What does front-end or back-end mean in a web or mobile app development project? If these two terms come back very often even before the development phase, it is because they are particularly important in the construction of the digital project by app development companies.
Take the example of designing a web application. Imagine that your app development company would like to develop a B2B exchange and file sharing application, between a public accountant, for example, and a contractor. To work, your application must require a user interface for the accountant's clients and an administrator interface, which will be the interface of the accountant.
To develop such an application, you will need at least two types of developers: the front-end developer, and the back-end developer. To understand where they will intervene, and what the back-end and the front-end represent in a web project by a reputable app development company
, let's stay on the example.
Front-End Development: Designing The Graphical User Interface
The two interfaces on which the accountant and the expert's client will interact are considered as front-end. Indeed, it is the visible part of the application, intended to be manipulated by a third party.
So do not confuse "front-end" and "back-end"
with "client interface" and "administrator panel". In both the first and second graphic design, it is the skills of a front-end developer that will be needed.
Indeed, it will put in place the graphics that will allow the end user to find their way around the interface and take it easy. He will also develop interactions, animations, responsive design, ... He will work jointly with at least one web designer and, ideally, a UX expert to deliver an ergonomic and fun interface.
The skills of the front-end developer are, at a minimum:
It can also rely on the following frameworks:
- Semantic UI
- Pure ...
The list is far from exhaustive. There are a large number of libraries and frameworks, some with specificities that make their reputation: lightness, ergonomics UX, type of project, ... In any case, the Front-end development of an application will generally require the choice of a framework in its design, for cost, time and security issues.
Back-End Development: Keystone of The Web Application
A nice interface remains an empty shell if a back-end development team does not intervene on your web application. In accordance with the specifications, the back-end developer team will work on developing the functionalities of the mobile application.
The work of the back-end dev is invisible to the end user, but without his intervention, no application. The back-end part will build, develop and interact three pillars essential to the operation of the application:
- The hosting server
- The web application
- The database
The server is the hard disk on which your application will be saved, front-end part. All the files that make up the pages, the design, the elements that build the visible part of your application.
The database, for its part, is built by the back-end developer so as to keep in specific tables all the data necessary for the operation of the application (user's ID, user rights, storage of words password, etc.).
So that the database can be updated, modified, or that elements (new user, for example) can integrate with the pre-existing database, the back-end developer will use dynamic languages, which will connect the database with the application.
For this, the back-end developer will tend to use the languages:
For the same reasons of costs, speed and profitability as the front-end developer, the back-end dev usually uses frameworks such as:
While PHP has historically been attributed to back-end development, this trend is changing, especially with the rise of Angular. Thus, it is not impossible for a back-end developer to move towards development in js. These profiles are also very much sought after.
How Does the Back End and Front End Developer Collaborate?
You have seen, globally, how each part of an application project, web or mobile workes. You know that the front-end will concern the visible and interactive part, but it is based on the work done on the submerged part of the iceberg, by the front-end developer.
Specifically, how will the back-end and front-end developers collaborate? Imagine that on the administrator interface of your application, the accountant wants to be able to create a new customer account.
He will have to follow the following path, from the application:
- To log in
- Go to the add user page
- Fill in a form to create a new user
At all these times, the accountant will have used work done on both the back end and the front end. Indeed, to connect, the end user will have to interact with a form (front-end), which will query the database to verify the accuracy of the information it will enter (back-end).
It will then go to the user page and interact with it to open the form for creating a new user (front-end). He will then fill the form of creation (front-end), then, by validating it, will allow the form to create a new entry in the database, which will allow his client to connect on the user interface (back -end).
The back-end team and the front-end team can work together in different ways. The front-end can focus on the UI (user interface) exclusively on the basis of back-end development, which will have already built all interactions with the database.
In other cases, back-end development will focus on the functional development of the database. This data is then passed to the front-end developers who will use these calls to the database in their code.
In conclusion, the line is sometimes fine, in fact, between the front-end developer and the back-end developer. It is not uncommon for one to master part of the terrain of the other, as these two aspects of development are linked. There is also a third category of developers, able to apply his skills on both the back-end and front-end: the full-stack developer
The profile of the full-stack developer is all the more sought after by app development companies and agencies as it has a more global vision of the project and a broad spectrum of skills. He can also make an excellent consultant, because of his ability to put himself in the shoes of a front-end developer or back-end as needed. Back