I am trying to understand some statements in French, and I want to be completely sure that back-office is the French translation of back-end in the context of Software Development.

The original text:

Reprenez votre projet Maven de chat, et "mappez" vers une URL spécifique (par exemple : "/back-office"), le contrôleur Spring (laissez les autres types d'URLs mappées vers votre chat) Utilisez Spring Web MVC pour bâtir l'architecture de votre back-office. Dans un premier temps, on doit pouvoir envoyer les requêtes suivantes au back office :

  • GET sur une URL comportant le nom d'un salon pour voir la liste des messages dans ce salon

  • POST sur une URL particulière (par exemple "users") pour rajouter un utilisateur qui aura le droit d'utiliser le chat ; modifiez le projet chat en conséquence, pour que seuls les utilisateurs dont les pseudos figurent dans cette liste aient les droits correspondants

  • GET sur une URL comportant le nom d'un salon et le numéro d'un message pour voir le contenu de ce message

2 Answers 2


Back end and back office are English expressions used in French. They mean the same thing in French than in English.

So back end is used in French dev, opposed to front end.

Back office is something else, relative to administrative departments inside a company.

Now, it happens sometimes that someone uses back office in the meaning of back end, and it makes sense because both apply to the part of the entity (company in the first case, software environment in the second one) that makes the mecanism working but remains invisible to users.

Still I can't find many resources of back office used in the development context, so I wouldn't use it.

  • Thank you for your quick answer @simon-déchamps, but I read the expression in a text related to software development, what do you think it could mean ? Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 0:18
  • 1
    @KalTorak I edited my answer. Maybe you could write the text in which you saw that?
    – Destal
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 0:28
  • Question edited, was part from a TP, please don't think that I am trying to get my homework done, just wanted to be sure about the linguistic relations between back-office and back-end if any. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 1:26
  • So yes it's used for back end, but like I said, there are few resources online using back office in development context, so I prefer back end.
    – Destal
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 8:31
  • Many computering teachers are not experts in language precision, it wouldn't surprise me if this one was just misusing the word. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 9:10

As a software engineer, I've come across the terms back-end and back-office quite a lot.

It's very rare but it happens, that back-office is used as a synonym for back-end. In the above question it seems back-office indeed refers to the back-end of a software system.

Most of the time, the terms are used like this:

  • Back-end: the server-side code of a software system, which typically processes data and connects to a database. E.g. a REST API.
  • Front-end: the client connecting to the back-end. E.g. a website, a desktop client or maybe even a console application.
  • Front-office: the client-facing part of a website which is visible to customers. This can be publicly available pages but also pages only accessible by registered users. E.g. in a webshop the pages where you can view products, order them, manage your account, ...
  • Back-office: the part which is not client-facing, so only accessible for admins and other personnel. In the example of the webshop it's where e.g. products and prices can be added, updated or removed.

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