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.
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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
infrastructure (IT infrastructure) Infrastructure is the foundation or framework that supports a system or organization. In computing, infrastructure is composed of. See complete definition motherboard A motherboard is the main printed circuit board (PCB) in a computer. The motherboard is a computer’s central communications. See complete definition power cycling Power cycling is the process of turning hardware off and then turning it on again. In the data center, technicians use power. See complete definition