Why MERN Stack is Popular for Web and Mobile Apps?


As the use of technology is increasing day by day, the demand for efficient web and mobile applications is increasing. Software developers are finding different ways to achieve smoother user experience. User wants a better UI, less response time for HTTP requests even when there is a lot of congestion over the network. So, here comes the stack technology which not only makes a responsive and interactive UI but also makes the development process quite easier. Trending stack technology is MERN stack which is a collection of 4 powerful technologies that are – MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js.

MVC Architecture

Any web or mobile application can be implemented in 3-tier MVC architecture, which consists of 3 layers –

  1. Model – This layer is handles handling database-related tasks, which include retrieving, storing, updating, and manipulating the data from the database.
  2. View– This layer is responsible for user interaction. Buttons, images, colors, and animations every other thing which the user sees on the web page is called Frontend. It makes data from the model layer visible in the user interface.
  3. Controller – This layer handles front and back communication between view and model. Its task is to accept requests from the user process them by using the model layer and send back the results to the view layer for the visual part.

MERN Stack

What is MERN Stack?

MERN stack is a JavaScript stack technology that makes 3-tier MVC architecture maintainable and simpler. MERN is the acronym for MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. Each of these 4 trending technologies provides an end-to-end framework for the developers to work in and each of these technologies play a big part in the development of web applications.

Let’s understand each of its components in detail.

  • MongoDB- MongoDB is called a “Not only SQL” database or “No-SQL” database. It is a database design approach that is used to store and access a huge amount of data. It stores unstructured data and can contain a mixture of data models, including key-value, document, columnar and graph formats, etc. NoSQL database is especially used to store humungous sets of distributed data. As in relational databases, the data is stored in form of tables and columns, NoSQL database stores data in form of collections and documents. It stores in form of key-value pair. In layman’s terms, the table is considered as a collection and columns are the keys in the NoSQL database. MongoDB is different than relational databases as it does not consider relationships in data. All the collections of a database are unrelated to each other.

 

  • Express.js – Express.js was developed by TJ Holowaychuk and was released in the market on the 22nd of May, 2010. Earlier it was managed by IBM but at present, it is placed under the stewardship of the Node.js Foundation incubator. Express.js is the web framework that builds on top of node.js. It acts as a middleware to perform the tasks of accepting an HTML request from the front-end and sending the HTML response back from the server to the browser. Thus, it makes the management of the flow of data from server to browser easier in server-side applications.

            Advantages of Express.js :

  • Easy and fast development – As it is a Node.js web framework it is very convenient and NPM packages make the development process easier.
  • Error Handling Mechanism – It supports an error handling mechanism so errors can be resolved in no time.
  • Single threaded and asynchronous – It supports all the advantages of node.js. Node.js is single-threaded and asynchronous which makes web or mobile applications more efficient.

 

  • React.js – React.js is a JS library was introduced by Facebook. It is the change that makes the MERN and MEAN stack different. Even React.js is younger than Angular.js it’s still giving neck-to-neck competition to Angular.js. React.js can be used as a client as well as server-side language but generally, it is used as frontend technology that is responsible for the UI of the application. When react.js is used as a client-side language which means it will run on browser then the browser uses Virtual DOM (Document Object Model) to display the web page super fast. 

        Advantages of React.js –

  • Single Page application- js is a single page application which means initially all the HTML, JS, and CSS will be given to the browser as a bundle. When data is requested using an AJAX API call then it is fetched from the server and returned in JSON form. This feature makes React.js faster than traditional web applications developed using HTML, CSS, and JS. In traditional applications each web page is fetched from server whenever requested. 
  • Virtual DOM- js supports virtual DOM to make UI experience smoother. 
  • JSX- JSX is the combination of JavaScript and XML. It extends the ECMAScript so that XML/ HTML code can co-exist along with JavaScript react. 
  • Node.js – Node.js is the powerful JavaScript framework, developed on Chrome’s V8 engine. It compiles JavaScript code directly into native machine code which makes it fast and efficient. It extends JavaScript API so it can implement server side functionalities in web and mobile applications. 

