Working with the MEAN stack

May 17th, 2014 | 3 min read | angular, AngularJS, Express, JavaScript, MongoDB, Node.js, Web

JavaScript is more important than ever. In today’s applications, JavaScript is used to create certain effect, make websites more interactive and improve the user experience. But you can achieve much more using JavaScript. There are MVC frameworks like AngularJS that help you structure the entire front-end part of your application and even more.
With the introduction of Node.js you can also write your entire back-end using only one language; JavaScript. The MEAN stack is a good example of what you can do with JavaScript, solely JavaScript. The MEAN stack consists out of four elements:

  • MongoDB: MongoDB is a NoSQL database allowing you to store JSON (actually BSON) documents and query them. This is a great database when going for pure JavaScript applications because it’s easy to put the same object structure that you’re working with, inside the database.
  • Express: Express is a web framework that runs on Node.js. A “web” framework may sound a bit vague, but it is actually that. It allows you to serve static content, it allows you to route certain requests to execute certain logic (great for RESTful webservices) and so on.
  • AngularJS: I probably don’t have to explain this one to you, but AngularJS is a client-side Model-View-Controller framework by Google.
  • Node.js: I mentioned it already that we’re going to use Node.js (because we’re going to use Express), but Node.js is a JavaScript platform, quite popular nowadays. In this tutorial we will use it as our server-side platform.

This means we can write an entire application using only HTML, CSS and JavaScript. People are using these frameworks and tools more and more. LinkedIn for example wrote their entire back-end service for their mobile app using Node.js. So it’s not only the future, it’s already there, today.

If you, as developer are interested in writing an app using the MEAN stack, be sure to check out this tutorial series.

Introduction to AngularJS

This tutorial series is a continuation of the introduction to AngularJS series, which consists out of three tutorials:

  1. Writing your first controller
  2. Filters and factories
  3. A rating directive

Working with the MEAN stack

If you read those or if you’re already familiar with the main concepts of AngularJS, you can start by converting that AngularJS app and write a RESTful webservice using Node.js:

  1. Node.js application setup
  2. MVC using Express and AngularJS

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Dimitri "g00glen00b" Mestdagh is a consultant at Cronos and tech lead at Aquafin. Usually you can find him trying out new libraries and technologies. Loves both Java and JavaScript.