August 15th, 2016
What’s a backend?
It’s a little bit confusing actually. Backend and front end developers, what they do, and why you need both, well, in this blog I’ll try to explain.
The front end of software is what the user sees. The front end developer is also a coder who has to create the code and compile the code and publish the code. But, the front end developer is making something for the user to be able to interact with and will work on how they see and interact with.
A back end the user will never see. It’s the driving force and the storage behind what the user sees. And the back end needs to connect to the front end. Back end developers will usually make the additional piece of software that connects two systems, because again, the user will not actually see it.
An example is our DigiGround Valentines Challenge app.
Players can enter their own details and the details of the person they want to challenge. The player then plays the game and gets a score before they run out of lives. Then the game will send an email to the person they are challenging, tell them they’ve been challenged and who challenged them and what their score is.
The challengee will then play the game and try and beat the challenger and when they finally do it will send an email to the challenger to tell them they’ve lost. This can be minutes, hours, days or even weeks later. So how does the game know who to send it to and what the scores are?
Because it is all stored in the back end.
The DigiGround Valentines Challenge is a web application inside a web app with cute little graphics created by the amazing Cesia (our Graphic Designer).
What it also is though, is a database and a mail service. The database stores the user information (names, emails and scores). When something happens in the game, it sends the data to the database. When there is a need for it, the game then accesses the mail service and writes the email (also stored in a database) and then takes the required information from the database and tells the mail service to send the email.
This is a very simple description of how it all works. But, the example shows the difference between a front end and a back end.
The front end, everyone can see and they can play with. But they never will see (or possibly even have it occur to them) what stuff is happening behind the pretty pictures to make the thing actually work.