What Languages are Used for Back End Development?

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2 major kinds of web development take place; frontend and backend development. Front end majorly deals with the UI part of coding where the web servers interact with the users and backend development is the coding which happens at the server-side. The front end is visible to the audience whereas backend isn’t. Hence it is also responsible for the way it works internally.

The websites we use in our day-to-day life are usually a combination of languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which are all guarded by the browser we use which deciphers the code so that it can be easily interacted with. In this topic, we are going to know about Back End Programming Languages.

Backend code is the one that communicates with the frontend sending and receiving messages that have to be interpreted and displayed on the web page. Further to this, there are 2 kinds of websites- static and dynamic. A static web page is the one who’s contents do not change much and a dynamic web application is the one whose contents change according to the data present in its database and can be customized. Every website needs a database that manages and stores all the information. The many databases in the market are Oracle SQL, MySQL, PostgresSQL and SQLServer. Some of the backend programming languages used to create dynamic websites are C, C++, Java, Ruby, PHP, .Net and Python.

List of Back End Programming Languages

Here let us go through some of these languages and get a basic idea on how to use them:

1. Java

Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented and concurrent programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It uses an engine called JVM (Java Virtual Machine) which provides a runtime environment to run the Java Code and its applications. It translates Java byte code into a language that can be interpreted by the machines. JVM forms a part of JRE (Java Runtime Environment).

Java has certain key features as follows:

  • Object-oriented– This means the code is structured and modeled as a set of objects which can be manipulated, controlled and easily extended.
  • Basic– Java language is very basic and simple to master once you have understood the concept of OOP (Object Oriented Programming)
  • Platform independent– Java does not depend on any specific platform because, during compilation, it is compiled to an independent bytecode format which can be distributed and translated by JVM on any platform.
  • Robust– Java has good Memory management and Exception handling which makes it minimize error-prone code.
  • Multi-Threading– Java can run multiple tasks concurrently due to this feature which helps save a lot of memory.

Example

Let us get to know how to write a basic program in Java:

public class JavaFirstProgram {
public static void main(String []args) {
System.out.println(“Hello World”); // outputs Hello World to console output
System.out.println(“First program in Java”);
}
}

2. Ruby

Ruby is a programming language coded by Yukihiro Matsumoto during the mid-1990s. It is an open-source, object-oriented, dynamic and reflective language. Like Java, it is platform-independent and hence can run on Windows, Mac and all Unix versions. Ruby follows a principle called POLA (Principle Of Least Astonishment) which means that the language reduces the confusion for experienced users.

Some of the features of Ruby are:

  • Object-oriented– This means everything in Ruby is expressed in the form of objects. Every object will have a class and each class will be having a superclass. All the rules written for objects applies for entire Ruby.
  • Flexibility– In Ruby we can add, remove and customize parts easily. Existing parts can be modified and there are no such restrictions as such.
  • Dynamic typing– Programs in Ruby are not compiled as such. A variable can hold all types of objects. Ruby looks up at a method name when it is called, regardless of the object type.
  • Mixin– One of the unique features of Ruby is that it has a single inheritance only. It mainly operates on modules that don’t have many instances. Alternatively, a module can be united with class.
  • Hashing– It is one of the collection types of key-value pairs separated by commas.
  • Open– This means Ruby classes and methods can be ended with a question and exclamation marks.
  • Persistence– In case of missing method, Ruby calls the same with its name with which it could not locate its arguments.

Example

For the following programs, open any editor and save the file in .rb format.

