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Advantages and Disadvantages of the MEAN Stack

Advantages and Disadvantages of the MEAN Stack

MEAN is a free and open source Javascript software stack that plays an important role in developing and building dynamic web applications and websites.

MEAN is the acronym for MongoDB, ExpressJS, Angularjs and Node.js – all open source JavaScript based technologies. Here is how it goes:

  • MongoDB database
  • Express JS as HTTP server framework
  • AngularJS for front end JS framework
  • Node.js for a concurrent JS environment for building blazingly fast, scalable apps

The best advantage of full-stack framework is that it helps you build web apps easily and quickly.

1. An easy switch between client and server

The main reason why developers enjoy using MEAN is that they need to write code only in one language – Javascript, because it works for both server side and client side requirements.

If you are an expert in Javascript, then you can manage the entire project with MEAN stack, and deploy the app directly on the server, without having to go through the standalone server.

There is no need for Apache or LAMP stack because you already have Node.js acting like a web server.

2. It is open source

The technologies in stack are open source, making them available and free. This gives you easier access to public repositories and libraries making the development process easy and less costly.

Top app developers have posted their answers to common queries, and even if you have any doubts, posting it there would invoke answers from the experts.

3. Uses JSON

As MongoDB is a component based relational database, you can save documents in the JSON format (Javascript Object Notation). This is however, limited to small to intermediate level companies. This is probably why developers prefer this tech stack for various stages of app development.

4. It’s cost effective

MEAN is a cost-effective technology for businesses. The obvious reason is of course, you do not have to hire many experts to do a single task – a full stack Javascript developer would suffice. This means you have a lot of time and money at your disposal, with the opportunity to hire only specialists.

5. Allows for real time demonstrations of apps

At a time when the trend is to have real time demo app open to viewers/ subscribers, this technology would be a major help as it allows for quick and real time changes to your app even during app development.

6. A respected time-saver

If you are plagued by a deadline, then the way to go is MEAN. The main reason is that you don’t have to create any modules from scratch because you already have Node.js with its huge collection of module libraries.

Additionally, the automatic testing feature sends a notification when a particular feature has an error, so you can correct it before moving on.

7. Supports MVC architecture

The productivity of the development team stays strong, thanks to the MEAN stack’s capability of complying with the MVC or Model-View-Controller architecture. This gives them the freedom from dealing with a variety of programming languages.

8. A universal programming language

Javascript, being a programming language, gives the developer team the advantage of adapting to a new comer if he happens to join in mid-project. It eases the new developer into the work schedule, especially if he is comfortable with the language.

It is also helpful when your web application evolves over time and needs additions and updates. This makes scalability possible, complete with the benefit of quick deployment too.

9. A proven technology

Being a proven technology stack, you will pretty much get solutions on the way if you happen to get any along the way. Companies have already taken advantage of the benefits of Node.js, right from small startups to big tech giants.

10. Highly flexible

You can test your app even during the development process, and host it on the cloud. And if you want to add new information any time in the future, just a new field to add in the form, and its done.

11. Also, Cloud compatible

The M in MEAN stack is the reason for cloud compatibility. If your app needs to implement cloud functionalities, then MongoDB is the ideal solution. It lets you develop, test and deploy those functionalities with ease.

Now, for the disadvantages

12. You could potentially lose records

The claim is that MongoDB is strongly consistent, but sometimes, this could change. When network partitioning occurs, especially in heavy load scenarios, there is a chance that you could lose records that has been successfully written by MongoDB.

This doesn’t have to happen all the time, but chances are present.

13. Poor isolation of server from business logic

Express.js has poor isolation of server from business logic and this prevents the reuse of certain services like batching operations. You have to go through the Express middle chain for internal jobs, and this could be bothersome.

14. Can’t beat the power of relational databases yet

MEAN stack, when compared to relational databases doesn’t provide the same level of functionality. Relational databases is till the first choice for many big names like Google and Facebook, as it is more reliable and stable.

Closing Thoughts

Despite a few of its advantages, MEAN stack is still widely used by many companies like Paypal, Netflix, New York Times etc. because it lets you use Javascript for both backend and frontend.

This is beneficial for developers and enterprises alike, for the former because they don’t have to learn a different language and for the enterprises because they don’t have to hire many people for a single project.

Thanks to Node.js and its architecture, this technology stack is more versatile and speedier than LAMP stack. App development and deployment is easier, as there is only one layer, so less confusion and less chance of bugs.

Npm is the package manager of Node.js and this makes it easier to share code. The public repositories with Node.js are growing rapidly contributing to the dominance and nimbleness of this platform.

MEAN stack is thus a technology that’s rapidly improving, and the technologies mentioned within the stack can be used in combination with others as required.

Interesting Articles:
Check the top advantages of Mean Stack
Interesting answers on quora about the disadvantages of Mean Stack

Picture Source: Flickr.com/ Garrett Heath/ Brother UK


The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at www.Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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