No-Code 101: Back-end

This is where all the functionality of your app is determined.

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In 15 words or less

All the stuff behind the scenes of apps that makes them work. 

In a few more words

When most of us deal with software, we’re looking at the front-end. You’re reading this definition on the front-end of a mobile, website or watch right now. Okay, it’s hard to believe that anyone is actually reading this on a watch. The back-end is the stuff happening behind the scenes; the brain of the app that makes all this magic happen. It stores, retrieves and processes information from a database and handles aspects like authenticating user passwords and permissions. 

When a user gives the software instructions on the front-end, it’s the back-end that carries out those instructions and where logical decisions are made, based on what you want your app to do. The line between the front-end and the back-end can be quite blurry. When you add a button to an interface, you’re telling the button which route to take to the back-end. For example, a login button is saying ‘Go and execute the login logic’. But it’s the back-end that looks at the database to see if the username is correct, if the password is correct, then effectively tells the front-end: that looks fine, now take the user to their homepage. 

Why do you need to know?

  • You’ll be building one. Whenever you’re looking to build with no-code, it’ll be up to you to think about the logic of the back-end. Often, that’ll entail using an intuitive, drag-and-drop visual interface so that you can customise how the back-end works. 
  • It’ll dictate whether your app actually works. For someone to use your app as you intend, and for the user journey to make sense, it needs to be set up in a logical and organised way. It’s your role to ensure someone can navigate it how you want and consider all the things that might go wrong. 

Don’t say:

‘We’re planning to build our app at the back-end of this year.’

Do say:

‘I just need to make a tweak in the back-end so we can get this new form live on our website.’



About the Author
Keagan Perlette

Keagan Perlette is a writer based in Quebec, Canada. She writes about technology and innovation for companies that want to change the way people do business.


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