A process is back-end if it is not directly accessed by users. A Web server, for example, is a back-end component, because the user does not interact with it directly. Users work directly with Web browsers, which are thus said to be front-end.
Many requests made by users through their browsers require extensive further communication between back-end components before the request can be fulfilled. Among typical back-end components are Web servers, application servers, and database servers.
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