A Guide to Backend Frameworks in 2022

By 10 July 2022Blog

Backend frameworks are evolving at a fast pace and developers are looking for new ways to keep up with the requirements of users. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 9 backend frameworks and how they affect developers. It can be tough to see if a framework is really worth it, especially if you’re not well into web development or haven’t worked with any Javascript ecosystem before.

But first, let’s dive a little deeper into the three different types of frameworks:

Frontend Frameworks

 These frameworks help you build frontends for your web apps. They typically use templating engines like Ember or Angular and provide you with components and services that can be used in your app’s template. 

Middleware Frameworks

 Middleware frameworks help you build APIs in a more structured way. They can also be used for authentication, monitoring, logging and other services. For example, Auth0 has an API framework that helps developers build APIs in a simple and modular way.

What are Backend Frameworks ?

Backend frameworks are used to build APIs and other backend services. Backend frameworks provide a platform for building desktop applications, with support for Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Backend frameworks are the best way to build modern applications. That is, they give you a set of best practices, patterns and tools to use when you build your own applications. Backend frameworks let you easily define how data should be stored, processed and queried on the server-side. For example, you can use RethinkDB as a scalable database with JavaScript-based queries or Postgres as a relational database with SQL syntax that works across multiple platforms (MacOS, Windows & Linux). 

Now let’s take a look at 9 of the most popular backend frameworks in 2022:

Express.js 

Are you looking to publish your app by 2023? That’s great! Express.js is here to make it easier for you. Express.js is one of the most used backend frameworks in our days, with the second position between Node.js and other frameworks such as PHP, Java or Python. The main purpose of this framework is to allow the creation of web servers, which act as middleware between a client and a database, ready to execute dynamic scripts on data received. It was born in 2009 thanks to the work of TJ Holowaychuk, although it has been extended with more functionalities in 2012, since then something has changed on this project. The latest versions have migrated from Ruby to JavaScript under MIT licence as Node.js programmers consider that it would be better if Express.js was executed with JavaScript instead of Ruby for greater efficiency. More than 1800 companies use Express.js, including Accenture, Stack, Twitter, BlaBlaCar, Trustpilot amongst others.

Next.js 

Next.js framework was conceived by a team of Webflow engineers in the Summer of 2015 and was initially released in 2016, with the goal of making web development easier and faster. The core approach is to utilise React as a UI framework, Redux to manage state and incrementally transfer the backend code to JavaScript. Next.js is a popular, high-performance framework that enables rapid server-rendered web app development with React.js. The framework’s unique and powerful features make it a compelling choice with great potential, but also comes with drawbacks that may be hard to accept for some developers. Although Next.js has been developing rapidly with new features, major drawbacks such as  flexibility and cost prevent many developers from picking it for their projects. Moreover, Next.js neither has built-in front pages which means whole front-end layers have to be created from scratch. 

Django 

Django is a high-level, general-purpose web application framework for Python. It’s released under a BSD licence. Programmers typically use the Django framework for rapid development of web applications. Many Python programmers are using the framework to develop fast, secure and powerful web applications. With the ever-increasing complexity of modern web applications it has become extremely important to choose a backend framework, which can help you develop scalable and maintainable software. 

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on rails is a great cross-platform framework with excellent features to build large scale applications. There are many backend frameworks available and nearly one third of the world’s websites are built on Ruby on rails. One of the major advantages of using ruby on rails framework is that it offers Ruby Gems which is a package manager for ruby. Using ROR, you can retrieve source code of gems and modify it as per your requirement. One of the most common complaints about Ruby on Rails is its speed, many developers find it rather slow compared to other frameworks and the documentation is not easily accessible. 

Laravel 

Laravel uses advanced components and software design strategies to simplify common development tasks. Laravel is an open source framework written in PHP. This framework was founded by Taylor Otwell in June 2011 and steadily adopted by the community and developers. Laravel is now one of the most powerful and popular open source frameworks for rapid development. Some of the famous advocates of Laravel are Kickstarter, Slideshare, BuzzFeed etc. Laravel is intended for the development of web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern. Laravel intends to provide a “fresh” approach to web building, one that promotes simplicity, convention over configuration, and elegance — with an emphasis on code quality and testability.

Gatsby 

Gatsby is one of the hottest open source frameworks out there. It’s a framework for building fast and modern static websites, with a React-based CMS at its core. Gatsby is a framework for building modern websites, apps and data-driven interfaces. Gatsby is a statically generated CMS. Gatsby uses React, a frontend framework for creating user interfaces, and other tools to effortlessly create high quality dynamic websites that update instantly in a browser. It provides capabilities for both client-side and server-side rendering of Gatsby sites. And it supports features like code-splitting and tree-shaking. 

Nuxt.js

Nuxt.js is one of the most popular Node.js frameworks that you can use to build better web applications naturally with Vue.js. While the toolkit was developed for Single Page Applications (SPA), later it gained popularity for being used for creating dynamic web pages. If you experience problems with scalability, high costs and depreciation of code in your projects, then consider using Nuxt.js. It’s a high-level framework for building scalable Vue applications.

Spring

Spring development started in the early 2000’s. It is now one of the most reliable programming frameworks used for building enterprise software. Over time, Spring has evolved into a complex library which can support a variety of services. Naturally, it has become a more complicated system with more configuration options to explore and understand. In the past decade, Spring has become one of the most popular development frameworks in the business. It is used by a lot of companies and millions of developers all over the world, including 77% of Fortune 500 ones. Spring Framework is used for creating enterprise-ready applications with extensive support from third party developers. Also, it offers an MVC architecture that allows an application developer to develop apps rapidly and easily.

Koa.js 

Koa.js is a relatively new framework which was created in mid 2013 by the team behind Express.js. While its initial version entered beta phase only at the very end of 2014 it has already seen a great deal of interest and even some adoption, particularly in China and Japan. In recent months Koa’s popularity has been steadily growing throughout the US, Europe and Australia as well. New frameworks may be built upon the platform and sometimes they may be replaced by something else. You can write fast web servers and real-time applications using Koa, or even perform high traffic tasks, like streaming video.

Conclusion

With so many new frameworks coming in every year, it’s difficult to stay on top of what’s useful and what’s just a fad. Node js is here, perhaps to say goodbye and will get all the praises from the market. Just like that, next year we have a whole new set of frameworks with completely new features. The best choice depends on your project requirements, flexibility and scalability. Consider the long term use of the framework, its cost and the amount of work required from the developer’s side whenever choosing your backend framework.