Over the years MEAN stack has grown as a popular choice among full stack developers. More and more developers joined the parade mainly because MEAN is an all JavaScript stack. Apart from the easier learning and transition curves, MEAN stack also offers many advantages over other developmental stacks making it one of the most preferred and used one in recent times.

Building an MVP for a startup is a critical phase. Choosing the right technology stack for development is crucial for the time to market, stability, and scalability of your product or service. Since the last couple of years, MEAN stack has been very popular among startups and in this blog, we will explore why many tech startups prefer MEAN stack as their preferred development platform.

What is MEAN Stack?

MEAN stack is a compilation of JavaScript-based technologies used to develop dynamic web applications and hybrid mobile apps. MEAN denotes MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS, the technologies used in the stack. It has gained popularity because it allows developers to use the same language for frontend development as well as backend.

The Pros of using MEAN stack

Isomorphic Code: MEAN stack allows isomorphic coding. It lets the developers use Javascript for frontend and backend. This is beneficial in a startup as the coding resource can be effectively used. This is also one of the main reasons for the popularity of the stack.

Open Source: All the MEAN stack components are open-source and regularly updated, and it allows the developers to customize the code based on their needs. Data transfer between frontend and backend happens through a JavaScript object which makes life easier for developers.

MongoDB is a NoSQL database and it is inherently flexible when compared to other SQL databases. MongoDB makes it easy to make changes in the data model on the go and gives a lot of options to make the queries faster for specific result sets. For databases which need to handle huge volumes of data, MongoDB becomes an obvious choice if the system is going to be designed and built from scratch. As MongoDB stores different structured data in same document collection there is no need to worry about old data if there is any change in the data model during the development process.

Supports MVC Architecture – AngularJS uses MVC to organize applications and thereby supports rapid and parallel development. MVC model allows multiple programmers to work on the code simultaneously. One programmer can work on the controller to create business logic and one on the view. Hence the development time can be reduced to three times.

NodeJS is Superfast – mainly because it is built on Google’s V8 JIT-compiled JavaScript engine which compiles and executes JavaScript code into native machine code very quickly. Node.Js also uses asynchronous programming, making processes such as I/O to network connections, file system, and database execute very fast. This nature of Node.js is termed as non-blocking IO. It follows a modular architecture which makes it easier to extend additional capabilities in future.

Good community support – AngularJS, NodeJS, ExpressJS, and MongoDB have a good user community and good adoption rate among the leading tech brands in the world including Google and Amazon.

Uses JSON – JSON is a JavaScript open standard file format which use human-readable text to transmit data objects. MEAN uses binary-JSON (BSON) for data everywhere, making it easier for reformatting data as it passes through different layers. MongoDB can store documents in a JSON format, ExpressJS can write queries in JSON and pass to NodeJS backend which understands JavaScript and seamlessly pass data to the AngularJS frontend.

LEAN team – A number of JavaScript experts are enough to handle the entire system end to end.

Low deployment cost – Deployment cost for an application developed in MEAN stack is cheaper as the components are free and it can run on any Linux server.

MEAN stack can also be used for API-first development approach and maintaining a highly decoupled architecture. With this approach, it will become easy to interchange frontend frameworks (React, Vue etc) with very limited to no impact on the backend.

The Cons of using MEAN stack

Learning Curve – if you are already a Java developer, you have to unlearn some of the concepts to learn AngularJS and NodeJS. Typically it takes between 4 to 6 weeks to get started. AngularJS is a single page application framework and hence not suitable for search engine optimization (SEO).

Browser Compatibility – Most AngularJS applications don’t support earlier versions of Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox.

Which technology stack you prefer for your MVP & What makes you choose that? Please share with us as your comments.

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