MEAN v/s MERN Technologies

Written by Harshal Sancheti

MEAN stack – A popular front-end development tech-stack

Web Development technologies have seen an exponential change recently. The development technologies have shifted from back-end development technologies like Java, PHP and others to front-end technologies like Angular JS, Node JS, React JS and others. Since their inception, these technologies have constantly been updated to improve coding efficiency and reduce code size. MEAN stack is one such collection of technologies that has helped in reducing the development time to a great extent. MEAN stack is a tightly coupled collection of a NoSQL database technology called MongoDB and three Javascript based frameworks Express JS, Angular JS and Node JS.


The major benefit of using MEAN stack is that the complete coding is based on Javascript. This reduces the learning time required for a rookie developer. Moreover, with the startup culture flourishing around the world, quick turnaround time and a light-weight application architecture have become the need of the day. MEAN stack helps in fulfilling this need. Every piece of code including the web application server runs on Chrome-based Javascript engine. This helps in reducing overall memory requirement as well as improves the web response time.

Besides above benefits MEAN stack also has a reduced development cost. In addition, MEAN.JS as well as its rich ecosystem is an open source champion completely and it’s free to use. Thanks to its sharing capabilities which means that extensive code sharing and reuse within the stack is quite possible and it leads to overall lower expenses. Perhaps it is one of the main benefits a business can get out of using MEAN stack. Owing to its unified and flexible offerings, the development time can be reduced, leading to a lower development cost.

MEAN stack also helps in fast MVP development and scalability. The MEAN stack provides an efficient platform for building scalable software products. A large number of additional frameworks, libraries, and reusable modules are available within the stack which helps business achieve greater benefits when it comes to development speed. So by helping deliver modern and readymade solutions which can significantly save time while making development less strenuous, MEAN stack can be an excellent option for start-ups due to its shorter development cycles and lower development costs.

MERN Stack – the fancy kid in town with Fullstack JavaScript

The main highlight of the MERN stack is that it is a platform that gives enterprises and businesses the agility, performance and intelligence they need to drive their business forward. As we know that today all web users today demand high levels of performance and interactivity, so javascript is at the core of many technologies which empowers the developers to build and deliver websites with rich experiences similar to desktop and mobile apps..

Javascript has become interface to the web. It has greatly evolved over the decades. Today Javascript is not just about adding visual effects to websites in fact it’s a lot more than that and plays a role in implementing application logic and database access.

MERN stack is also carving out a small niche in the life of a software developer and this is because of certain advantages. Since every line of code is written in JavaScript it eliminates the need for context switching. Traditionally tech stacks had different programming languages being used together and developers had to figure out how to build their ideas into tangible products by interfacing them together, which was the challenge. But today’s time is a big departure from the previous trends. As things are on a more even keel with the JavaScript stack. Using the Javascript stack, developers only work with JavaScript and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). This stack is also an expert for building very efficient web applications.

The language has no templates. Although React is not one of the hot and trendy programming languages but the language is widely used because it has no templates. Sometimes web developers are more likely to use React because while in other languages, developers will have to learn and practice the templating language to automate the task of creating repetitive HTML or DOM elements, the same is not the case with React.

React uses a full-featured programming language to construct repetitive or conditional DOM elements and that language is none other than the granddaddy technologies of the internet. Yes its JavaScript.

React is isomorphic, so chill! One of the fundamental principles of this language is keep it simple. We already have so much on your minds. So how does React simplify a developer’s life? Its an isomorphic language and can be run on the server too. Yes the same code can run on both server and the browser allowing businesses to create pages on the server when required, for example, for SEO purposes. The same code can be shared on the server to achieve this.

So the above changing trends are a foolproof that web development is a fast-paced and diverse environment. While it may be hard to choose the most notable and ideal frameworks and technologies or should we say the stack, but we can always try and grab the best stack that suits your business requirements the best.

MEAN v/s MERN stack – A close competition

Angular JS framework is already quite popular among developers for its MVC architecture. However, MVC architecture might not really be the need for every web application. There can be web applications that might merely need an abstraction on the UI layer to optimize the component rendering code. React JS is a library that meets this need.

The major difference between MEAN & MERN stack is the use of Angular JS framework and React JS library respectively. It is quite confusing to choose between MEAN and MERN as both the frameworks are dedicated to providing abstraction at UI level. On one side Angular JS is backed by Google Inc. while React JS is the product of Facebook Inc. Thus, each of them is backed by leading players in the industry. The next section discusses in detail about how could you possibly decide on which tech-stack is perfect for your need.

MEAN v/s MERN stack – How to choose one?

As discussed already, both Angular JS and React JS are dedicated to organizing the UI layer components and rendering them using an optimum code. Both of them are supported by great knowledge bank of documentation, sample codes, and tutorials. Hence, in order to help you choose one of them, this article breaks down the comparison into various factors.

Lets compare their performances first

Angular JS has finally come up with its stable versions. Initially, Angular JS was quite unstable and it had undergone major changes from its version 1 to version 2. However, today it stands stable as a great Javascript based MVC framework. It helps you maintain better abstraction in your coding and manage files in a better way. On the contrary, React JS helps you develop code at a faster rate. Moreover, being merely a library, React JS performs fairly better than Angular JS.

And now the architecture debate gets solved
An enterprise level project like LinkedIn preferred MEAN stack over MERN. The major reason behind this is to maintain an architecture. Although MERN stack makes UI rendering considerably simpler, it is just a library. It just provides means to make rendering easy. On the contrary, Angular JS provides a well-organized framework to support a MVC architecture or rather MVW (Model-View-Whatever) architecture where the database and UI code is isolated with an intermediate layer. This helps in managing the code easily and making upgrading of code an easy task. Thus, MEAN stack is preferable for an Enterprise level architecture.

Which one allows you to use Third Party Libraries with ease?
When it comes to developing a large scale application, we tend to use multiple third-party libraries to serve a variety of purposes. Angular JS, being a framework, comes with ready to use features which eases the use of third-party libraries. It supports “$http” calls to connect to the backend server easily while React JS requires additional libraries to support such calls.

Thus, when it comes to adding features to the application, React JS involves additional configurations while Angular JS is well organized to make it a plug and play job.

From the above discussion, we could conclude that both MEAN and MERN stack are reliable frameworks for rapid front-end development. They result in light-weight Javascript applications. However, the major difference lies in the way it is structured. This makes MEAN stack a better option for large-scale applications while MERN stack leads the race in the faster development of smaller applications.

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Harshal Sancheti

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