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Important NodeJS Frameworks for Web Developers

Nodejs framework for Web development
February 22, 2019
By Blue Pi
Reading Time: 6 minutes

As an open source and cross-platform runtime environment, NodeJS enables web application developers to execute JavaScript code on the server-side. Many developers these days leverage Node.js to simplify web application development and maintenance by writing both client-side and server-side code in JavaScript. NodeJS helps developers to boost the web application’s performance and user experience by featuring a non-blocking I/O model and supporting single threaded model with event looping.

The JavaScript runtime environment executes code much faster than widely used server-side programming language. The NodeJS applications further output data in chunks instead of buffering the data. The developers can use Node.js to build scalable network applications and real-time web applications according to varying business requirements. They even have the option to take advantage of a wide range of NodeJS frameworks. The NodeJS-based frameworks help developers to build better web applications by extending the JavaScript runtime environment.

Brief Overview of 15 Widely Used NodeJS Frameworks

1. Hapi.js

The design goal of Hapi.js emphasizes on making programmers focus on writing reusable application logic instead of building and maintaining infrastructure. The features provided by the framework help developers to build a variety of web applications, application programming interfaces (APIs), and HTTP services according to varied business requirements.

The developers can further avoid writing longer lines of code by availing sophisticated plugins for authorization, authentication, documentation, encoding, logging, localization/internationalization, messaging, and security. These plugins make it easier for developers to build complex web applications that deliver optimal user experience.

2. Express.js

Express.js is one of the minimalist and flexible frameworks for NodeJS. But the robust features provided by the framework help programmers to write a variety of web applications and mobile apps in JavaScript. The developers can further build various APIs rapidly using the middleware and utility services provided by Expres.js.

Express.js further enables developers to leverage NodeJS fully by providing a thin layer of fundamental web application features. The effectiveness of Express.js can be determined from the fact that it is currently being used by popular NodeJS frameworks like Feathers, MEAN, Loopback, Locomotive, Blueprint and KeystoneJS.

3. Socket.io

The framework helps developers to build real-time applications by leveraging NodeJS. Socket.io further simplifies real-time application development by facilitating event-based and bidirectional communication. The developers can use Socket.io to build applications that function smoothly across devices, platforms, and browsers.

As Socket.io supports binary streaming, it becomes easier for developers to transfer images, videos, and audio seamlessly. The developers can further use the chat app provided by the framework to build instant messaging applications without writing additional code. Socket.io helps developers to collaborate with each other by editing the same document concurrently and see the changes made to the document instantly.

4. Meteor

Meteor JS enables programmers to write desktop, web, and mobile apps in JavaScript. The programmers can use the same codebase to build the app by targeting varying devices and platforms. Meteor helps developers to keep the code concise and maintainable by featuring an integrated JavaScript stack. The developers can integrate the NodeJS framework seamlessly with several widely used libraries, web frameworks, and web development tools.

5. Mojito

Mojito is designed as an environment-agnostic and MVC web framework based on NodeJS. It accelerates the development of websites and web applications by supporting agile methodology. The developers can further improve the application’s speed and scalability using Mojito as a NodeJS module.

The APIs provided by Mojito help developers to accelerate routine web development tasks like handing cookies, code execution, making REST calls and accessing configuration. The developers can also use Mojito command line tool (CLI) to create projects for iOS and Android apps.

6. DerbyJS

DerbyJS is designed as a collection of standard NodeJS modules. The developers can leverage the full-stack web framework to write a modern website and web applications based on MVC architectural pattern. They even have the option to extend DerbyJS by writing custom code and using community modules.

The HTML templates provided by DerbyJS allows developers to organize the code into components. The developers can further deliver updated information to the end users by enabling live binding between the models and views.

7. Sails.js

The widely used MVC framework for NodeJS makes it easier for developers to write both client-side and server-side code in JavaScript. Sails.js comes with a built-in ORM system that enables developers to work with various databases by providing a simple data access layer. It further accelerates backend web development by providing auto-generated REST APIs. The developers even have the option to integrate Sails with a number of frontend frameworks for web applications and mobile apps.

