What are Backend Web Frameworks? Which one you should go within 2021?
What are Backend Web Frameworks?
Backend web frameworks are libraries of server-side programming languages that help build the backend structure of a website. Backend web frameworks provide ready-made components for developing a dynamic web framework. Using frameworks gives a head-start to the developers by eliminating the need to build and configure everything from the ground up. The web developers can use backend web frameworks to make applications in a faster and standardized way.
Why do we use Backend Web Frameworks?
According to Wikipedia, a web framework’s main objective is to automate the overhead correlated with software development activities. The core advantages of using a framework for development are:
On top of that, most of the web frameworks are Open-Source.
What is the difference between Frontend Web Frameworks and Backend Web Frameworks?
Any web development project is usually divided into two core phases: Frontend web frameworks and backend web frameworks. Frontend web framework refers to the development of the things that users would see and experience while using the web app. On the other hand, the Backend web framework handles functions such as data storage, security, scalability and data transformation. A good example is a car, whose body, dashboard and steering is essentially your frontend and defines the experience you have with it. However, this experience will not be complete without the engine, chassis and the fuel tank of the car (backend).
Which Backend Web Framework is right for your Web Development Project?
Backend web frameworks are vital to the successful function of any web development project, unless the webpage you require is a static one. The easiest way to have such a web page in our opinion is to create one on WordPress as it allows for basic content and user management. However, such backend web frameworks are not useful for creating custom web applications with sophisticated requirements our clients require from us.
Top 5 Backend Web Frameworks in 2021
There are many backend web frameworks used by the developers around the world. However, a few stand out for their ease of learning, use, development time and effort. Here are the top 5 backend web frameworks in 2021:
- Ruby on Rails
Programming Language – Ruby
Popular sites using Ruby on Rails – ZenDesk, Shopify, GitHub
Programming Language – JS
Popular sites using Express.js – MySpace, GeekList, Storify
Programming Language – Python
Popular sites using Django – Instagram, Pinterest, Coursera
Programming Language – PHP
Popular sites using Flask – Deltanet Travel, Neighborhood Lender, MyRank
- ASP.NET Core
Programming Language – C#
Popular sites using ASP.NET Core – Microsoft, Godaddy, Ancestry
Ruby on Rails
Advantages of Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails offers multiple ready-made modules and plugins, which let developers reduce the time needed for creating boilerplate code. It enables development teams to minimize application build times compared to cases in which they are using other web frameworks.
Ruby on Rails provides developers the ability to use standardized file storage systems and programming conventions. It helps to maintain the structural consistency and readability of a project while saving a significant amount of time.
Ruby on Rails is open-source and offered under the MIT license. It means that users do not have to pay anything to obtain the framework. With Gems, users can add features without developing them from the ground up. As a result, they can save a lot of time and effort. Gems are available for many purposes and can be downloaded from GitHub.
Ruby on Rails enables users to achieve high quality software development. The Minitest tool within the Rails core gives users many testing features such as mocking, expectation syntax, and test benchmarking. Ruby on Rails is most suitable for behavior-driven deployment (BDD) and test-driven deployment (TDD). Both of these development approaches are useful for reducing development costs.
Ruby on Rails is a backend web framework that offers a great deal of scalability to users. It is more well-suited than many of its alternatives for websites that are focussed on servicing a high volume of customers. Scalability is one of the reasons for many users to opt for Ruby on Rails.
Features of Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is MVC-based, one of the most widely used backend web application architectures globally. Developers who are already experienced in working with MVC patterns can quickly start using Ruby on Rails. This architecture separates codes by their functions i.e., data layer, presentation layer, and maintaining a resource layer.
Ruby on Rails relies on a library known as Active Record, enabling developers to perform database interaction query design effortlessly. Queries are written in Ruby programming language and converted into SQL queries that receive outputs and return objects. The Ruby on Rails active record library is quite capable, and the need for developing a query in SQL is reduced.
Convention over Configuration
Configuration files are not utilized by Ruby on Rails as it provides dynamic runtime extensions, reflections, and conventions. It follows a “Convention over Configuration” approach for automatically assigning value without requiring user intervention. Multiple configuration files are utilized by software systems like Java web frameworks, with each having multiple settings. Convention raises productivity as users are not required to assign time for config file setup.
