What is front-end? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Software applications glossary:

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.

For example, the Telephony Application Program Interface ( 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 May 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • enterprise search

    - Enterprise search is the organized retrieval of structured and unstructured data within an organization. (WhatIs.com)

  • health informatics

    - Health informatics, a term that includes narrower fields such as clinical and nursing informatics, is the study and management of health information. (SearchHealthIT.com)

  • agentless

    - Agentless, in computing, refers to operations where no service, daemon or process (AKA an agent) needs to run in the background on the machine the action is being performed on. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Software applications

    - Terms related to software applications, including definitions about software programs for vertical industries and words and phrases about software development, use and management.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.