Work / 14 Jun 2020

Web backend programming


What is web backend programming?

Web backend-based software applications are like icebergs. Mobile app programming, such as iOS programming or Android programming, refers to direct interaction with the end user. This is referred to as "front-end programming." This part of the application is visible to the user. However, most of it remains invisible. This is the elusive and mystical "back-end". In most major applications, there is much more back-end code than front-end code.

Complex apps have many types of logic that run in the background to make them work. Data needs to be stored and retrieved for this purpose. Business logic and rules must be followed and results calculated. All of this happens behind the scenes. The backend developer is the one who makes it all happen.

API (Application Programming Interface)

A web backend is linked to the web front end (app or website) in the form of an API. The web backend runs on a server and makes data available or expects parameters or data to be saved for some calls. Modern web back ends use a so-called Rest-API. It can be compared to a normal website. Each function in the backend, like a web page, has a specific web address, also called an endpoint, which is called by the app. It is similar to typing a URL in the web browser. The backend then returns either JSON or XML instead of HTML. Compared to HTML, JSON or XML does not contain layout information and is more structured and "machine readable". At best, the app gets the data in a structure that it can use right away. This eliminates cumbersome and time-consuming conversions and makes the app perform better


Since web backends usually store and process data, a database is usually involved. The essential task of a database is to store large amounts of data efficiently, without contradictions and permanently. In addition, a database provides required subsets in different, need-based presentation forms for users and application programs.

Relational databases

The most common form of a database is a relational database. The structure of the data is defined by a database model. Queries to the database are usually made in the form of the database language SQL.

The most used relational databases for web backends are MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server oder PostgreSQL.

NoSQL Databases

NoSQL (English for Not only SQL) refers to databases that follow a non-relational approach. They break with the long history of relational databases. These data stores do not require fixed table schemas and try to avoid joins. They scale horizontally. In the academic environment, they are often referred to as "structured storage".

Known implementations are Riak, Apache Cassandra, CouchDB,MongoDB und Redis.

Programming languages

While there are only a few programming languages for native apps, a web backend can be developed in many programming languages. The most important ones are:

1. PHP
Mit 79% Market share for web applications and web backends, PHP is the most widely used web programming language in the world. Large companies, such as Facebook, Wikipedia and the popular CMS WordPress rely on PHP. In addition, the language is maintained by a very active open source community and can work seamlessly across platforms on UNIX, Mac, and Windows.
2. Python
The open source language has established itself as one of the most popular and important languages. The growing popularity of Python has made it an important programming language to learn nowadays. It is a suitable programming language, which can be learned even by non-programmers due to its simple syntax.
3. Java
Java has a good reputation as a versatile programming language. It is used for desktop, web and Android programming. Java scales very well. Therefore, Java is often used for high-performance web backends.
4. JavaScript bzw. NodeJS
Node.js is a server-side platform in software development for running network applications. It is executed in the JavaScript runtime environment "V8". This was originally developed for Google Chrome. Node.js also offers a resource-saving architecture that enables a particularly large number of simultaneously existing network connections.
5. Ruby
Although Ruby has a somewhat long learning curve, it is still one of the most robust programming languages. Ruby has an active community of supporting developers. Therefore, the good documentation and impressive open source dependencies make it a good programming language for backend development. Ruby's code is simple and rich, which makes it easy to use even for complex development projects.


Before Applie AG was founded, a large part of our developers was already in a team that realized various web applications, such as the web cloud management system Holdeed. This gives us more than 10 years of experience in web development.

Another example is the league backend we developed, which processed over 10,000 hits per second at peak times during the World Cup.

Would you also like to have a fast and stable web backend developed by us, then get in touch with us.