Backend frameworks are technologies that help create more robust backend software and solutions. They are essential for robustness because they handle critical business logic, ensure security, and provide a solid basis for reliable back-end software and solutions.
Nowadays, the user experience delivered by an application determines its popularity and profitability in the longer run. Hence, it becomes essential for developers to focus on both the front-end and back-end of the application. Typically, the users can see, touch and experience the front-end or user interface of the app directly.
But the front-end experience of an application is driven by various aspects of its backend – database interactions, business logic, user request processing, and performance. Hence, the developers frequently explore ways to enhance the performance and quality of the backend code. Most developers use robust backend frameworks to make the applications deliver an optional user experience without putting extra time and effort.
Brief Overview of 12 Widely Used Back-end Web Frameworks
Microsoft recently released ASP.NET Core 1.0 with several innovative features to simplify web and cloud applications’ development, testing, and deployment. In addition to being an open-source web application framework, ASP.NET Core supports three distinct platforms- Windows, OS X and Linux. Also, it allows developers to deploy their applications in several ways.
The developers can integrate ASP.NET Core with several open-source web development tools while taking advantage of a robust integrated development environment (IDE) like Visual Studio.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a widely used web application framework for Ruby programming languages. It supports several widely used software development paradigms, including MVC and emphasizes software testing. The plug-and-play functionality provided by RoR enables developers to customize the web application according to varying business requirements.
Programmers can further take advantage of the code library and scaffolding options provided by RoR to accomplish everyday web development tasks without writing additional code. They can also use RoR to create a prototype of the application and move quickly from planning to the project’s development phase.
Django is a hugely popular Python web application framework. Python enables developers to build web applications with concise, readable and reusable code. Also, Django supports the MVC design pattern. Hence, the developers can keep the business logic, user interface and application data separate. At the same time, they can take advantage of the built-in tools provided by Django to accomplish common web development tasks like site maps, user authentication, content administration, and Memcached.
Django further allows programmers to customize individual parts of the web application according to specific business requirements. Also, it provides several packages, a robust ORM system, and a dynamic admin interface.
The open-source web application framework is written in Scala. It enables developers to build feature-rich web applications by combining Java and Scala programming languages. As Play supports MVC design patterns, it becomes easier for developers to simplify web application development by separating business logic and user interface layers. Also, Play Framework’s non-blocking and stateless architecture enables developers to scale web applications without extra effort.
The developers can further assess the quality of the code continuously by availing of the built-in testing support and just hitting the refresh workflow of the Scala web framework.
Catalyst is a widely used Perl web framework. As it supports the MVC principle, it becomes easier for developers to build and maintain large web applications by keeping their user interface and business logic layers separated. Also, the developers can avail themselves of the ready-to-use plug-ins provided by Catalyst to accomplish a variety of web development tasks like user authentication, caching, and session management.
Catalyst comes with a lightweight test server and a robust database ORM while supporting multiple templating languages. The Perl web framework is further designed with features to keep common development tasks simple and clean.
The PHP framework enables developers to accomplish common tasks like authentication, session management, routing and caching by writing expressive code. It further provides various tools to speed up the development of large and complex web applications. Also, it makes it easier for programmers to conduct the unit test to assess the impact of changes made to the code at various stages of development.
Laravel also comes with a Blade template engine that allows programmers to reduce performance overheads by writing plain PHP code in the templates. Version 5.3 of Laravel further comes with several new features like simplified API authentication and the option to add WebSockets to the application.
Phalcon is a modern PHP framework designed with a focus on speed. Phalcon is a PHP extension written in the C programming language, unlike other frameworks. So it consumes lower resources while delivering optimized performance. As Phalcon is loosely coupled, the programmers have the option to use the framework fully or its specific parts as glue components. They can further download and install the framework as a PHP module.
Phalcon further provides features to accomplish common tasks like database access, authentication, transaction, messaging, caching, queuing, template engine, form builder, and routing.
Symfony comes with an array of features that help programmers to create and maintain PHP web applications without putting in extra time and effort. It enables developers to add functionality to the website by adding various prefabricated components. At the same time, it also allows them to use third-party software components. Thus, it becomes easier for programmers to enhance the website’s functionality and performance by adding various software components.
The users can also perform unit testing by using popular frameworks like PHPUnit. They can also speed up the complex application’s development by using the full-stack version of the framework.
Yii is one of the high-performance PHP frameworks available in the market. It is easier for programmers to reduce the development time by keeping the business logic and user interface separate as it supports the MVC pattern. At the same time, they can easily boost the application’s performance by availing of powerful caching support provided by Yii. Yii further helps developers to work with AJAX more efficiently.
It further makes user input collection through forms more secure by providing validators, widgets and helper methods. Also, it comes with features to protect the application from SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks. The developers can further use Yii to perform unit tests and functionality testing without extra time and effort.
The PHP framework features help programmers create prototypes and build applications rapidly. The developers can avail the code generation feature of CakePHP to develop application prototypes easily. At the same time, they can further avoid writing longer lines of code by availing of built-in features for database access, authentication, validation, translation, and caching. The users can additionally start using CakePHP simply after setting the database up. CakePHP further guides programmers to efficiently handle all aspects of the application while supporting the MVC design pattern.
Along with being a mature PHP framework, Zend is also being used by several large websites. The open-source framework enables programmers to create websites by using object-oriented code. The modular structure of Zend further makes it easier for users to combine its building blocks with other frameworks and libraries.
As Zend is designed as a collection of classes, the programmers can load the required components as individual libraries. Also, they can use ZendService to access popular web services by implementing client-side libraries. However, many programmers feel that Zend has a more demanding learning curve. Zend still comes with features to speed up the development of large-scale web applications.
Overall, web application developers can choose from various backend web frameworks. But the competent developers always opt for a backend framework that complements the preferred programming language and meets all project needs. The developers must evaluate the pros and cons of each framework according to their skills and needs.