Testing is simple
Ruby on Rails offers RSpec, an easy-to-use unit testing setup. Users can easily test functions through separate calls and make sure that an application undergoes adequate testing.
Express.js also known as Express, is a Node.js backend web framework and open-source software available under the MIT license. It is used for building APIs and web applications and is considered as a standard Node.js backend web framework. Express is a MEAN stack back-end component along with the Angular frontend web framework and MongoDB databases.
Advantages of Express.js
Easy learning curve
Utilizes full-stack JS features
Provides high performance
Features of Express.js
Fast server-side programming
Express.js is a Node.js backend web framework offering many of the more widely-used features of Node.js. These features can be utilized at different points in the program. Express JS developers can easily incorporate a few code lines instantly instead of writing high volumes of code. Web application development with Express is faster than developing with only Node.js.
Routing is a feature that lets web applications retain webpage states through URLs. URLs can be shared with others, and users can visit the URLs to reach the state-storage page. Node.js offers a fundamental routing mechanism, in comparison to Express.js, which provides a more sophisticated routing mechanism capable of handling dynamic URLs.
Bugs are quite common during development projects and can cause full-scale malfunctions to applications. Developers have to identify bug sources and correct bugs without any delay. Express.js offers a convenient debugging system to let developers easily identify the causes of application bugs.
Django is a leading open-source backend web framework based on the Python programming language. It follows the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern. Django is suitable for the development of sophisticated and feature-rich database-driven websites.
This backend web framework facilitates optimal pluggability, reduced coding, greater reusability, and faster development. It uses Python for all operations in Django and provides an optional admin interface to help create, read, update, and delete operations. Django is utilized by many renowned websites such as Disqus, Mozilla, and The Washington Times.
Advantages of Django
Django is easy to use, and a low learning curve backend web framework created for helping developers speed up the entire development process from start to finish.
Django provides a wide variety of features to help users take care of some common web development requirements. It helps in tasks such as user authentication, sitemaps, content administration, and much more.
Django is a secure backend web framework that helps its users prevent several security issues, including cross-site scripting, clickjacking, SQL injection, and request forgery. It provides a system for user authentication to enable users to store and manage passwords and accounts securely.
Django offers a high level of scalability to its users. That is why many of the world’s leading websites rely on it to meet their high operational demands easily.
Django is a backend web framework that can be used for the development of a wide array of application types. Some of these include social networking applications, content management systems, and computing platforms.
Features of Django
Django is an open-source framework used for Python-based web applications. It is simple, easy to use, and reliable.
Django features its own making system for all tools and features. Also, it also has an easy to use admin panel in comparison to Yii and Lavarel.
Some of Django’s key features include simple syntax, MVC core architecture, ORM (Object Relational Mapper), Middleware support, and HTTP libraries. Django also has its own web server, a framework for Python unit testing, and components required to solve some cases.
Laravel is an open-source PHP backend web framework for developing Symfony-based web applications that follow the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. It offers a modular packaging system equipped with a dedicated dependency manager. Laravel also provides its users with multiple ways of accessing relational databases along with application maintenance and deployment utilities. Laravel has an MIT license and has a source code hosted on GitHub.
Advantages of Laravel
Implementing authentication is quite simple with Laravel, as it offers easy configuration. Laravel facilitates simple authorization logic organization and easy control of access resources.
Laravel offers a simple API that works fluidly with the SwiftMailer library. Laravel offers drivers for Mandrill, SMTP, Mailgun, Amazon SES, and SparkPost. It also features drivers for PHP mail and sends mail. Laravel enables fast application mail sending through a cloud-based or local service. It also provides notification sending support across multiple delivery channels.
Laravel readily offers support for Redis, Memcached, and other widely-used cache backends. It uses the file cache driver, which performs cached object storage in a file system. Larger apps use an in-memory cache like APC or Memcached. Laravel also enables users to configure multiple cache configurations.
A Laravel project has a pre-configured exception and error handling. Laravel also has Monolog logging library integration and offers support for multiple log handlers.
