MEAN Stack

Build Dynamic Websites and Web Apps with This JavaScript Software Stack

Most modern web developers use a set of technologies to build sites and applications. Thus, they resort to a combination of programming languages, frameworks, libraries, patterns, servers, and tools to develop their projects. That combination is known as a tech stack. As you can imagine, there are countless combinations of those elements. Yet, web engineers favor one of them in particular: the MEAN stack.

MEAN is a free and open-source JavaScript software stack that brings together 4 technologies: MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js. Through the combination of those technologies, web engineering teams can quickly develop cloud-ready applications and sophisticated websites. 

As popular as MEAN is, there are certain variations to it that are also very common in web development teams. For example, the MERN stack replaces AngularJS with React.js, while the MEVN stack uses Vue.js instead. However, MEAN remains the most common stack in web development, thanks to the power of each of its individual components.

MEAN Components

The MEAN stack comprises 4 technologies:

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    MongoDB
    An open-source, NoSQL database for cloud apps that uses the object-oriented model instead of the relational database model. This component is the one responsible for storing the app’s data as well as pushing and pulling it whenever the application requests it. MongoDB is highly scalable, has a strong performance, and can easily manage large amounts of data.
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    Express.js
    A back-end web application framework for Node.js, Express.js is responsible for all the interactions between the application’s front end and the database. Its minimalist design handles processes seamlessly and without impacting the app’s performance. That’s not all—Express.js is often praised for its ability to handle errors as well as for its templating features that help with development.
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    AngularJS
    The default JavaScript framework for front-end development. AngularJS helps engineers build the user’s side of the application quickly and can guarantee impressive performance. What’s more, it boasts a series of templates to create cloud-native apps that allow development teams to save a lot of time. As said above, it’s the most replaced component of the stack, but its popularity still puts it as a favorite.
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    Node.js
    Open-source back-end JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code without the need for a browser. Aside from the fact that it’s a JavaScript-based tool that can seamlessly collaborate with the other components of the stack, Node.js is perfect for its scalability, as it can quickly respond to usage spikes and handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections.

MEAN Use Cases

While the power of each individual component of the MEAN stack gets multiplied when working together, the reality is that the tech stack isn’t a solution for all web development projects. That’s why it’s best if you use the MEAN stack for those uses in which its performance and scalability stand out.

If you read each component’s description closely, then you might anticipate that MEAN has strong scalability and performance capabilities. That’s why it’s so perfect to build cloud-native applications, which need to handle vast amounts of data quickly while serving a high number of concurrent users. In fact, MEAN can help you create flexible, scalable, and extensible apps for cloud hosting.

What’s more, MEAN is also great at building single-page applications (SPAs), high-throughput APIs, microservices, and simple web apps. In reality, if you’re about to embark on a JavaScript project for the web, you’d do well in checking MEAN out, as it’s likely that it’s the only thing you’ll need to tackle.

Benefits of Using MEAN

Using MEAN has become somewhat of a standard in the world of web development, mainly because all its components are powerful and popular. However, there are other reasons why you might want to consider using MEAN:

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    MEAN includes its own web server, which means easy deployment and quick scaling to accommodate temporary usage spikes.
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    MEAN is based on JavaScript, one of the most popular languages in the world of development, which means that you won’t have trouble finding the engineering talent to work on your MEAN-powered projects.
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    JavaScript use across the entire stack allows you to reuse code throughout the application, removing the need to develop everything from scratch.
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    Express.js can easily route and manage HTTP requests and responses and can handle JSON endpoints thanks to its great support for middleware.
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    All of MEAN’s components are open source, which means you’ll have access to modifications as well as support from a wide community that offers plenty of resources for development.

Drawbacks of Using MEAN

While all the benefits described above make for a strong case, you should also take into account the disadvantages of using MEAN. Some of the most important ones include:

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    JavaScript isn’t the best language for back-end development, as it can carry concurrency problems.
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    Development with MEAN can be rather quick, which can lead to poor coding practices and low-quality code.
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    Orchestrating all the components in the stack needs a customized approach for each project. Basically, there are no JavaScript coding guidelines that offer clear paths for using this stack in the same kind of project. That means you’ll have to work to fit the stack in each of the projects you use it on.
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    While MongoDB can manage a lot of data, it can incur record loss during heavy load scenarios.

A Great Solution for Cloud-Based Apps and Dynamic Websites

The MEAN stack is a highly popular tech stack that has solidified as one of the most popular tools in web development. The reason for that is simple: MEAN offers flexibility, language consistency, and scalability for websites and web applications. Additionally, it’s easy to come by JavaScript engineers and build a team that can take care of an entire project.

While not perfect for all web development projects, MEAN is an excellent choice for any web development idea based on the cloud.

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