8. Mean.io

Unlike other NodeJS frameworks, MEAN stack uses the thin layer of fundamental web application features as one of its open source components. MEAN.io enables developers to build scalable and full-stack JavaScript by combining four open source components – MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS and NodeJS.

Express helps developers to improve server-side code quality and execution, while AngularJS helps developers to build interactive user interfaces (UIs). Many developers these days leverage MEAN.io as an end-to-end framework to simplify development, testing, and maintenance of dynamic web applications.

9. Koa.js

The NodeJS framework is developed and maintained by the team behind Express.js. But Koa.js is designed as a lightweight and expressive framework to accelerate development of web applications and APIs. It improves the error handling process by allowing programmers to use async functions instead of callbacks.

Koa does not come with built-in middleware. But it enables developers to build applications as a collection of middleware functions. The developers even have the option to choose from an array of third-party middleware while working with Koa.

10. Total.js

The widely used NodeJS framework helps developers to build a variety of websites, web applications, and real-time applications. Total.js is designed as a collection of libraries, packages and complete products.

In addition to accelerating web application development, Total.js also helps developers to keep the applications maintainable and scalable. The developers can boost the application’s performance using a variety of online services written in Total.js.

11. NestJS

Unlike other NodeJS frameworks, NestJS is developed using TypeScript. It helps developers to write scalable and reliable server-side applications by leveraging the latest features of JavaScript. The developers even have the option to combine elements of object-oriented programming, functional programming, and functional reactive programming.

NestJS features a modular architecture that makes it easier for developers to leverage widely used libraries. The developers can also use the framework as a solid backbone for the server-side web applications. They can leverage the out-of-the-box application architecture provide by NestJS to keep the web applications scalable, testable, and maintainable.

12. AdonisJs

AdonisJs is one of the NodeJS frameworks that emphasizes on developer joy and stability. It enables programmers to write a variety of applications using elegant syntax. The developers can further use AdonisJs to simplify server-side applications development and maintenance by implementing MVC design style.

The features provided by the framework help developers to build full-stack web applications, APIs, and microservices without putting extra time and effort. In addition to being a modular NodeJS framework, AdonisJs also enables businesses to focus only on business needs and code quality instead of selecting and managing packages.

13. LoopBack

As mentioned earlier, the extensible NodeJS framework is built on top of Expess.js. LoopBack is also designed as an API framework for Node.js. It comes with built-in features to speed up the development of dynamic and end-to-end REST APIs. Loopback simplifies REST API development by providing features like CLI wizard, role-based access controls, option to connect to backend data stores, and add-on components.

The developers can even use LoopBack to make devices and browsers access data and services more efficiently. LoopBack enables developers to build client apps using Android, iOS, and AngularJS SDKs. The developers even have the option to run the framework on onsite IT infrastructure or in the cloud.

14. KeystoneJS

KeystoneJS is developed on Express.js and MongoDB. The NodeJS framework comes with features to simplify the development of database driven websites, web applications, and APIs. In addition to managing templates, views, and routes, KeystoneJS also simplify asynchronous code writing by keeping various things simple.

It further accelerates database-driven application development by providing advanced features like real-world database field types and auto-generated admin UI. The developers can leverage the features provided by KeystoneJS to simplify common web development tasks like form processing, session management and email sending.

15. FeathersJS

The NodeJS framework helps developers to build real-time applications and REST APIs without putting extra time and effort. While developing modern applications, the developers can use FeathersJS as a REST and real-time API layer. The features provided by Features enable programmers to build prototypes rapidly.

The developer can even use the framework to reduce the time and effort required to REST APIs and real-time backends. FeathersJS makes it easier for developers to build, maintain, and scale various applications using a software design style which is simpler than the conventional model-view-controller (MVC) architectural style.

On the whole, the web developers have the option to choose from a wide range of NodeJS frameworks. Each of these frameworks comes with features to extend the JavaScript runtime environment. But the web developers must remember that the Node.js frameworks differ from each other in the categories of design goals, features, usability, compatibility, and technical support. Hence, they must compare the frameworks based on various parameters to simplify and accelerate NodeJS application development.

Also read: Benefits of Using NodeJS

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