Back-end is a term used in software and web development to refer to the part of a system or application responsible for running the application but is not accessible to the end-user. Most application syntax and data are stored in and accessed through the back end. It consists of three key parts: server, database and backend application.
The back end is also referred to as the data access layer or the backbone of an application. It stands in contrast to the front end which is the part of the application that contains hardware or software accessible through a user interface.
The back end supports the front end and acts as an interface to any requested resources including databases. It ensures the application is responsive, functional, fast, stable and intuitive. The back end sits on the server side of the application while the front end is on the client side.
When you visit an ecommerce website, the design and layout you see is the front end. When you log into the account, add items to your cart, make payment and complete the checkout process, these are server-side processes that fall under the back end.
It may also be used to refer to application views accessible to different classes of users. For example, the back end could be the view accessible to employees while the front end is the customer view.
Technologies and processes based on an application’s back end include:
- Database management
- Data transformation and backup
- Software/website architecture
- Network availability and scalability
- Automated testing
- Programming languages
- Version control
- Web hosting platform