Platform Development: Choosing the right backend technology stack

Web platform technologies have evolved unprecedentedly over the last few years. New languages, new frameworks, and new libraries have been introduced. Not only has this caused a significant shift in how we build our websites, but it has also given rise to a lot of debate between front and back-end developers.

The backend of your website is what dictates the business logic, programming architectures, and frameworks you will use for the development. Choosing the right backend technology stack is a crucial step toward the success of your project. This step will differentiate the vision of your project from competitors by making an impact through the quality of your site.

The answer depends on your business goals and the end user impact you're trying to create. If you want to create a lean, fast-loading application that allows users to interact quickly with content, then a backend API built on Node.js will probably be the best fit. Either path can get you there; however, it's essential to remember what each option can offer your project—and, more importantly–the customer.

What is Back-End Development?

Generally speaking, backend development refers to technologies that deliver content to a user's browser or mobile app. The backend is concerned with how the front end and database interact. On the other hand, the front end is more concerned with the look and feel of an application or site. Front-end development often includes technologies such as Angular, React, and Vue for building dynamic interfaces, whereas backend languages typically focus on PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Some languages are considered server side (such as Java and C#), while others are considered client side (such as HTML and CSS). Additionally, you will also find other server-side languages, such as PHP, which are client-facing and can be used to create dynamic sites that respond to user requests. This can include static content, such as HTML files and CSS stylesheets, or dynamic range that responds to user interaction and provides an interactive experience. The latter is a "single-page application," or SPA for short.

Server-side languages are used to create the server configuration for a website using backend technologies. These technologies are a website's backbone and determine how data is stored, processed, and delivered.

Backends are responsible for making websites and applications function properly and fast, and responsive. It includes the architecture, frameworks, and libraries that allow the application to interact with the database and web server.

Many frameworks allow you to create a complete web application from scratch. Some even come with application servers running your code on a high-performance runtime in a clustered environment. The critical decision that custom developers face is whether or not to create an entire framework for their application. The backend, just like the front end, can have a variety of languages and frameworks to choose from.

One of the most critical aspects when choosing a backend is scalability. Each technology has an area that it excels at, but not all options will be appropriate for your project. If you need functionality that is out of the ordinary, you should always test everything thoroughly before implementation.

This article will discuss how each technology supports various features and whether they suit your project's needs. You'll find that there is no one correct answer; however, this article will give you a starting point for determining your backend choice.

Top Back End Technologies

1. Java: Java is the language of enterprise. It is a robust, object-oriented language with a strong reputation for its app performance, reliability, and scalability. Java programmers are paid significantly more than other programmers as well.

Speed: Java provides a higher, more optimized rate in memory allocation/deallocation, multi-threading, etc. There are instances where Java might fall short as well. Array access and string operations might get slow down.

Dependency Management: Java offers you package dependencies inside your code and specifies their versions. Dependencies can be updated easily while respecting the version rules.

Functional Programming: It has Lambda support. This is the main attraction of Java 8. It has been used in many frameworks like Play Framework, e.g., Scala, JRuby, etc. The closure concept is not as strong in Java as in other languages.

Performance: Performance is related to the use cases and their constraints. Based on the standard benchmarking, Java is high performing language. It is a high-level language.

Maintainability: Java has an expansive set of libraries. Its stability and consistency over the years have been excellent. Java code is easier to understand and maintain than written earlier. The JVM makes it easy to roll forward bug fixes across different versions, keeping older releases secure and stable.

Scalability: Java provides a good range of scaling opportunities. An automatic garbage collector handles memory management in Java. It prevents programmers from stressing manual memory management and helps us avoid memory leaks.

Simplicity: Java is a complex language to work with. Writing a truly highly available service with reactivity becomes enormously complex.

Community: More than two decades old, so very strong community.

Library: Java has a voluminous collection of open-source libraries. In nearly every aspect of Java programming, they cover the major concepts.

Cost: Java has always been free. That changed in April 2019 when Oracle JDK 8 imposed restrictions on commercial use. Oracle has updated JDK distribution and support systems. No further updates are required for Oracle JDK 8. Or, you can get full paid support for JDK 8, OpenJDK 8, and OpenJDK 11 binaries.

2. Node.js: Node.js is a server-side framework that can be used for building fast, scalable network applications. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

Speed: Fast event loop and non-blocking I/O paradigms make Node.js highly scalable, efficient, and fast when handling concurrent requests and tasks. Node is considered slow when handling I/O intensive tasks like image processing or mathematical computations (not applicable to most web apps).

Dependency Management: Strongly linked to NPM, the package manager of Node.js. NPM has over 600,000 packages. Dependencies can be easily installed and updated via NPM, making it useful for rapid development.

Functional Programming: Node.js has a minimalistic core with a large ecosystem of libraries that can be used to build highly reactive server-side applications for both the front and back end. It also provides an easy-to-use asynchronous programming model (async) and non-blocking I/O API to develop fast and scalable network applications using JavaScript on the server side – this is why Node is so popular among developers today.

Maintainability: Minimalistic core with an extensive ecosystem of npm libraries makes code highly extensible and maintainable.

