Originally published Feb. 20, 2017, updated Aug. 15, 2018.
Choosing the best front-end and back-end combination is probably the most complicated part of building an enterprise app.
There are so many exciting languages, frameworks and databases to consider, and no single combo works in every situation. It’s easy for options paralysis to set in.
To navigate through the maze of choices, let’s take a closer look at the popular databases and front-end framework solutions in enterprise computing today.
The longtime king of the hill in enterprise databases is Oracle.
For large government agencies, international corporations and high-value data centers, Oracle’s reliability is hard to beat.
IBM’s DB2 is one of the highest quality, most cost-effective RDBMS platforms on the market.
It’s easy to install and supported on Unix, Linux, and Windows.
DB2 is ideal for companies running high-volume, high transaction workloads.
It’s most popular in industries like insurance.
Microsoft SQL Server
This versatile database platform offers enterprise companies complete data management and powerful business intelligence (BI) capability.
SAP Sybase ASE
This stable, cost-effective, high-performance, low-risk database has seen better days.
Under its previous name Sybase, it was part of the database power trio: Sybase, Oracle and IBM. It lost market share and was eventually sold to SAP.
The database still sees wide usage in industries like banking, but its star is falling.
Newer databases continue to edge it further into obscurity.
For enterprise organizations with huge data warehouses, Teradata database fits the bill.
This self-described Very Large Database System (VLDB) was the first database focused on handling terabytes of data.
It features intelligent optimization which responds rapidly to requests.
Popular users include telecom companies and large retailers who handle enormous amounts of transactions every day.
Based on the open-source PostgreSQL database, EnterpriseDB (EDB) adds performance and security features suited for enterprise-level workloads.
The field of top-quality front-end frameworks is constantly evolving.
Since its release in 2011 Bootstrap has become the most widely-used open source framework in the world.
It’s a popular tool for HTML, CSS and JS development.
Bootstrap scales easily on websites and apps off a single code base across desktops and mobile devices.
Its documentation is incredibly thorough, though the variety of styles included makes the file size a little large.
This enterprise level front-end platform used by eBay and Facebook is useful for creating highly responsive sites.
Foundation is a collection of frameworks for the front-end that creates attractive, fast sites, email messages and mobile apps.
The tradeoff is that it’s too complex for beginner; it takes a skilled developer to build with Foundation.
It emphasizes simplicity, testability, and ease of construction, letting developers get more functionality from less code.
The framework is rigorously maintained by Google. Two versions are planned for 2018.
Version 6, which was released in early 2018, adds more tools for cross-compatibility going forward, and Version 7 is already in beta for a Fall 2018 release.
Like Angular, React has grown in popularity over the last couple of years, offering a series of new releases and development tools and enjoying increasing adoption for new projects.
Unlike Angular it’s not a fully-fleshed front-end. Instead, it’s a simplified way to create dynamic view layers for apps.
React got a serious boost in popularity from Facebook’s release of React Native for creating mobile apps.
Ember offers easy migration between versions and rock-solid stability.
It’s been trending downwards in popularity lately, but not because of quality.
Ember is useful for building highly scalable Single Page web apps.
Backbone provides structure to enterprise front-ends, with features like key-value binding, collections with a robust API and views complete with declarative event handling.
Some developers regard Backbone as too light for modern apps, but it still has a loyal base of users.
These are just a few of the many dynamic tools available for building modern apps.
Choosing between them- that’s better done on a case-by-case basis.
There are some helpful guidelines when weighing the options.
For example, a solid MVC framework like Angular or Backbone is a reasonable choice.
Also, worth considering is that while the database and front-end are the core of enterprise installation, more tools are needed to optimize the system.
These could include components like API middleware, jQuery, underscore templates, and custom fonts.
The best way to create the perfect front-end and back-end combination is to outline the specific project at hands requirements and assemble the stack that fits those.
Looking for direction on your next enterprise app? Sit down with one of Concepta’s experienced developers for a free consultation on what’s best for your business.