Front-end and back-end are terms used to characterize program interfaces and services relative to the initial user of these interfaces and services. (The "user" may be a human being or a program.) A "front-end" application is one that application users interact with directly. A "back-end" application or program serves indirectly in support of the front-end services, usually by being closer to the required resource or having the capability to communicate with the required resource. The back-end application may interact directly with the front-end or, perhaps more typically, is a program called from an intermediate program that mediates front-end and back-end activities.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
For example, the (TAPI) is sometimes referred to as a front-end interface for telephone services. A program's TAPI requests are mapped by Microsoft's TAPI Dynamic Link Library programs (an intermediate set of programs) to a "back-end" program or driver that makes the more detailed series of requests to the telephone hardware in the computer.
As another example, a front-end application might interface directly with users and forward requests to a remotely-located back-end program in another computer to get requested data or perform a requested service. Relative to the client/server computing model, a front-end is likely to be a client and a back-end to be a server.
Dig Deeper on Server hardware strategy
Margaret Rouse asks:
What's the best book to learn about back-end programming?
3 ResponsesJoin the Discussion