Simplicity: Node.js is a JavaScript-based framework that makes it easy to pick up and start using. However, many developers move to backend development from coding in JavaScript on the front end, and it can take time to get used to the quirks of Node.

Community: Strong community working on web frameworks such as Express and, as well as other non-web frameworks like MongoDB, Redis, and RabbitMQ for working with databases and messaging queues; frameworks like LoopBack and Restify for building REST APIs; Yeoman for scaffolding modern web apps; Grunt and Gulp for frontend development; etc.

3. Python: Python is a highly readable, general-purpose language used for quick scripting tasks and extensive web application development. It features high-level data types, automatic memory management, dynamic typing, and straightforward syntax.

It's the best choice for projects that involve machine learning and big data applications (over 200 ML libraries already), data analysis (over 150 data analysis libraries already), and web frameworks like Django and Flask for fast server-side programming.

Speed: Python is a quick scripting language with a faster execution than Java. Python also allows developers to write applications that run in a single process rather than creating an entirely new approach for each task, making it even faster.

Dependency Management: It has a global package index called The Python Package Index (PyPI) and an easy-to-use tool called pip that lets you install packages. Dependencies can be installed simply via the virtual environment and the requirements.txt file. However, it does not have a glocal package index like Maven Central or NPM, which makes it difficult to search for packages and manage dependencies.

Functional Programming: Python was not originally an available language, but most modern Python web frameworks now have operational programming capabilities using tools like Lambda, generators, etc. This makes it possible to write highly reactive network applications in Python using tools like Django, Flask, etc.

Maintainability: Python is a high-level language so that the code can be written in a much more readable and maintainable way. It has an immense collection of libraries for all kinds of programming needs. Python has a large community backing it with libraries and frameworks, making maintenance a lot easier.

Simplicity: Python is easy to use, learn and build on. High-level data types make it easy to understand large complex data structures quickly. Community: The size of the python community has grown significantly over the years (along with the language's popularity).

4. PHP: PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a scripting language that is most frequently used for web development, but it can also be used for several general-purpose programming tasks. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development, but it can also be used as a general-purpose programming language.

Speed: PHP is not known to be very fast, but the Zend Engine 2 (recently released in 2018) offers some improvements like Just-in-Time compilation and opcode caching, which make the overall performance of PHP faster. Still, it will never be as performant as Java or Node.js.

Dependency Management: PHP is highly dependent on the manual installation of extension packages via PEAR or Composer. It does not have a global package index like Maven Central or NPM, which makes it difficult to search for libraries and manage dependencies.

Functional Programming: PHP was not originally an available language, but modern web frameworks like Laravel and Symfony offer some operational programming capabilities using libraries like Laravel's Collectives and Symfony's HttpKernelInterface, which can make it possible to write highly reactive network applications in PHP using these tools.

Maintainability: PHP is a very readable, dynamic language with a large community backing it, which makes maintenance much more accessible. It's a general-purpose language so that the code can be written in a much more readable and maintainable way.

Simplicity: PHP is a simple language with an easy-to-use syntax and a large community of developers backing it, which makes it popular among beginners and others. In addition, pre-built libraries for common tasks make development easier than with other languages like C++ or Java.

Community: The size of the PHP community has grown quite rapidly over the years (along with the popularity of PHP itself), making it more of a popular choice for web development than many other languages.

Which technology should you choose for your project?

As you can see from the assessment above, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Before choosing a technology for your project, ask yourself which factors are most important for the success of your project.

It's essential to remember that "the easier the language is to learn, the less time it will take for you to write new code." Therefore, a decision about technology should be based on how easy it is for you to learn and use, not how fast or large its ecosystem is.

Also, remember that your codebase has a limited lifespan, and there is a high probability that an existing library or framework will be better suited for the job rather than building something from scratch.

How Divum helps you decide which technology to choose?

Divum is a New Product Development specialist software development and AI-driven development company. Our software development services build feature-rich products on top of the latest technology stack. We help our clients with website development, mobile app development, web application, e-commerce website development, product launch consulting, and more.

Divum has a large and experienced team of software developers, designers, UX analysts, and a sales team to assist you in your project. Our engineers have the experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to deliver the best end-to-end software solution. Want to discuss your project requirements? Feel free to connect with our development team.

Our developers are happy to discuss your requirements and help you with your backend application. We also provide our customers with a comprehensive roadmap to guide them through their project lifecycle, thus enabling them to see their vision turning into reality.


There are many web development technologies available for building your application. You must choose a technology that best fits your project needs and keep you stay ahead of your competitors. To have an impactful project, you need a well-planned strategy and an eye on all the critical decision-making factors.

It's essential to have a thorough understanding of what will work best for your project before moving forward with any development services. So, choose wisely!

In today's competitive world, successful businesses reside in those that can adapt to the latest technologies and offer their consumers enhanced and simplified features. To achieve this end, you need a real-time application development team that can help you build these applications in different technologies. Having a solid plan and an expert team will help you achieve your vision of having an application that meets the newer standards of the industry.