The best programming languages for the backend
Are you still looking for a programming language that you can use for the backend of your planned programming project? Then you've come to the right place, because we'll introduce you to eight different backend languages and their advantages. Hopefully, you will quickly find the right development language for your application.
You can expect the following content in this blog post:
- What programming language types are there?
- The application backend
- How can you decide which backend programming language makes sense for your project?
- The best backend programming languages in comparison
- Our conclusion
- FAQ: Questions and answers about the backend programming languages
Programming languages exist for many different purposes and can be used in different areas. For a better overview, let's first introduce you to the most common types of programming languages:
- Scripting languages: So-called scripting languages can be used to automate tasks and execute scripts. They are used, for example, in data analysis, server administration and web development. Scripting languages include Perl, PHP, and PowerShell, among others.
- Database languages: Database languages are used to access databases. In this way, it is also possible to interact with the database. The most commonly used database language is SQL (Structured Query Language). In addition, there are also the database languages PL/SQL (Oracle), T-SQL (Microsoft SQL Server) and PostgreSQL.
- Markup languages: Another type of programming language is the markup language. This type of programming language is used to specify the appearance and structure of documents. Markup languages include HTML and XML, for example.
- Object-oriented languages: languages that are object-oriented model code around objects that combine data and behavior. Java, Python, and Ruby are object-oriented languages.
- Functional languages: Immutability of data plays a major role in functional languages. They are based on the mathematical concept of functions. Functional languages include Lisp and Haskell.
- Domain-specific languages: These languages are also called DSLs and were developed for very specific application domains so that they can address individual cases. Here it is also possible to work on a higher level of abstraction. Regular Expressions (RegEx) for text pattern recognition and MATLAB for numerical calculations, for example, are such DSLs.
Backend languages, by the way, can be classified as high-level languages. This is because the backend is where the part of the software application is developed that is important for interacting with systems or databases and processing data.
The application backend is actually just the backend of your application. This part of your application architecture handles the processing of data. In addition, communication with third party services also originates here. The users of your application will not get to know this part, they will only use the frontend. Meanwhile, the backend provides the necessary functions for the application to be used in the frontend and then also processes the requested actions.
The backend usually runs on a cloud platform or on a web server. Depending on the application and preferences, the backend can be used in different programming languages. Which backend languages there are and which are the best ones, we will present to you in a moment. But for this it is also important that you know which tasks are done with the backend. The main tasks of the backend include:
- Data processing: Data is processed and stored in the backend. Data processing tasks also include data validation, data cleansing, and data manipulation.
- External communication: Communication with other services can also be established via the back end. So-called application programming interfaces (APIs) are used for this purpose.
- Business logic: With the backend you can define which operations are allowed, how they should be executed and how data should be processed. Here you define the business rules of the application.
- Performance optimization: You can also optimize the performance of your application in the backend. For example, response times are improved with caching techniques.
- Security: Authentication mechanisms can also be managed in the backend. You can include here that encryption is used to protect you from attacks on the application.
- Error log: In the backend, you can also find the errors that may occur during execution. The errors are recorded in an error log so that you can fix and analyze them.
- Create frontend functions: Another function of the backend is that here you can provide all the data and functionalities for the frontend and create the user interface.
Maybe you are planning a project and want to know which backend language is best for it. You may also want to learn a new backend language and want to know which one works well for a variety of projects. Or you already know a programming language and want to know what applications you can create with it. In each of these cases, our article can help you. However, if you are at the first point and have a concrete idea for a project without knowing which programming language is suitable for the backend, here are some points that can help you in your planning phase:
- The specific requirements of your project: first of all, you should think about what requirements your project has to meet. This will help you determine what functions and tasks your backend will need to perform. You can also determine here if you need to scale your project in the future. If so, you can see with which backend language this works best. In addition, it is also worth considering whether you need or might need special integrations as well as libraries.
- The skills in your team and/or your own knowledge: When deciding which programming language is suitable for the backend of your project, it's worth looking at the skills you already have or that are represented in your team. Perhaps well-known programming languages can also be used for your project, giving you the opportunity to start right away and save resources. It's also likely to make your team work more productively and efficiently.
- Scaling and performance: While we mentioned in the first point that you need to consider whether your project needs to be scalable, you should also think about this in more detail. Estimate how high the expected user volume is and also how high the performance requirements of your project will be. Some programming languages and frameworks offer better support for scalability and performance than others.