  1. We can output any sentence with “puts” keyword as follows:

puts “Hello example in Ruby”

2. Simple mathematics can be performed in Ruby as below:

# Arithmetic operator examples for: +, -, /, *
puts 4 * 5
# Example for finding the exponent of 4 to the power of 2
puts 4**2
# To find modulus and retrieves the remainder of 4
puts 13 % 4
# Example for the order of the given operations
puts 3 + 5 * 8
# Performing operation on integer and floating-point numbers
puts 10 / 3.0

3. The variable types need not be mentioned here since Ruby identifies it automatically:

distance = 0.4
#We shall use integer and float type both
time = 8.65 / 3600
speed = distance / time
puts “The average speed of the car is #{speed} km/h”

3. Python

Python is an open-source, object-oriented and interactive programming language that was named after a television show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” by Guido van Rossum in 1991. Python is an interpreted language which means there is no compilation required to run it. It is a high-level and simple to learn the language for beginners because of its easy syntax. It is also platform-independent.

Some of its key features are:

  • Dynamic typing– The variable data types need not be declared explicitly as they are allotted in run-time.
  • Extensive and integrable– Other languages like C and C++ can be unified with Python. It is called to be extensible.
  • High-Level– This enables its users to focus on the problem-solution than worrying about the system architecture or memory management.
  • Interpreted– Python code execution takes place line by line and since there is no need for compilation, it is easy to debug.
  • Extensive Standard Library– There are many built-in modules and functions in its library hence reducing the coding effort. Also, a lot of libraries are present such as regular expressions, web browsers, testing, etc.
  • Expressive– Python is easier to understand and read hence helps to focus on the solutions than on syntax.
  • GUI Support– Graphical User Interface can be developed using Python.

Examples

Let us go through some of the basic coding examples in Python.

  1. the print command is used for printing the output as follows:

print(“Hello World Example for Python”)

2. Assigning variables can be done as below:

number = 25 # Assigning an integer
decimal = 33.3 # Assigning a floating number
string = “Any Name” # A string
common1 = common2 = 10 # Common Assigning of values
print number, “\n”
print decimal, “\n”
print string, “\n”
print common1, “\n”
print common2, “\n”

3. A simple for loop is as follows:

animals = [“cats”, “dogs”, “cows”, “monkeys”] for i in animals:
print(i)
if i == “cows”:
break

4. PHP

“PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor” which previously stood for “Personal Home Page” is another open-source scripting language used in the server-side. It is very popular being used in various big giants like WordPress and Facebook. PHP language can only be interpreted by the server having PHP installed. Its file ends with an extension “.php”. Compared to other languages PHP is considered a stable language.

PHP has some unique features as follows:

  • It can be integrated with other databases like Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Informix.
  • It has extensive libraries for using various modules and for data representation.
  • It is again an interpreted language and also platform-independent
  • In PHP all the keywords, methods, classes and user-defined functions are not case-sensitive and are only case sensitive when a variable is declared.
  • PHP generates dynamic content.
  • It has a built-in error reporting system thus helps to generate a warning/error notice.
  • It creates a summary of the latest accesses for the user by providing real-time access logging.
  • There is no need to declare data types in PHP since it shall be taken during execution based on the variable value. Hence called a loosely typed language.

Examples

  1. Below is the example for declaring and displaying variables in PHP

<?php
$x = “This is a sentence!”; //Assigning a sentence
echo $x;
echo “<br/>”;
$str=”String Example”;
$x=30;
$y=22.2;
echo “String value is: $str <br/>”;
echo “Integer value is: $x <br/>”;
echo “Float value is: $y <br/>”;
?>

2. A basic for loop example can be written as follows:

<?php
for($i=10;$i>=2;$i — ){
echo “$i <br/>”;
}
?>

In this blog, we hope you have got a better picture of some of the most popular and widely used backend programming languages. Based on the explanation shown for all, it is up to you to decide the language you choose according to your business requirements.

This does not mean that these are the only 4 languages out there. Day by day, lots of new scripting languages are emerging which can also be included in your project. The frontend must always be supported by strong server-side scripting. Thus, a backend developer should identify the goals first and integration requirements before choosing a programming language.

https://www.sagaratechnology.com/blog/2020/01/16/what-languages-are-used-for-back-end-development/

(SA)

Written by

Sagara is one of the leading software house based in Jakarta. We do digital product development, digital marketing, and workshops. Visit sagaratechnology.com.

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