What do you presume is common between Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, and Java Applets? They were the hottest technology in 2010’s that can be considered as the foundation of web application development.
In the initial days, Netflix was using Silverlight to stream movies and tv series on devices and Windows Phone apps were also developed using Silverlight. In fact, a Chinese railroad company, operating in Liaoning Province, was running its entire operations on Adobe Flash-based software till January 12,2020. This move brought everything to complete standstill, when Adobe deactivated Flash and the railroad officials had to revert to a temporary workaround to resume operations.
Rise of Software Stacks
Software stacks mean that different technologies are used for coding the different aspects of an application. Together they work together as the gears in a mechanical system and keep the software operating smoothly.
Some of the popular software stacks used by modern web and app development companies include:
- MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js)
- MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js)
- MEVN (MongoDB, Express.js, Vue.js, Node.js)
- LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
- Serverless (Google Cloud or Amazon AWS)
- Ruby on Rails
Based on the purpose, MEAN, MERN, and LAMP are commonly used technology stacks. The choice of the right technology stack depends heavily on the following factors:
- Project requirement
- Agility in development
- Flexibility and scalability of the dev team
- Total development cost
- Expertise of the developers
MEAN or MERN
The difference between both technology stacks lies in the front-end framework being used. MEAN stack uses Angular.js while MERN stack relies on React.js to run the code in the browser. MEAN stack was developed by Google in 2009 and is commonly used for building large-scale apps. Paypal, Upwork, and Forbes are major applications built using MEAN stack.
MERN stack was developed by Facebook in 2013 and is useful for building small apps faster. Facebook, Netflix, and Discord are three major applications built on MERN stack.
Before we learn the core differences between MEAN and MERN stack, let’s learn the similarities between both:
MEAN and MERN Similarities
The other similarities between each technology stack are:
- Open source frameworks
- Both support MVC (Model View Controller)
- Organize the UI layer components with the help of optimum code
- Access a pre-built set of testing tools
- Protection from cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities such Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
- Vast and robust community
MEAN v/s MERN: Core Differences
Now that we have learnt the similarities, it is now time to get into the meat of the topic, i.e., the difference between MEAN and MERN stack. For sake of understanding, we have broken down the differences into smaller chunks.
When it comes to MEAN stack development, Angular has a steep learning curve as it is comprehensive and employs typescripts and templates. On the other hand, MERN stack development has a comparatively shallower learning curve as React has a richer documentation. MERN has an upper hand at this factor.
Third Party Library Support
Angular has been a popular framework and hence has a robust library that a MEAN stack developer can leverage for different functionalities such as HTTP requests and backend connections. React is a comparatively newer framework and doesn’t have different libraries to fulfil certain functionalities. Moreover, MERN stack developers need to enable additional settings to integrate 3rd party libraries.
Angular has a bidirectional data flow whereas React only supports unidirectional. This means in the MEAN stack, the model status can be altered by changing the UI, while in MERN, the UI can only be changed when the model state is changed. This is not disadvantageous as the unidirectional data flow of React, allows developers to manage large projects efficiently. Similarly, the bidirectional data flow nature of Angular allows practicality required in small projects.
Due to lack of documentation in Angular, the knowledge and expertise of the development team is crucial when offering MEAN stack development services. For a reasonably knowledgeable development team, MERN stack is a better alternative.
While both technology stacks support MVC architecture, you need an up-to-date architecture when designing an app on a business level. MEAN stack’s UI is independent of the intermediate layer and hence is suitable for enterprise-level projects. MERN, on the other hand, uses JSX for writing and adding HTML code in React, this allows scaling and project structure to the code.
Angular and Node.js are supported by JSON Web Token (JWT). So it secures any unauthorized access to any resource, to encrypt your sensitive data. Moreover, you can implement a cookie-based session by storing the cookie data on the client side. MERN supports authentication methods but it is less secure compared to MEAN stack, as it cannot prevent CSRF (Cross-site Request Forgery) attacks.
MEAN has a better edge over MERN when it comes to performance. MEAN being a pre-configured framework and using native DOM (Document Object Model), offers slightly better app performance. MERN requires separate configuring and utilizes virtual DOM that increases the rendering time needlessly.
Which to Choose? MEAN or MERN?
MEAN and MERN remain to be state-of-the-art full-stack technology that enables remarkable applications to be developed. Each has excellent characteristics so choosing one would be a tricky issue. Your choice will heavily depend on the benefits each stack brings to the table.
Benefits of MEAN STACK
- It is simple to create any type of application.
- This stack is compatible with a variety of plugins and widgets. This is useful for development that must be completed within a specific time range.
- Due to the availability of plug-ins, the functionality skyrockets.
- Because the framework is open source, developers have access to community support.
- The built-in tools allow for real-time testing.
- Both the back end and the front end are written in the same language. This improves synchronisation and enables applications to reply more quickly.
Benefits of MERN STACK
- A single coding script covers both the front end and the back end.
- Only JAVA and JSON are required to finish the operation.
- The MVC architecture allows for seamless development.
- Built-in tools allow for real-time testing.
- Runs on an open source community with easily modifiable source code.
Selecting the appropriate technology stack will aid your software development efforts. If you’re working on a larger project and need more performance, MEAN stack is the way to go. MERN stack will assist you in developing a variety of web apps ranging in size from tiny to huge, depending on your needs. If you are on the fence about which to choose, our experts can help you.