Laravel is test-friendly and offers PHPUnit support along with a ready-to-use phpunit.xml file for applications. The backend web framework comes with helper methods for expressive application testing. Laravel also provides easy user behavior simulation for activities such as form filling, link clicks, and application requests.
Features of Laravel
The Laravel backend web framework features lightweight built-in templates that can be utilized for generating layouts and seeding content. It also provides widgets with JS and CSS code. Laravel templates are designed for the development of both simple and complex sectioned layouts.
MVC Architecture Support
Laravel offers MVC architecture pattern support to effectively separate presentation and business logic layers. The Laravel MVC offers many functions, facilitates better performance, and improves both scalability and security.
Eloquent Object Relational Mapping
Laravel users can utilize Eloquent Object Relational Mapping (ORM), including a simple PHP Active Record implementation. ORM lets application developers construct database queries using PHP syntax without writing SQL code.
Laravel backend web framework provides robust web framework security, with salted and hashed password modalities. As a result, passwords are not stored in plain text format within databases. The Bcrypt Hashing Algorithm is also utilized by Laravel for encrypted password generation. Laravel utilizes prepared SQL statements to reduce the eventualities of injection attacks.
ASP.NET Core is an open-source and free backend web framework that follows in the footsteps of ASP.NET, a widely-used backend created in partnership with the .NET Foundation. ASP.NET Core is a modular backend web framework that can run across the entirety of the .NET Framework across on Windows and .NET Core.
Advantages of ASP.NET Core
Web application development requires developers to ensure that an application provides support for all platforms. The new ASP.NET Core is a cross-platform backend web framework that offers support for various platforms. ASP.NET Core is a cross-platform solution for developing web applications for the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The backend uses the same C# code across all platforms.
ASP.NET Core uses technology that requires lesser coding. It means that developers find using the backend web framework quite convenient as they have to construct fewer statements. Less coding translates to less time required to create an application. As a result, developers require lesser time to create an application, and the process is also cost-effective.
Maintenance is easy
Lesser code also means lesser maintenance. ASP.NET Core can be automatically maintained in cases with a small amount of code. Experienced developers can easily get a grasp on reducing maintenance effort for an ASP.NET Core backend web framework. They can optimize ASP.NET Code with just a few statements.
The biggest advantage of using the ASP.NET Core backend web framework is the performance improvement it offers. Using updates and the latest improvements helps developers to improve code and enhance the performance of an application. Performance is also high as users are not required to change code. The in-built compiler of the ASP.NET is capable of enhancing code when the ASP.NET Core framework is recompiled with the code. The backend web framework’s performance is much more than its alternatives.
Features of ASP.NET Core
Cross-platform and support for containers
ASP.NET Core lets developers create applications that can be deployed on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. The backend web framework is most suitable for the Linux platform.
ASP.NET Core provides developers the option of using patterns of asynchronous programming. Async is a common implementation across all .NET Framework classes and many external libraries. Many applications delegate significant amounts of time and CPU cycles for web service calls, database queries, and I/O operations.
Performance is one of the key features of the ASP.NET Core backend web framework. The Kestrel web server and ASP.NET Core available to developers now make ASP.NET Core one of the most agile backend web frameworks. Performance is one of the biggest factors that makes ASP.NET Core the backend web framework of choice for numerous developers.
So which backend web framework should you go with in 2021? Ruby on Rails, Express.js, Django, Laravel or ASP.NET Core? It’s actually hard to answer this question as there are many similarities and differences among these backend web frameworks. So it’s hard to tell which backend web framework is the best one and it always comes down to the problem you’re trying to solve, the scale that will be employed by the solution, and the technical knowledge of the engineer doing the work. All these backend web frameworks offer quick ways of getting started and each has its own peculiar way of empowering the engineer to be productive. They are all successful in various tasks. Efficiency, pace, community support, scalability, safety and more, they all give each other a tough competition.
As a professional opinion, we think learning Ruby on Rails is absolutely worth it as it’s one of developers and programmers’ favorite options to create websites and web applications thanks to the growing community and maturity of the ecosystem. Besides, this backend web framework is being used for decades and will stay in the market for a long time, so you can rely on it undoubtedly. Also, it has been predicted that the success of Ruby on Rails will continue in 2021, making learning it imperative.