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Top 10 NodeJS frameworks which you can choose to build your applications

October 15th, 2018 . 8 minutes read
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NodeJS frameworks as we think can be the features and techniques that are grouped together in a single software program. A framework is the supporting sculpture of a software using which the developers can develop various other functional features. In this blog, I am going to take you to the world of NodeJS frameworks.

NodeJS in itself is a hugely successful project that Ryan Dahl initiated back in 2009. In this blog you will get to know about the following things:

  1. Brief introduction and features of NodeJS frameworks.
  2. Decisive parameters to select the best NodeJS framework for your project.

So, before proceeding further let me give you some brief introduction about NodeJS.

NodeJS as a pillar for JavaScript server-side programming

NodeJS is an open source, cross-platform server environment built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript V8 engine. It is used to build fast, scalable and real-time network applications. Developers can use it to write new modules in JavaScript. NodeJS uses asynchronous programming and event-driven, non-blocking I/O model. This makes NodeJS a very lightweight and efficient JavaScript framework.

You can also check: Why most of the companies use NodeJS? Facts and the Reasons

During the last few years, we have got some awesome frameworks built on top of NodeJS. Although there are many frameworks, here we will consider the top 10 famous NodeJS frameworks.

Brief information about the NodeJS frameworks

I found myself in a deep dilemma when I came across so many frameworks of NodeJS. It took me through the path of exploring them one by one and what all they offer for NodeJS application development. Furthermore, here are the top 10 NodeJS frameworks that I am going to briefly explore for you.

Express.js

Express.js is a NodeJS web application framework that gives a robust set of features for web and mobile application development. It is an open source framework developed and maintained by NodeJS foundation. It was built by TJ Holowaychuk who was one of the members of the core NodeJS team.

Some of the main features of Express.js are as follows:

  1. It is the De facto standard server framework for NodeJS
  2. This is the routing framework which is very lightweight and flexible.
  3. It supports MVC(model-view-controller) architecture.
  4. It offers template engines.
  5. It offers multiple routing.
  6. It helps in building the RESTful APIs faster.

Loopback

Loopback is an open source API framework for NodeJS that allows building the APIs which work with any client and is capable to connect various devices. It is an open source framework which is highly extensible & built on top of Express.js.

Some of the main features of the Loopback framework are as follows:

  1. It is built on top of Express.js
  2. It is highly extensible.
  3. It allows creating a dynamic end to end REST APIs with very less coding.
  4. It helps in creating client apps using Android, iOS, and Java SDKs.
  5. It helps the application to run on-premises or in the cloud.
  6. It helps in incorporating the model relationships and access controls to complex APIs.

Hapi.js

Hapi which is usually pronounced as “happy” is a NodeJS framework for building the web applications, APIs and the services. It is simple and extremely powerful.

Some of the distinguished features of Hapi.js are:

  1. It is the creation of the mobile team of Walmart LABS.
  2. It can be used to make the HTTP proxy applications.
  3. It focuses on critical project tasks instead of building infrastructure.
  4. It provides a robust plugin system that allows to add new features and fix bugs at a very fast pace.

Koa.js

Koa.js is a powerful server framework built on top of NodeJS which is used to build magnificent web and mobile applications.

Some of the magnificent features of Koa.js are as follows:

  1. It is an open source framework developed by the creators of js.
  2. It is one of the most popular frameworks of NodeJS.
  3. It is completely pluggable with a huge community.
  4. It uses generators to deal with the callbacks and the error-handling.
  5. It does not bundle any middleware within its core.
  6. It provides unique features that make writing servers easy, fast and enjoyable.
  7. It is designed as a lightweight and flexible framework for NodeJS, which represents a smaller footprint, unlike other NodeJS frameworks.
  8. It is based on ECMAScript 6 specifications.
  9. It uses the specific mechanism in a very simple way to handle errors.
  10. It has features to cascade the middleware logic (Example: – it passes the file instead of streaming the file which helps in avoiding the extra line of codes).

Sails.js

Sails.js is a very well known MVC(model-view-controller) framework of NodeJS.