- The community of the programming language: Another factor that can be crucial is the size and activity of the community of the selected backend language. This is because a large and active community also means that you can seek better help in case of problems. In addition, there are usually better libraries, resources and frameworks.
- Tools and more: Also check if there are enough libraries, frameworks and tools that can help you with the development of your project. You can usually improve your productivity and the quality of your programming significantly.
You must remember that choosing a programming language for your backend is a long-term, if not final, decision. Once you have chosen one, you cannot simply use another backend language for your project. However, depending on your project, you may have the option to use multiple languages for different parts of your backend. It is recommended that you thoroughly consider the choice and analyze all the mentioned points in detail.
The programming language PHP or Hypertext Preprocesssor is mainly used in the field of web development. Especially in the area of the backend PHP is used. Furthermore, it is versatile because programs coded on PHP can also run on any browser and any operating system.
There are also some very well-known frameworks for PHP. Frameworks are ready-made software components or structures that can be used by developers. Popular PHP frameworks include Laravel and Symphony. Symphony is also used by Shopware for the store system. For this reason, the developers at EXWE are also very familiar with PHP. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!
|The advantages of PHP as a backend language:|
Golang or Go is a programming language developed by Google. It is becoming increasingly popular as it is ideally suited for scalable network services as well as cluster and cloud computing. It is now widely used for the backend, especially when developing software and real-time applications. Good examples of the use of Go as a backend language are online games, video conferencing applications, community storage solutions as well as embedded software systems and chat messaging applications.
|The advantages of Golang as a backend language:|
Python has been around since 1991 and is one of the most popular programming languages. Python is also very suitable for the backend, as the language offers a clean and also simple development environment. Python frameworks, for example, can be used to create web applications quite quickly.
|The advantages of Python as a backend language:|
In Android Studio you can find the backend language Kotlin. Originally Kotlin was created for Android development. But now it is more and more used as a backend language. In addition, Kotlin was developed to work seamlessly with Java. This allows existing Java code to be reused in Kotlin and vice versa. This enables a gradual migration from Java to Kotlin in existing backend systems. But Kotlin can also be the perfect choice for reprogramming an application.
|The advantages of Kotlin as a backend language:|
The Elixir functional programming language was developed by José Valim in 2011 and is based on the Erlang virtual machine (BEAM). The language can be used in the backend mainly in areas such as web development, IoT applications, real-time communication and financial technology.
|The advantages of Elixir as a backend language:|
Scala is an object-oriented programming language that is very precise and therefore requires little code, unlike other general-purpose languages such as Java. The Scala programming language has been around since 2004 and since then it has been used for many different use cases such as web development, software systems, big data analytics, scientific applications and much more.
|The advantages of Scala as a backend language:|
C# is a versatile backend language developed by Microsoft and first introduced in 2000 with the release of .NET Framework. It is an object-oriented language that is mainly used to develop powerful and scalable backend applications. C# allows you to build web applications, RESTful APIs, microservices, cloud applications, and other server-side solutions. Thanks to its robust type safety, efficient resource management, and extensive standard libraries, C# is a popular choice for developing sophisticated and reliable backend systems in software development. So, should you want to develop a software, you should definitely include C# in your shortlist for the backend.
|The advantages of C# as a backend language:|
Choosing the right backend programming language can be a challenge due to the variety of options, as each offers its individual advantages. Your previous experience, the development goal and the required scalability are just a few aspects you should consider. However, if you understand the specific requirements of your project, you can effectively choose the appropriate language. Remember that you are not alone in this process - we, the experts at EXWE are available to advise you on this important decision. Together we will find the optimal solution for your backend.
To conclude our backend language comparison, we will answer a few questions that might be of interest to you about programming languages and the backend. If you still have questions that we haven't answered yet, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you with your questions about backend languages and development in general.
It is difficult to predict exactly which programming language will be the most successful in the future. The technology field is constantly evolving, and new languages and frameworks emerge while others gain popularity or lose relevance. However, there are some programming languages that are currently strong and have promising future prospects:
- Python: Python has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and is widely used in various fields such as web development, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning due to its simplicity, readability and versatility. Python has a large and active community that continuously develops new libraries and frameworks, which further strengthens its future prospects.
- Go: Go (also known as Golang) was developed by Google and is characterized by its simple syntax, efficiency, and good support for concurrent programming. Go is widely used for server-side applications, cloud applications, and tools. Due to its performance and increasing acceptance in the developer community, Go has good prospects for the future.
