Menu Icon Close
App Development

MEAN Stack vs. Full Stack

MEAN Stack Vs Full Stack feature image
August 24, 2018
By Blue Pi
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The front end of the web application includes the graphical user interface that users see, experience, and interact with. On the other hand, the backend of the web application includes – a database, a server, and an application. An enterprise has to deploy frontend web developers to make the website’s user-facing side appealing and interactive. At the same time, it also needs to deploy skilled backend web developers to drive and power the website’s user-facing side by leveraging and maintaining the backend components.

The client-side code runs on the web browser, whereas the backend code runs on the web server. The front end web developers must be proficient in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to build compelling and responsive web user interfaces. On the other hand, the backend developers must be familiar with both relational and non-relational databases and proficient in server-side programming languages to optimize the frontend user experience. Many enterprises nowadays opt for full-stack web development to get the web application’s frontend and the backend written by the same developers.

The full-stack web developers must be proficient in both client-side and server-side technologies to work on the web application’s user interface, business logic, and database layers. They also need to accelerate full-stack web development by using robust software stacks and full-stack web frameworks. MEAN stack simplifies and accelerates full-stack web development through its four components – MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and NodeJS. The core components enable programmers to write both frontend and backend of the web application in JavaScript.

The combination of frontend and backend JavaScript frameworks further enables developers to build custom web applications without using any full-stack web framework. The developers can use AngularJS to simplify frontend web development, and NodeJS and Express.js to accelerate backend web development. Hence, many web developers nowadays use MEAN stack as a toolkit to simplify and accelerate full-stack web development. But full stack and MEAN stack still differ from each other in several aspects.

Comparing Two Popular Web Development Approaches: Full Stack vs. MEAN Stack

Core Components

The term full stack is not an acronym of any web technologies or web frameworks. On the other hand, MEAN stack is the acronym of its four core components – MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and NodeJS. MongoDB is a widely used non-relational database with the capability to handle large volumes of data and facilitate cloud-based deployment. AngularJS is a robust frontend framework that enables developers to express various components of the website by extending HTML syntax. It even simplifies development of large and complex web applications by supporting model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern and two-way data binding.

NodeJS as a cross-platform runtime environment enables programmers to run JavaScript code on the web server. Hence, it becomes easier for programmers to write server-side code in JavaScript. NodeJS further optimized JavaScript code execution speed by featuring a non-blocking I/O model and supporting asynchronous programming. Many web developers nowadays prefer NodeJS to conventional server-side programming languages and frameworks. Express.js is a minimalist and server-side web framework developed based on NodeJS. It comes with features to simplify server-side web development.

Client-Side Technologies

Most web developers nowadays adopt responsive web design to make the website look good on computers and mobile devices with a single code base. Likewise, many developers opt for progressive web apps to bridge the gap between mobile websites and native mobile apps. Both responsive web design and progressive web apps require developers to build web user interfaces with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Both full stack and MEAN stack allows developers to build frontends with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. MEAN stack even accelerates frontend development by allowing developers to avail a widely used frontend framework like AngularJS.

Server-Side Technologies

As noted earlier, NodeJS enables programmers to use JavaScript as a server-side programming language. Many developers nowadays opt for MEAN stack to simplify full-stack web development by writing both client-side and server-side code in JavaScript. They can even accelerate server-side development by availing Express.js. But the developers must remember that JavaScript still lacks some of the robust features provided by other widely used server-side programming languages. The full stack developers have the option to choose from an array of server-side technologies, in addition to JavaScript. Hence, full stack, unlike MEAN stack, enables programmers to take advantage of robust server-side programming languages like Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, and C#.

Databases

MEAN stack requires developers to work with a single database – MongoDB. MongoDB is a non-relational or NoSQL database. Unlike relational databases, it does not store data in tables. It features a document-based data model and uses a document-based query model. Many web developers nowadays prefer MongoDB to relational databases to scale and secure data easily. Full stack web development, on the other hand, allows developers to work with an array of relational and non-relational databases. In addition to MongoDB, the web developers can also use MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQLi. However, they still need to decide the database according to the server-side programming language.

Web Frameworks

MEAN stack consists of frontend and backend web frameworks. It enables developers to accelerate frontend web development by leveraging AngularJS. The developers even have the option to replace AngularJS with ReactJS or Ember.js. Likewise, the developers can accelerate server-side web development by leveraging NodeJS and Expres.js. These components form a robust web development platform that enables programmers to build websites without using additional web frameworks. On the other hand, full stack development approach enables programmers to works with varied frontend and backend web frameworks. The developers even have option to choose from a wide range of full-stack web frameworks according to their choice of programming language and precise project needs.

Use Cases

JavaScript was originally developed as a client-side scripting language. It still lacks the capabilities provided by other server-side programming languages. The components of MEAN stack help developers to build custom web applications rapidly. Many web developers even use MEAN stack as a toolkit to accelerate full-stack development. But they still opt for MEAN stack while building small or simple websites. On the other hand, the full-stack developers need to choose the right server-side programming language to boot the web application’s security, scalability, and maintainability. They combine the right programming language and web framework to simplify development of large and complex websites.

On the whole, full-stack web development enables enterprises to get the frontend and backend of the website developed with the same developers. MEAN stack simplifies and accelerates full-stack development by allowing programmers to write both client-side and server-side code in JavaScript. But MEAN stack does not allow programmers to use robust server-side programming language and full-stack web development frameworks. Hence, it is always important for full-stack developers to learn MEAN stack along with other server-side programming languages and web frameworks.

TAGS : ,

Invest in better
solutions today

Contact Us