MongoDB is a NoSQL database that provides flexible data storage layers, and Node.js keeps your server running continuously. It harnesses the potential of faster computer network. Express.js standardizes the web application development and Angular.js allows interactive gestures on web applications. Together, they form the MEAN stack.

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Developers, who realized LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is not flexible enough to serve their purposes, are gradually making a move towards MEAN stacks. And it’s a high time you should too. There are many reason you should.

The MEAN stack offers flexibility and simplicity that powerful LAMP doesn’t. Not so long time ago, web development meant WordPress. Web development has evolved since. With so many technologies, the problem is which technology should I adopt for the next project?

Let’s take AngularJS, for instance, a web development framework backed by Google, overcomes the limitation of HTML in single page application development. In addition, there are few frameworks that are suitable for the development of small applications.

MEAN Stack LAMP Stack
Operating System Cross-platform Linux OS only
Database MongoDB, a ‘non-relational’ database MySQL, a ‘relational’ database
Programming Language(s) Frontend—JavaScript Backend—PHP JavaScript, back and frontend
Structure Slower & limited due to its blocking structure faster & scalable due to its non-blocking structure.
Technologies MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, Node.js Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
Mainstream Backers Google, IBM, Samsung Oracle, Zend, Linux Foundation

The MEAN stack

Developers looking to host maximum user engagement on their web app choose the most feasible technologies and frameworks. There is a long list of technologies and MEAN stack is recipe to modern web applications. Introduced in 2014, MEAN has transformed the way the web development progresses. As mentioned above, four components in MEAN Stack are the following:

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MongoDB, document database – used by your back-end application to store its data as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) documents

Express.js, a back-end web application framework running on top of Node.js

AngularJS, a front-end web application framework; runs your JavaScript code in the user’s

browser, allowing your application UI to be dynamic

Node.js, a JavaScript runtime environment – lets you implement your application back-end in JavaScript

MEAN stack is all about JavaScript—backend development, frontend development, or server, all are done in the same programming language. Access to database is through MongoDB’s Idiomatic driver. Drivers facilitate interaction using typical JavaScript concepts such as objects and async execution using either callback functions or promises. I have inserted an array of 3 objects in JavaScript:

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The database system: MongoDB

MongoDB has the best of the both worlds fast, scalable key-value stores of NoSQL and rich functionality of relational databases. Unlike relational database MongoDB stores BSON documents inside collections with active schemas.

The database system MongoDB

While relational databases like MySQL stores data in specific rows and columns, MongoDB’s document data model stores data regardless of its structure and doesn’t void existing authentication rules, data access, and indexing functionality. You can actively adjust the schema without interruption – trivial for swiftly scaling web applications.

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The backend web framework: Express.js

Express is a web application framework that executes back-end application (JavaScript) code. Express is a module Node.js environment and runs under it.

Express handles allocation of requests to different parts of an application (or to various apps running in the same environment).

The backend web framework Express

Express executes the part of a web app’s code that is responsible for business logic and returns an HTML file to be compiled by a web browser. However, Express, mostly gives a RESTful APIs that the front-end can access with a single line of code.

The frontend framework: AngularJS

Angular render JavaScript code in a web browser’s environment to make way for reactive user interface (UI). Unlike static web forms where you have to fill in the form and hit submit, reactive UI reflects a user’s input without refreshing the entire page but only the essential components.

You implement your web app frontend as a group of components. A JavaScript code attached to an HTML template contains hooks to execute and employ the results from your JavaScript functions. Multifaceted application front-ends can be built from many simple or nested) components.

The frontend framework AngularJS

Angular application code can compile in the back-end server rather than in the frontend browser, or as a native desktop or mobile app.

The backend runtime environment: Node.jsm

A JavaScript runtime environment to run your back-end application with the help of Express, Node.js is based on Google’s V8, a JavaScript engine that powers Google Chrome and open-source Chromium browser. Many of its modules are essential for deploying web applications on the MEAN stack – including HTTP. 3rd party modules can be installed with npm tool.

The backend runtime environment Node

Node.js is asynchronous and event-driven. That is, an application doesn’t poll an acknowledgement to a request. It resumes other tasks in the meanwhile. Upon completion, a callback request informs the application and it can start other tasks for optimal resource utilization, which enables many parallel operations while scaling applications. MongoDB can work asynchronously too and, thus, works well with Node.js applications.

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If you are still not confident about MEAN stack, we will take you through why you should be using MEAN stack for your next web development project.

One language to rule them all: JavaScript

One language to rule them all JavaScript

Every piece of code in MEAN stack is JavaScript. On the other hand, in LAMP stack, server-side is coded in PHP and the client side in JavaScript. A query is sent using MySQL, which is unlike MEAN stack. MongoDB is again JavaScript—it’s the binary version of JSON. In a nutshell, the same language works, client and the server side.

Cost-effective while fast and scalable

A team of JavaScript developers can code for server side and client side using MEAN stack. So, no need to hire separate teams for different technologies. The same developer can switch role between a frontend and backend developer. This will save you a lot of money. A single team for MEAN stack development. For the first time in the history of web development, a full-stack developer needs to know only one language.

Advantages of Node.js

Node.js is a crucial part of MEAN stack and is a very scalable and robust framework. Node.js is the runtime environment and is comply with non-blocking input and output. Thus, a new query is handled efficiently. In LAMP stack, the client had to direct a request for the query to be created. With Node.js, this all happens automatically.

The MongoDB Advantage

MongoDB is the database web developers need while managing huge amount of data. The whole thing works like OOPs and makes way for easy, effective handling.

Open-source—edit the source, compile, and install

Open source edit the source

Technologies that bring us MEAN stack are all open-source. That is, developers get access to the codes of each technology and can modify the core to meet their individual needs. The technologies doesn’t cost a buck to use and distribute, which means you not only can use it for personal use but also can install them on your employees personal workspaces.

Good Community Support

A large community of individual and corporate contributors and sponsors back the technologies in the MEAN stack and the MEAN stack itself. There are programmers, experts, everyday people who have worked on one of the technologies in the past. When you are unable to debug a nasty piece of code, they are the people you seek help from.

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