- Kotlin: Kotlin is a modern programming language designed for Android app development. It has quickly established itself as a popular alternative to Java because it is more functional, secure, and productive. Kotlin can also be used for backend development with the Ktor framework. Given the rising popularity of Android and the increasing use of Kotlin, this language will have a promising future.
There are different types of backends that can be used depending on the type of application and the requirements of the project. Here are some common examples:
- Mobile backend: A mobile backend supports the development of mobile applications. It provides features like user authentication, data processing, push notifications, third-party service integration, etc. Mobile backends can be built using platforms such as Firebase, Parse, or homegrown solutions.
- API backend: An application programming interface (API) backend is used to make data and functions available to other applications through a defined interface. It enables communication and integration with other systems and services. API backends are often developed with RESTful APIs, GraphQL or SOAP.
- Cloud backend: A cloud backend is based on cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or IBM Cloud. It uses the infrastructure and services of these platforms to provide scalability, storage, data processing, databases, security, and other functions.
- IoT backend: An Internet of Things (IoT) backend enables the connection and control of IoT devices. It processes data sent by devices, manages device registration, monitoring and control, stores data, and enables integration with other systems.
- Enterprise backend: An enterprise backend supports large enterprise applications and systems. It provides functions such as data management, user management, business logic, integration with enterprise resources, analytics, reporting, etc.
It is difficult to label a particular programming language as the "most powerful", as this depends on various factors and can also be a subjective assessment. The power of a programming language depends on its expressiveness, flexibility, the range of libraries and frameworks available, and its ability to solve complex problems efficiently. For example, the PYPL (PopularitY of Programming Language) index is a metric that measures the popularity of programming languages based on search engine queries. It is also important to note that the PYPL index is only an indicator and does not necessarily reflect the "power" of a programming language.
A runtime environment is the environment in which a software program works during its execution. It provides the necessary resources, services, and runtime libraries required for the program to execute correctly. The runtime environment typically includes the execution environment, runtime libraries, a virtual machine (if any), and runtime data.
The execution environment is the core of the runtime environment and provides the framework for executing the program. It provides functions for managing processes, threads, memory, and other resources.
Runtime libraries are collections of code used at runtime to provide specific functions. They can cover common tasks such as input/output, file management, network communication, graphics, mathematical operations, and more. Runtime libraries provide developers with an interface to access these functions and incorporate them into their applications.
In some runtime environments, a virtual machine (VM) is used to run the program code. The VM interprets or compiles the source code of the program and then executes it. Examples of virtual machines include the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for Java programs and the Common Language Runtime (CLR) for applications developed in C# or other .NET languages.
The runtime environment also manages data needed during program execution, such as configuration files, log files, temporary data, and other artifacts.
Using a runtime environment enables greater portability of applications because it can operate independently of the underlying hardware or operating system. Developers can focus on deploying the source code and runtime environment without worrying about the details of the underlying platform.
Tiobe stands for "The Importance of Being Earnest" and is a company that specializes in evaluating and analyzing the popularity of programming languages. Tiobe's best-known indicator is the Tiobe Index, which is published monthly. The Tiobe Index is based on various criteria, such as the number of searches for a particular programming language in search engines, the number of lines of code written, the number of job postings seeking knowledge of a programming language, and other factors.
The Tiobe index is intended to provide an overview of the popularity and trend of programming languages. It is often used by developers, businesses, and educational institutions as a guide when deciding which programming language to use. The Tiobe index lists the 20 most popular programming languages and shows changes from the previous year or previous years.
Bytecode is an intermediate form of code used by programming languages that run on virtual machines. Instead of being compiled directly into machine code, the program is compiled into bytecode. This bytecode allows programs to interact on different platforms because the virtual machine executes the bytecode and communicates with the operating system. Because the bytecode is understood by the virtual machine, a program that is programmed once can run on different operating systems without having to be rewritten for each platform.
MongoDB is a document-oriented NoSQL database designed to store large amounts of unstructured or semi-structured data. It implements the JSON-like document model, where data is organized into flexible, hierarchical structures with different data types. This allows developers to easily model complex data structures without having to predefine a rigid schema. MongoDB reduces the complexity of database queries by providing efficient indexing and a powerful query language to retrieve data quickly and at scale. These features make MongoDB popular for modern applications with changing requirements and large data sets.
Was ist dein Projekt? Wenn du uns darüber erzählen möchtest, rufen wir dich zurück!
Learn everything you need to create a successful B2B online store - whether you're in B2B or just starting out.