language. As for other tools, the RoR stack may include such JS libraries as Redux, React, Backbone.js, Bootstrap as a CSS framework, PostgreSQL/MongoDB as a database, Redis as a DBMS (a database management system). 

 

Examples of the RoR stack websites: if you want to have a full picture of websites built with RoR, you need to read our article with a compilation of relevant websites, and get acquainted with the advantages of the Ruby on Rails framework. 

 

As for comparison, it is rather hard to compare the RoR stack with the above ones since it has its strict individual particularities, unlike the MEAN or LAMP stacks. 

Most Popular Backend Frameworks And Languages For Mobile Apps

Having finished with web development stacks, we cannot ignore mobile app development. As everybody knows, mobile apps are traditionally created using Java or Kotling languages (Android OS) and Swift (iOS platform). 

 

Still, mobile apps with complex architecture require additional development of backend. There is a wide variety of programming tools to build a server side for a mobile app, and we will list the most popular ones. 

Which Language Is Used For Backend Of Mobile Apps?

Development of mobile backend can be performed with the following languages: 

  • Ruby. A general-purpose programming language that is actively used in web and mobile app development. It is often used in conjunction with Ruby on Rails framework. The Ruby language contributes to faster development, and Ruby developers try to adhere to TDD methodology (test-driven development), so tests are performed before code is written, so the number of possible mistakes comes to naught.

     

  • Python. It is considered to be one of the most simple languages to learn. Many beginners start learning Python when it comes to software development. Its syntax is simple and easy-to-understand, and the language comes with a range of auxiliary tools and libraries. Python perfectly matches AI-based complex projects.

     

  • PHP. It is a general-purpose scripting language that contains all required aspects for effectively addressing the challenges. PHP comes with robust frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, Joomla, etc., which help reduce the development time. PHP has a reusable code, so it also impacts the development time. Also, PHP is flexible and compatible with many third-party technologies. 

     

  • Node.js. A programming platform to write server-side scripting based on JavaScript. JS developers may use Node.js for the development of large-scale mobile apps. It is a clear and flexible language, and back-end developers tend to use it for Android mobile apps where the Java language is applied. Because Node.js was used as one of the components for Java creation.

     

  • Golang (Go). The language that was developed by Google, and it may be considered as one of the fastest server-side languages. It has a simple and clear syntax, high performance and compilation, compatibility with C and C++ libraries, it is open-source, and there are many other advantages. You can also check a table below to compare languages by speed. 

speed comparison programming languages diagram

Mobile App Backend Frameworks 

A framework is a tool that simplifies/improves the development process and is used along with the primary programming language. And they are actively used during the development of mobile app backend. 

  • Django. An open-source framework is written in Python. When the backend is created with Python, Django is also used often as an auxiliary tool. The framework has a large community, and it is a perfect tool for the development of complex web and mobile applications.

     

  • Ruby on Rails. A multi-level MVC framework from Ruby (as we mentioned above). Ruby on Rails is a one-size-fits-all framework since it is suitable both for simple web/mobile apps and apps with complex business logic and dynamic interfaces. Moreover, RoR is open-source, and it is distributed under the MIT license.

     

  • Express/Koa/Sails. All listed frameworks are referred to the Node.js platform. The bundle of these frameworks helps JavaScript developers build scalable mobile apps providing them with high performance.

     

  • Firebase. It is not a framework but a tool that is connected with the backend creation. A BaaS solution from Google that Android and iOS developers may use to create backend faster. However, cloud backend isn’t always good for mobile projects since it has certain limitations. Anyway, this is a good topic for our next article, where we would like to share more information about BaaS. 

 

Okay, what is the best backend framework for mobile apps? It depends on your project’s requirements. Besides, when you choose a tech stack for your future project, we recommend you following specific tips to avoid failures

What Technologies Cadabra Studio Prefers Using For Software Development

When our large team creates software, we build an individual approach to each project. It’s sporadic when the same tech stack may be used for different apps. Mostly, we work on each project from scratch, starting from research and prototyping made by designers to software development and quality assurance. 

 

So, we may choose various technologies for developed software. However, as for backend creation, we adhere to Ruby/Ruby on Rails bundle. Frontend is created with the JavaScript language and related tools like React. We consider Ruby as one of the most flexible and adaptive tools to build any complexity level apps. 

 

What project are you planning to create? It may take you a lot of time to pick the right technology for future software, especially if you are not skilled. Let us handle this and deal with your project. Get in touch with our BD managers to get more information and start your project right away.  

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