MEAN vs MERN: Which Technology Stack to Choose in 2022?

mean-vs-mern

MEAN and MERN are two of the most popular web development technology stacks. They help to rapidly develop fully-functional and feature-rich websites and web apps.

Developing the web has evolved with the evolution of the web itself. It is no longer only about writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You have to throw frameworks, libraries, and other tools into the mix to stay ahead in the web development game.

Moreover, you need to ensure that the security, speed, and performance of your website or webapp is top-notch. For this very purpose, we use MEAN and MERN technology stacks. Before comparing the two popular technology stacks, let’s first know about them.

What is MEAN?

The MEAN stack, as in the name, is composed of four technologies, each one of which is responsible for taking care of some particular aspects of web app development. MEAN stands for:

  • MongoDB
  • ExpressJS
  • Angular
  • NodeJS

MEAN Stack Components

The four technologies that define the MEAN stack are its components. Let’s get to know each of them in detail:

1. MongoDB

Developer – MongoDB Inc.

Initial Release – February 2009

It is a NoSQL database that stores data in the form of JSON-like documents. Unlike relational databases that store data in the form of tables, MongoDB stores data with a flexible schema. This means that, unlike an RDBMS, there is no need to specify the database schema beforehand in MongoDB.

2. ExpressJS

Developer – TJ Holowaychuk, StrongLoop, and more

Initial Release – November 2010

Express.js is among the most popular JavaScript frameworks for back-end development. It comes with a galore of predefined modules that facilitate client-side development.

It is a backend web application framework for NodeJS. In addition to web apps, ExpressJS is also an excellent choice for building APIs. It is the de facto standard server framework for Node.

3. Angular

Developer – Google

Initial Release – September 2016

If you’re into JavaScript, then you must know that Angular is probably the most significant JS framework. Angular makes it easy for developers to design the frontend (UI) of web apps and websites.

The latest renderer in Angular is Angular Ivy. It is different from traditional frameworks, as it uses incremental DOM.

4. NodeJS

Developer – Ryan Dahl (Original), OpenJS Foundation (Present)

Initial Release – May 2009

Prior to the arrival of NodeJS, JavaScript was only limited to front-end development. However, these days JS has also become a great option for client-side development, all thanks to Node.js.

Node is a JavaScript runtime environment that allows developers to execute JS code outside a browser. This means, with NodeJS, it is possible to run JavaScript code on a server.

What is MERN?

Just like MEAN, MERN is a technology stack that has all but one technology as that of the MEAN stack. Instead of Angular, the MERN stack relies on ReactJS for client-side development. Unlike Angular, which is a JS framework, React is a JS library for designing intuitive and expressive front-ends.

MERN Stack Components

All components of the MERN stack are the same as that of the MEAN stack, leave for Angular. MERN ditches Angular over Reactjs for developing the front-end of web apps and websites.

  • ReactJS

Developer – Meta and a community of developers and organizations.

Initial Release – May 2013

It is a popular JavaScript library that facilitates the development of interactive and intuitive UIs. Therefore, developers around the globe leverage the powerful capabilities of React to design user interfaces that are expressive, compact, and feature-rich.

ReactJS was developed by Facebook (now Meta). Although it is excellent for building SPAs (single-page applications), React can also be used to develop mobile apps.

MEAN vs MERN: A Comprehensive Comparison Table

Comparing MERN with MEAN is essentially comparing React with Angular. That’s because except for the tool for front-end development, everything is the same in both technology stacks. The following table enumerates the various differences between the two popular technology stacks:

MERN vs MEAN: Comparison Table

Parameter

MEAN

MERN

Full form

MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, NodeJS

MongoDB, ExpressJS, ReactJS, NodeJS

Data flow

It has a bidirectional data flow.

MERN supports unidirectional data flow.

Ideal for

MEAN stack is suitable for developing full-fledged applications.

It is best for building small applications.

Scalability

It has medium scalability.

MERN stack offers high scalability.

DOM

MEAN uses regular DOM.

It uses virtual DOM.

Learning curve

Learning MEAN requires a decent amount of effort.

MERN flaunts a low learning curve.

Speed

MEAN is not too fast.

It is faster.

Availability of CLI

The MEAN stack features Angular CLI.

It doesn’t provide a command-line interface.

Reliance on third-party libraries

Being a full-fledged framework, the use of Angular doesn’t usually require using third-party libraries. Moreover, it has plug-and-play support for third-party extensions.

With React, developers need to often use many third-party libraries. Also, equipping it with third-party extensions requires additional configurations.

Language used

TypeScript

JavaScript and JSX

Managing and upgrading the code

It is easier in MEAN.

Due to the involvement of many third-party libraries, it requires a good effort to maintain and upgrade the code.

Testing

Testing requirements are usually fulfilled by using a single testing tool, like Jasmine.

For testing, MERN requires many tools. Developers require a tool for testing the code, such as Jest, and another tool for testing the elements, like Enzyme.

CRUD app development

Although it is possible to develop a CRUD app using MEAN, it is not a convenient option.

The MERN stack is ideal for developing CRUD apps.

MEAN vs MERN Stack: Which One to Choose?

Choosing among the two popular web development stacks depends primarily on your liking of Angular or React. If you like React, MERN is the go-to option, but if Angular is what you prefer, then go for MEAN. As both stacks as JS-based, it is easy to get started with any of the two for an experienced JS developer.

However, as Angular is more difficult to learn than React, it is advised for new JS developers to start with MERN, and then move to MEAN. Nonetheless, that’s just our opinion. You can choose whichever technology stack you find fit.

Conclusion

That sums up our discussion on MEAN vs MERN. Both technology stacks have made life easier for web developers. While MEAN prefers Angular for front-end development, MERN chooses ReactJS to fulfill the same task.

Which technology stack do you prefer and why? Add your views in the comments section below.

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