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MEAN 101: MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js


Are you a MEAN person? If you answered no, that’s good. If you answered yes, even better. Regardless of your answer, you will become well versed in MEAN after reading this article.

A technology that has garnered a lot of attention in the software industry is the MEAN stack: MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node. Several years ago, the software industry proposed a standard called “LAMP” for developing web based applications. LAMP stack includes Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (or Python/Perl). Since then, the software industry has come up with the next generation stack called MEAN. The MEAN stack simplifies development by allowing applications to be written and maintained entirely in JavaScript, on both the front and back ends. Thus, the MEAN stack provides a robust platform to create advanced, high performing web applications in a short span of time with minimal server side resources. In this article series, we will discuss MEAN and how to deal with the legacy

The MEAN Stack

1. MongoDB

MongoDB is the leading NoSQL database, which is different from the traditional “Relational” databases like DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, etc. What is NoSQL? Why NoSQL? Think about the change the IT world has gone through in the last 10 years. Today’s requirements were not present in ‘90s. With the emergence of social media, Cloud computing, and agile concepts, the needs and demands of the software systems have drastically changed. What is industry’s answer to those demands? The “NoSQL” database is the industry’s answer since it can:

  • Store data in the distributed systems to make the Cloud work
  • Handle the unstructured data for social networking sites to work
  • Change database schemas rapidly as demands evolve while adopting Agile model

2. Express

Express is a node framework that makes the developer’s job much easier in creating Node projects. It comes with very useful out of box solutions, hiding complex coding from the developers. Express and Node go hand in hand. Express code is typically part of the Node code.

3. Angular

Angular is a front-end component that implements single page application (SPA). SPA is a very important and hot concept in the web development industry. While NoSQL took the place of “Relational” databases, SPA is taking the place of the “Traditional” web development. SPA gives the ability to run the most of the application in the client browser. The latest version “Angular 2” was released in September 2016.

4. Node.js

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine for easily building fast, scalable network applications. While Node has become a popular choice among developers to build powerful web applications, it is also poised to replace Java, PHP, Ruby, etc. Typically Node runs in the server as the back end.

NPM – Public Repository

The open source projects/modules/utilities and its documentation are kept in the NPM “Node.js package manager”. NPM is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world. It is used to install/share code, manage dependencies in your projects, and share/receive feedback with others. Any time a Node project is used, the common code base will be downloaded from NPM.

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