Definition

back-end

Contributor(s): Dan Oliver

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.

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.

This was last updated in September 2005

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What's the best book to learn about back-end programming?
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database management system .
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There are too many books to name, and I'm sure it'd be hard to agree on one. 
But there are some good titles on "The Practical Bookshelf" that would be worth checking out. 
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Great topic discussion! I'm keen to know what will be the best books,
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