In the context of web development, C++ is used for building CGI (Common Gateway Interface) programs that can interact with any other external systems to exchange information. Even though it is not the most popular programming language for building web projects, there are at least three obvious reasons to use it:
- to cope with ultra-high loads in the solutions of digital giants such as Google, Facebook, etc.;
- to build cross-platform software;
- to develop web interfaces for smart devices for which the performance and computing resources of popular frameworks like Django are not enough.
We can conclude that the primary purpose of using C++ in web solutions is to save server resources and provide extreme platform compatibility. Indeed, with CGI scripts written in C++, the web server works extremely fast because this code is already compiled and does not need to be interpreted. At the same time, building CGI files in C++ may be complicated.
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When Is It Worth Using C++ in Web Development?
The use of C++ in web development significantly increases the speed of web applications and reduces the load on servers. C++ also provides fine control over every aspect of these applications. Therefore, this programming language can be considered one of the best choices for the implementation of highly loaded software.
As we already indicated in the introduction, this language can aid those teams that want to ensure compatibility for their web solution with numerous platforms (up to the most uncommon ones).
And, of course, C++ is worth keeping in mind for those who are going to create embedded software (with this language, you can program even a microwave).
When Is Web Development in C++ a Bad Idea?
At the same time, you should remember that C++-based programs take up more memory compared to their counterparts whose backend was implemented, for example, using PHP or Python. Therefore, it is better not to use this programming language for creating small web pages and web applications. Keep in mind that finding a qualified C++ developer is not easy (unless you have access to a pool of thousands of IT experts from different niches).
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Benefits of Using C++ for Web Development
So, what can be said about C++ and web development in terms of benefits? Let’s find out about it.
As you know, C++ is a derivative of the C language and practically repeats its syntax. As a result, it ensures backward compatibility of code written in C++. At the same time, C is an excellent base for developing embedded software and programming smart devices, firmware, and compilers. Thus, C++ can complement or optimize C projects created for this purpose in the most cost-efficient way.
C++ is one of the long-lived languages and therefore has a strong and growing community. At the same time, finding specialists who have C++ in their technology stack can be quite a difficult task, especially if you also need experience in a specific business niche. However, if you succeed, you will get an extremely valuable specialist who will provide superior performance for your project.
Platform-independence and portability
C++ is a platform-independent programming language and has been adapted for porting. Therefore, having on your team an expert who is well-versed in web development in C++, you can create a product that will be able to function on any operating system or machine. That is, it will not be limited to a single OS and will not require additional programming to work on other operating systems.
Projects resulting from web development using C++ are highly scalable and capable of processing large amounts of data efficiently.
The above platform independence reduces the amount of code that your development team must implement to make your project compatible with several operating systems and hardware at once. Thus, you will be able to launch the product earlier than in the case of using other programming languages.
Limitations of C++ for Web Development
And what about the limitations of C++ for website development? Are there any of them? Check it out below.
Hard to implement in large-scale projects
Despite its undeniable usefulness, pointers in C++ can complicate the development process, especially in the case of large-scale projects with many content types. Also, if you have several C++ developers on your team, they can make the program code harder to read, which can lead to hard-to-fix bugs.
Sometimes, using C++ causes some security issues because of features like string pointers, friend functions, and global variables. However, experienced software engineers can cope with all of them in advance.
Complicates the development process
The control over memory management provided by C++ can be both an advantage and a disadvantage (here again we are talking about the complexity of using pointers). Also note that C++ does not have a garbage collector to automatically filter out unnecessary data, and there is no support for built-in code flows. Thus, developers have to do more manual work than in the case of many other programming languages.
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What Different Roles Think About С++ for Web Programming
Would you like to know what stakeholders think when answering the question: “Can C++ be used for web development?” Read about it below.
When it comes to C++ programming for web development, many software developers have a hard time reading code (both their own and others) from a CGI program. Therefore, project managers and product owners often claim that they have to deal with certain time delays in the development process.
CEO of the startup
If the CEO of the startup has talent in mind with the appropriate technology stack, then ok. Otherwise, they can spend a lot of time looking for the right specialists. Therefore, before choosing C++ language for web development, it is important to consider other existing programming languages (if they are applicable in the context of a particular project).
HR from the hiring process point of view
As we have already indicated above, companies may face a lack of C++ developers in the labor market, which is normal given this programming language's high entry threshold. Moreover, the hiring process can be complicated by the fact that your team does not include other experts with the same specialization, and you will not be able to understand how a particular candidate's expertise meets your project's requirements.
Famous Examples of Using C++ in Web Programming
Now let's take a quick look at projects of different scales that have been implemented using C++.
Let’s start with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe's digital photography software. It is the flagship solution in its niche and is known for its advanced photo editing capabilities.
Another great example of narrow-focused C++-based projects is the Opera browser. This web browser is fast and compatible with major web technologies. For a long time, Opera's distinguishing features were its multi-web page interface and the ability to scale entire documents along with graphics; subsequently, these functions appeared in other browsers.
Talking about startups based on C++, we cannot fail to mention such examples as Twitch and Lyft. The first one is the world's most popular video streaming service specializing in computer games, including broadcasts of gameplay and eSports tournaments, and the second one is a digital taxi aggregator.
EPAM Anywhere Business’ Experience in Extending C++ Teams and Delivering C++ Web Development Solutions
If you are looking for a C++ software engineer to help you implement your project, you are in the right place. EPAM Anywhere Business has a pool of more than 55,000 IT specialists, including FAANG-level middle and senior developers, even in the most narrow-focused business niches. Experts are localized in all time zones and are ready to start working on your software solution without extra time expenses for training and adaptation.
With EPAM Anywhere Business, it takes about 2-4 weeks to hire talent that meets your business and technical requirements (which is 2-3 times less than our competitors). We provide full transparency of pricing of our business processes and, at the same time, take on all the tasks of their management. As a result, you are guaranteed to receive high-quality program code that complies with generally accepted and niche standards (like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR), which can then be easily scaled and ported to new platforms.
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Although C++ does not belong to the high-level languages traditionally used to create the backend in web apps and is not well-adapted for creating multi-threaded projects, in reality, these statements are only a biased attitude of inexperienced developers. The only true thing is the high entry threshold and the abundance of C++ libraries, in which it is easy to get confused. These two aspects significantly narrow the pool of available developers and cause rather high rates for those with the proper technology stack.
However, if you need a high-performance application with complex business logic compatible with rare platforms, or embedded software, you should definitely consider hiring a CPP software engineer. After all, it is almost impossible to match the speed of compiled languages with interpreted ones like PERL, which are the vast majority of backend programming languages. If you want to find such a specialist at reasonable rates, feel free to contact us.