  1. It is inspired by Ruby on Rails
  2. It allows building REST APIs, single page apps & real-time apps quickly.
  3. It supports the use of web sockets without any additional code.
  4. It makes extensive use of code generators, which allows building the application with less writing of code.
  5. The MVC pattern is based on js and Socket.io which is absolute for writing data-oriented applications.
  6. It provides flexibility to use any technology to develop the front-end of the application.
  7. It comes with Grunt which makes entire frontend workflow completely customizable.
  8. It is bundled with the powerful ORM which provides a data access layer that works with any database that is going to be used in the project.

Meteor.js

Meteor.js is full-stack JavaScript platform for building the web and mobile apps. Some of the main features of Meteor.js features are as follows:

  1. It is an open source MVC (model-view-controller) cross-platform framework which allows writing client & server parts of an application.
  2. It allows to develop in – on language (JavaScript) in all the environments (server, browser, and mobile device).
  3. It uses data on the wire, which means that the server sends the data and not the HTML, that the client renders.
  4. It is most preferably used for real-time application development since it alone offers an ecosystem to work with without depending upon any other tool and frameworks.

Derby.js

Derby.js is a full-stack JavaScript framework which runs on top of NodeJS. It has many features some of which are mentioned below:

  1. It is an MVC(model-view-controller) JavaScript framework for client & server-side.
  2. It has a real-time data synchronization engine and is known as Racer.
  3. It helps applications to allow multi-site, real-time concurrency and data synchronization across client & servers.
  4. It is written to support any database.

Total.js

Total.js is a full-stack MVC(model-view-controller) framework used for building highly responsive web applications with HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Some of its features are as follows:

  1. Total.js offers features for performance and stability.
  2. This framework is compatible with client-side application frameworks such as Angular, js, React, Ember etc.
  3. Test.js has Just-in-time HTML+JS+CSS compression.
  4. Just-in-time file merging is also supported by Test.js.
  5. It supports RESTful routing.
  6. It supports video streaming, web sockets, generators etc.
  7. It has no requirement of any third NodeJS modules except a few database modules.

NestJS

NestJS is a framework to build efficient, scalable NodeJS server-side applications. Some of its features are as follows:

  1. It uses progressive JavaScript built with TypeScript.
  2. Combines elements of Object Oriented Programming (OOP), Functional Programming (FP) & Functional Reactive Programming (FRP).
  3. NestJS also uses Express.js for its functionalities but supports many other libraries as well.
  4. It allows easy use of third-party plugins which are available.

Mojito

Mojito is a JavaScript framework based on Yahoo! Cocktails which is a mobile application development platform built by Yahoo! Developer Network.

  1. It can run on both, client-side(browser) and the server side (NodeJS).
  2. This framework supports MVC (model-view-controller) architecture.
  3. Mojito also supports the agile development of web applications.
  4. It has a built-in support for unit testing.

These are all the major frameworks of NodeJS which are used extensively these days. Now, let us consider our final section to decide which NodeJS framework to choose.

How to decide which NodeJS framework to choose?

While choosing the right framework, it is necessary to keep in mind some of the main points that will help you choose the best NodeJS frameworks. Here is the list of such points:

  1. Start with the type of project.
  2. Notice the nature of the project and analyze the requirements.
  3. Check the open issues on GitHub.
  4. Check which type of issues can be solved by the framework.
  5. Check what is the community size of the framework.
  6. Check what is the compatibility of the framework with other required tools.

You can also consider reading our short slide presentation about the same.

Bottom Line:

In this blog, I have tried to give a very brief information about the NodeJS frameworks so that it becomes easy for you to choose the framework for your future projects. I have also pointed out the most noteworthy decisive parameters for the reason that you dont get confused in making the right choice.

Habilelabs is a premier software development company that provides professional services for NodeJS application development. It is rich with the resources and experienced team to develop the NodeJS applications using these frameworks. Give us a call to find out more about our awesome services!

I hope you will like this blog. In case of any queries feel free to ask in the comments section and do share your thoughts about the blog.

Author: aishwarya
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