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1) Yes to balance the load and to save bandwidth (if you have the same engine on front and back end you can make that decision late in the process or change your mind and move stuff between the front and back end depending on how the performance comes out)

2) These days more work just happens on the front end. With some web apps the back end is a pure data store and all the GUI is rendered on the front end. Doing a round trip for each front-end change would make the UI to unresponsive to be useful.

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