       Advantages of Node.js :

  • Fast- It is faster in executing the JavaScript code because it is developed on Chrome’s V8 engine, the world’s fastest JavaScript engine.
  • Scalable – js is known to be widely used because the application developed in node.js is highly scalable in horizontal as well as vertical directions. One can easily assign resources to it while scaling the application.
  • Easy to learn – Any JavaScript developer can easily learn to code in node.js because it is a framework of JavaScript. It’s less complex to learn and use the node.js libraries and toolkits.
  • Hosting – Deployment of node.js web applications have become easy with the help of hosting platforms such as Heroku and PaaS(Platform as a Service).
  • Single-threaded and asynchronous –js is single-threaded which means it solves the problem of handling multiple requests at a time. It collects all of its requests in a single thread via events, so when the first event is being processed, it does not wait for its response and simply continues with next request.

Even now, if you have a doubt in the specialty of MERN stack then have a look over its advantages.

MERN Stack Advantages

  • Better than traditional stack technologies – In traditional web applications different language were used for client side and server side so the developer had to figure out how to interface them together. 
  • Single language for front end and back end – For server side as well as client side JavaScript is used to develop mobile and web application. Any developer who codes in JavaScript can easily learn MERN stack. 
  • Feasibility – MERN stack supports 4 technologies – mongodb, express.js, react.js and node.js and all of the four technologies are especially designed to make user experience smoother. 
  • Supports MVC architecture – MERN stack supports highly efficient 3 tier architecture in which each layer can be updated without impacting the other, they are loosely coupled. 
  • Open Source Nature – As compared to other technologies, MERN stack is open source. Because of its open source nature anyone can develop their applications in MERN stack without buying expensive licenses and subscriptions.

MERN Stack VS MEAN Stack

Whenever you have heard the term full stack development, of course, two technologies come to our mind MERN stack and MEAN stack. As now you know about MERN stack, its components are MongoDB, express.js, react.js, and node.js. MEAN stack is the acronym of MongoDB, express.js, angular.js, and node.js. React.js in MERN stack and Angular.js in MEAN stack makes both of the stacks different.

First, I will give you a brief about Angular.js, and then I will discuss the difference between the above two stacks.

Angular.js is at the top of the MEAN stack and it is the framework of JavaScript whereas React.js is the library of JavaScript. Now, one thing comes to your mind – “What is the difference between a framework and a library?” The library is the set of functionalities that we can integrate into our application to speed up the development process and a framework is the combination of library and run time environment. Run time environment contains a set of functions that provides the execution of javascript code. Angular.js uses typescript while React.js uses javascript.

Tabular difference between MEAN stack and MERN stack :

MEAN Stack MERN Stack
It’s a stack technology which comprises of MongoDB, Angular.js, Express.js and Node.js. It’s a stack technology which  comprises of MongoDB, React.js, Express.js and Node.js.
Angular.js in MEAN stack is a javascript framework. React.js in MERN stack is a javascript library.
Angular.js in MEAN stack uses Typescript language. React.js in MERN stack uses JavaScript, JSX.
It offers better productivity. It offers low productivity.
It’s difficult to learn than MERN stack. It offers far better documentation so it’s easier to learn.
It helps in managing and rendering the code. It facilitates smooth rendering because of virtual DOM.
Its flow of data is bidirectional. Its flow of data is unidirectional.
It does not support mobile application. It supports mobile application.

The Bottom Line

MEAN stack makes the UI more interactive and enhances the development process by the use of 4 technologies – MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js. It can be used for web and mobile applications as it is better than traditional applications. In traditional applications different language were used for client side and server side so the developer had to figure out how to interface them together but MERN stack gives the advantage of one single language “JavaScript” so it’s easy to work with MERN stack technologies. Have you worked with MERN Stack, how would you rate it?

Can you think about a scenario where MERN stack cannot be used for developing web or mobile application?

For any queries, get in touch with us!