- Software development
- MEAN Stack vs MERN Stack – Which to Choose?
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Are you interested in a comparison of the MEAN stack vs the MERN stack to decide which you should use in your next software development project?
You are at the right place! In this article, we will cover the MEAN stack vs Mern stack comparison in detail, including their key features, similarities, and differences.
Today, software development projects include a range of APIs, programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. Technology stacks help in maintaining compatibility between software modules of IT projects.
A complete software development technology stack also means developers get access and support to tools to develop, test, and deploy a complete software application, whether a desktop, mobile, or web app.
Two of the popular software development tech stacks include MEAN and Mern. Let’s discuss these in detail.
MEAN stack is popular for the development of responsive and advanced web and hybrid mobile applications. The MEAN stack consists of MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js.
Another full-stack software development stack, competitive with the MEAN stack, is the MERN stack.
MEAN Stack vs MERN Stack – The Similarities
Some similarities that you will find in Mean and MERN development stacks include the following:
MongoDB Database Technology
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It offers a flexible database model compared to relational databases and stores data in varying formats. This schema-free database model helps developers store and process varied data collections efficiently.
Both tech stacks use Express.js or just Express as their backend web application framework. It is an open-source framework that runs on a Node.js runtime environment.
Developers use Express to manage HTTP requests, develop APIs, etc. It helps develops single-page web applications, multi-page web applications, and hybrid applications.
MERN and MEAN are similar in a way that they both offer an end-to-end development environment. Developers get access to backend and frontend development technologies to create a complete software solution.
Flexibility and Scalability
Both development stacks help software developers in building scalable applications. However, MERN offers more scalability than the MEAN stack.
MERN uses React, based on a modular architecture. Developers can start small and easily add other components as software application grows.
Both, MERN and MEAN stacks, have excellent developers’ community support. Being open-source, they are supported by a range of other open-source development utilities.
This development support helps software developers in swift application testing, development, and maintenance.
MEAN Stack vs MERN Stack – The Differences
Some of the prominent MEAN vs MERN stack differences are the following:
Angular vs React
The main difference between MEAN and MERN development stacks is they use Angular and React respectively. While both, Angular and React, are popular among developers, React is topping the charts for quite some years now.
With Google withdrawing its support from AngularJS or Angular 1, this lack of backward compatibility between Angular 1 and 2 also led to a decrease in its popularity in the developers’ circles.
If you are interested in Angular 3, read our article for the latest details.
Learning Curve for Developers
Seasoned software developers build advanced software projects with Angular efficiently. However, as compared to React, Angular presents a steeper learning curve.
Both, Angular and React, provide documentation and tutorials for developers. However, React documentation takes the lead.
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Angular provides a complete development framework whereas React depends on multiple third-party integrations for added functionality. This can affect the developer’s productivity.
Angular removes the need for adding external libraries and tools and helps in efficient application development.
Angular also provides a command line interface. Upgrading a code base is relatively efficient with a CLI, which increases developers’ productivity.
On the other hand, upgrading a React code can be time and effort-consuming, given the presence of multiple third-party libraries.
Another difference between MERN and MEAN stack technology lies in the data flow. The data flow is bi-directional in Angular, where a change in user interface components reflects in the model state automatically.
With React, this data flow is unidirectional, which means developers can only change the UI after changing the model state.
This unidirectional data flow model helps in better data management with larger software projects.
Angular based on bi-directional data binding is feasible for developing and managing large applications giving developers more control with fewer chances of errors.
When to Choose Which From MEAN Stack vs MERN Stack?
Some of the factors that will help you choose between MERN and MEAN Stacks include the following:
Type of Development Project
Your choice between MERN vs MEAN development stacks will largely depend on the type of software application you are developing.
If it is a large enterprise-level application, then you may find using MEAN stack a better choice. It provides a systematic approach to deploying prototypes and managing large applications, like eCommerce software solutions.
Although both, MEAN and MERN, support an MVC architecture (model-view-controller) architecture, MEAN helps in the efficient management of the code base.
MERN technology stack has proved to help developers build dynamic mobile and web applications with changing project requirements efficiently.
External API integrations are readily available with the MEAN stack whereas the MERN stack requires some extra configurations to provide support for similar libraries.
For example, Angular supports HTTP calls and connections with the backend by default. React offers its libraries for a similar purpose.
User Interface Requirements
If your software application has advanced layout features and you want to deploy complex websites with interactive UI elements rather easily, MERN is a good choice. It offers a seamless display of UI screens to the users.
React updates a virtual DOM (document object mode) to render UI swiftly, compared to Angular, which uses the real DOM.
DOM is a programming interface for web documents, including XML and HTML documents. It is cross-platform and programming language independent.
Code Advancements and Security
Angular offers better performance and developer productivity for large enterprise applications. However, React uses a component-based architecture that helps in the rapid coding and scaling of smaller-sized applications.
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Angular framework in the MEAN stack offers better security standards than React in the MERN stack.
Angular provides robust security against vulnerabilities.
For example, the MEAN stack allows session cookies to remain with the client side instead of the server-side making the user interaction more secure with the application. Angular supports JSON Web Token (JWT) and allows the implementation of authorization protocols.
React does not focus on security primarily. It is built with the intention of rapid development. It offers authentication controls, however, does not provide robust security against CSRF attacks.
Are you Deciding Between Mean Stack vs Mern Stack?
As discussed above, MEAN and MERN stacks are popular technology stacks among software developers today. As MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js are common with both stacks, the real difference lies in the use of Angular and React technologies.
Both, Angular and React, offer almost similar functionality, scalability, and productivity levels with minor differences.
Angular is well-suited for enterprise-level applications that require better developers’ productivity, minimum system administration, software utilities support, and robust security.
React sits well with startups engaged in rapid prototyping and development of dynamic applications catering to a wider user market. Component-based architecture helps to scale a software app efficiently.
The choice of the right tech stack should be backed by a professional software development team to utilize them effectively for software application development.
If you want to know more about building scalable web applications, read our blog here.
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FAQs on Mean Stack vs Mern Stack
Full stack refers to complete development tools and environments for developing and testing software applications, including web and hybrid mobile app development. The involved technologies cover client-side and server-side development of software applications. MEAN stack is an example of such a full-stack development solution. It is based on the MongoDB database, Express and Node.js backend frameworks, and Angular as a front-end development stack.
The choice of MERN and MEAN stack depends on the type of software development project you are undertaking. MERN helps in the rapid development of dynamic web apps catering to a volatile user market with a seamless user interface. Angular assists in developing and managing larger projects that are high-performant and with more code maintenance and security requirements.