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What is the MEAN stack? JavaScript web applications

21st Apr 2021Posted by Admin

Every web or enterprise application is created using certain technologies (like different programming languages, frameworks, platforms), or technology stacks are chosen based on customer needs. A stack is a set of elements grouped to perform particular functions in the app development process.

Nowadays there are billions of websites and web apps that are hosted and used by people of all ages. And the demand for web app development services is raised together with the increasing use of technology stack.

In this article, we will speak about one of the most popular technology stacks trusted by the biggest app developer communities – MEAN.

MEAN Stack

The term MEAN was first introduced in 2013. It abbreviates the four web development technologies used: MongoDB, Experss.js, Angular.js, Node.js. But MEAN is not the order of the stack – it is simply an acronym.

It is a JavaScript-based technology stack used for building dynamic websites and web apps. MEAN applications support all programs in JavaScript (which is the most preferred programming language), thus can use the same language for both server-side and client-side environments.

MEAN Stack Application Architecture

  • MongoDB: A database server that is queried using JSON technology (JavaScript Object Notation) and stores data in a binary JSON format
  • Express: represents server-side JavaScript framework
  • Angular: client-side JavaScript framework
  • Node.js: stands for JavaScript runtime

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a NoSQL database where every document is like an Object. It can be written in C++, Python, Javascript, and Go and is open-source software. It is document-oriented and supports multiple platforms, can handle a large quantity of unstructured data fast.

Although MySQL is very popular among developers, here’s why MEAN developers prefer MongoDB to MySQL:

  • MongoDB is more flexible in terms of schema design
  • It works perfectly fine even with the documents which do not have much relation with each other.
  • MongoDB offers better performance with structured data sets that are small in size
  • Its ability to handle large unstructured data sets with lightning-fast speeds.

What is Experss.js?

This framework is used for the back-end NodeJS web development tool and hosts its projects. Express.jr can be used for building Web Applications and Application Programming Interfaces(APIs). It is the right choice for the applications with a server that require a connection request from the client-side.

  • It is designed to handle application processes without cluttering them.
  • It provides easy templates and thus speeds up the development process.
  • CommonJS ensures you don’t have to redefine a variable within your namespace.
  • It is powered by Google’s V8 engine, which means Express.js increases your performance and helps to avoid lags or errors.
  • The caching feature reduces the loading time of your web pages.

What is Angular.js?

This front-end framework component of the MEAN stack by Google was created to counter challenges in Single page applications. Angular.jr allows HTML as a template language. Its strong side is that it is quite easy to learn and use.

  • Its modular structure allows you to segregate the entire application into exclusive features. That means you can easily identify the reusable code components and save your development time.
  • Angular supports lazy loading. Thus, the browser can instantly show the data requested by the user, without necessarily downloading the whole page.
  • The component-based architecture makes it easy to understand the application code.
  • CLI(command-line interface) simplifies the app development process while enhancing the code quality.
  • Its dependency injection function increases the application performance and speeds up the development process.
  • The Ivy renderer converts large-scale apps into much lighter ones.
  • Typescript spots and corrects errors.
  • Its declarative view feature automatically loads the components as per the layout.

What is Node.js?

Node.js represents the back-end framework component of the MEAN stack used to develop server-side and network applications. It is a licensed open-source web development tool. It is a Javascript runtime environment and can be run outside the browser. Node.js is the best lightweight and efficient tool for real-time applications.

  • Node.jr shortens the time to market cycle.
  • Makes the deployment process simpler.
  • Allows better scalability.
  • Node.jr eliminates the need to switch between backend and frontend.
  • Easy to learn, especially for those who already understand the programming basics.
  • Has a huge developer support community.
  • Enables easy and quick MVP development.

MEAN Stack variations

MERN

MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js. Here the front-end framework Angular is replaced by ReactJS. React is a javascript library used for creating new user interfaces. In some cases, it is chosen over angular because of its advanced features which enable the creation of self-contained components.

MEVN

MongoDB, Express.js,Vue.js, Node.js. In this case, the front-end Angular is replaced by VueJS framework. Vue is easier to learn and to use for coding, while is also highly customizable.

Why choose MEAN Stack over other full-stack options?

Flexible and scalable

MEAN stack is widely used by startups as well as large enterprises. With all the new technologies changing and evolving periodically, flexibility is in high demand.

Free of Cost

As was mentioned earlier, each technology in this stack is open source. And this turns out to be cost-effective for the organizations that choose to use the MEAN stack for their web development projects.

One Language

All the frameworks use the same programming language –Javascript. While the same cannot be said about most of the other available stacks, where you may have to learn PHP, Ruby, Python among other languages just to get started on web development.

Speed

MEAN reduces the loading speed of the apps making them faster and more efficient. Everything from single-page applications to complex and dynamic websites can be built on Javascript. And MEAN stack is more than enough.

No rewriting

The stack allows you to transfer codes from one framework to another, which usually can appear as a very difficult and time-consuming task. But is easy with MEAN. The developer does not need to repeat the same set of codes again and again.

User-friendly

The front-end Angular framework provides the developers with the most user-friendly results, by providing dynamic and interactive content.

Easy testing

On the cloud platform. It allows you to add that extra bit of information as MongoDB provides full cluster support and automatic copies in the cloud.

Conclusions

The MEAN stack is a powerful JavaScript-based solution that comprises four major building blocks: MongoDB as the database, Express as the web server framework, AngularJS as the web client framework, and Node.js as the server platform. These.

In recent years its components and their benefits have gained lots of popularity. Although MEAN isn’t ideal for every kind of app out there, it’s a perfect choice to build enterprise-scale apps and single-page apps. Moreover, it offers the flexibility to switch between client-side and server-side, which works best for cloud-based native apps too.

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