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What is the difference between the front and back-end in no-code?

The front and back-end are crucial to every web application, so it's important to understand what actually separates the two.

When we talk about creating websites, web apps, or mobile apps, there are two important parts to consider: front-end and back-end development. Front-end development is all about the stuff that we see and interact with, like buttons and menus. On the other hand, back-end development focuses on making sure everything works smoothly behind the scenes – handling databases, servers, and managing requests.

Front-end vs Back-end

Front-end development is like designing the face of a car, while back-end development is like crafting its engine and making it run flawlessly. They are both essential for any application to function properly. Without a well-designed front-end, users won't enjoy the app, and without a strong back-end, the app won't work as expected.

No-code front-end development

Examples of no-code front-end development tools for web apps include:

All of these tools have their pros and cons, but they all achieve the same core objective: they give you an interface to build the UI of your web application (what the user sees).

These tools also give you ability to define how and where you interact with your back-end. For instance, making a call to your database when a page is loaded or a button is pressed.

No-code back-end development

Examples of no-code back-end development tools for web apps include:

These tools are primarily databases, but also allow you to create what are called function stacks.

For example, Xano lets you create an API endpoint and define what happens in that API. This means you could call this API from a front-end builder (like WeWeb), pass data to the Xano API, and Xano could perform multiple processes to the passed data using the function stack inside the API.

Potential actions in the function stack could include editing the data passed to the API, saving the data to the database, performing custom javascript functions via Lambda functions, or even making calls to other external APIs.

Security

One of the key differences between the front-end and back-end is not only what the user visually sees, but what information is visible to the user's browser.

Imagine if you wanted to get information about the current user. You make a call to your database in the back-end to retrieve information for a list of users, then filter this information on the front-end to only display the information related to the current user.

Is this secure?
No.

Generally speaking - in this example, the entire list of user information is exposed and accessible in the browser. The information is only filtered after being received by the browser (front-end), meaning the entire list of unfiltered information exists within the browser and is accessible if the user knows where to look.

The correct way to do this would be to pass information to the back-end that can identify the current user, such as an id, and use this information to find the current user's specific information and return only this information to the browser (front-end).

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