<computer programming> Any software performing either the final stage in a process, or a task not apparent to the user. A common usage is in a compiler. A compiler's back-end generates machine language and performs optimisations specific to the machine's architecture.

The term can also be used in the context of network applications. E.g. "The back-end of the system handles socket protocols".

Contrast front end.

(01 Feb 1996)

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