We are living in an era, where technology is changing in a blink of an eye. We have seen the advent of Social media, Cloud computing, IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in the last 10 years, all these technologies have changed the world we are living in. We have revolutionary mobile apps, smartwatches, wireless earphones, fitness trackers, AI-enabled devices, and electric cars and whatnot.
Taking the queue from this rapid paradigm shift, even the web development and mobile app development has been changed completely and it’s a different ball game altogether now if we compare it with what it used to be a decade earlier.
The development technologies for Mobile app and Web Development have shifted from back-end development technologies like Java, PHP to front-end technologies like Angular JS, Node JS, React JS. There is a gradual improvement in all these technologies, which helped us to improve the coding efficiency and reduce the code size as well.
The Software development trends and technologies are changing with such an astonishing pace that as a Developer, it is extremely important to remain updated on the most popular trends that are ruling the market. Use of Stack for Web and Mobile app development is growing like anything and deciding to choose the right technology stack for your software product is very critical for your business success and profitability.
In this article, we will be presenting some facts about the most used Stack and their pros and cons, which will certainly help you to select the best Stack for software development when you hire a mobile app development company.
What is Stack?
Technically speaking, a Stack is the collection of Operating systems, tools, languages, databases, scripting language, web servers, frameworks, and APIs, etc. that come together to develop an entire software solution.
According to Layman Guide, a stack is a group of software programs or technologies that work together to achieve a common goal, i.e., Software development. It includes closely related software applications, which can ease the workflow, which ultimately helps in the completion of certain tasks.
Let’s Have a Look at the Most Popular Stacks used for Software Development.
The MEAN Stack
Components of MEAN Stack
- MongoDB (Database Manager)
- ExpressJS (Server-side application framework to support the function of Node.js)
- Angular.js (Front end application framework)
Advantages of MEAN Stack
- The biggest advantage with MEAN stack developement is that it in independent of any specific operating system. It also supports Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, which gives developers freedom while working with a variety of programming languages.
- All the MEAN stack technologies are free and open-source with ever-growing support from a dedicated community.
- MEAN stack is known as the perfect stack for applications hosted on the cloud. It offers unmatched scalability, flexibility and it also allows the developer to test and create applications in the cloud without any hassles.
- This stack includes its own web server, which makes its deployment an extremely easy task.
- Its database MongoDB is faster than SQL and it can be scaled instantly when the demand arises. It is compatible with the cloud and provides benefits like automatic replication, which is indeed a big advantage. It allows the usage of JSON, which is quite popular with the Developer for its utility.
Disadvantages of MEAN Stack
- Maintenance of the application is an issue, as it contains a new set of libraries and frameworks and there are frequent updates launched at a rapid pace, which makes this job a bit tougher for developers.
- Application sustainability could be a potential issue, with a gradual phase-out of technologies.
- MongoDB Development is quite popular but it has shortcomings too, we can lose the data during any heavy load situation.
The MERN Stack
Components of MERN Stack
- MongoDB (Database Manager)
- Express.js (Server-side application framework to support the function of Node.js)
Advantages of MERN Stack
- MERN is also open-source, which has huge support from the global developer community.
- It also supports the model view controller (MVC) architecture to make the development process smooth while using a wide variety of programming languages.
- It uses Node.js, which is quite fast and efficient because of its asynchronous nature. It gives a brilliant performance if we compare it with other languages.
- React is fantastic for front end development, it gives an unparalleled experience to the end-user. Some famous websites like Facebook, Dropbox and Airbnb use React for making amazing user interfaces.
Disadvantages of MERN Stack
- Though React provides pathbreaking interfaces and experience, but developers face hurdles due to its limited core functionality since it is a library and not a full-fledged framework. Hence, developers have to rely on third party services.
- It doesn’t support direct calls to interact with the Backend Servers.
- It is not recommended for large scale applications.
The MEVN Stack
This stack uses Vue.js as a front-end development framework. This framework is immensely popular amongst the developers as Vue.js offers rapid development and effectiveness while comparing with Angular.js and React.js. Vue.js offers some basic functionality which can be further extended using third-party services. In a way, we can say the Vue.js provides the best features of both Angular and React which gives an astonishing performance along with a super-rich set of tools. It uses ExpressJS, to manage all the server end related operations. It has the following components, that can be used to design effective frontend and backend components and improve the functionality of your website or app drastically.
Components of MEVN Stack
- MongoDB (Database Manager)
- ExpressJS (Server-side application framework to support the function of Node.js)
- Vue.js (A front end development framework)
Advantages of MEVN Stack
Disadvantages of MEVN Stack
- It used Vue.js, which is comparatively a new language and doesn’t enjoy the support of a large community of active programmers across the world.
- The flexibility of Vue.js is an issue in large scale projects where many developers are involved.
- It also mired with the lack of plugins; however, this can be overcome by using React or Angular, but that’s not what intended usage of a stack.
- It used MongoDB, which is not suited for the applications which need Multi-Object Transactions, it only supports ACID transactions.
The LAMP Stack
The LAMP is a classic and one of the oldest stacks of technologies (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). It is the forefront of the Open-source software stacks, a market leader that started it all and it is still loved by developers for its reliability and flexibility. It offers amazing stability, simplicity coupled with power, which makes LAMP a most suitable platform for developing applications.
Its popularity is unmatched, as several popular open-source web applications like WordPress and Drupal are based on LAMP. It is known for its path-breaking ability to handle dynamic pages. LAMP is an open-source stack, it allows developers and organizations to choose different components based on specific business requirements. It offers flexibility to use MS Windows to create a (Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack or Apple’s MAC to create the (Mac, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack to develop applications suitable for these respective platforms.
LAMP offers flexibility to choose Perl or Python over PHP to develop a wide variety of applications. It has a robust platform, which is best suited for developing and hosting large scale applications. It comes with the biggest developer community coupled with huge numbers of libraries and tools, that gives huge support and resources for application development.
Components of LAMP Stack
- Linux (Operating System)
- Apache (a dedicated Webserver)
- MySQL (for Data persistence)
- PHP (Programming language)
Advantages of LAMP Stack
- LAMP has global acceptance and it is being used by thousands of organizations with widest available support.
- It offers countless modules, libraries and add-ons, which can fulfill and organization’s needs.
- As it is a Linux based stack, hence it has a huge source community which offers a one of its kind of knowledge base for developers, which is not available for any other stack.
- It uses MySQL, which is one of the most reliable and scalable database solutions available in the market.
- It uses PHP, which is known for its faster integration with the rest of the Stack components and it offers blazing development speed.
- It offers superb control over the webserver; it offers such flexibility, that Developers don’t have to think about the Client’s end software/browser while developing the application.
Disadvantages of LAMP Stack
- As it’s easy to learn and widely available, it is observed that developers are not following the best industry practices to build genuine and effective applications.
- Apache is not considered as the highest performing webserver, if any organization is expecting for huge volumes of traffic, then it’s probably not the right choice.
- PHP is quite popular, but it is considered more as a scripting language rather than a traditional programming language, which has lot of shortcomings as far as functionality is concerned.
- MySQL is getting less traction than the other options like NoSQL databases (MongoDB). Enterprises are more inclined towards NOSQL databases now, due to its scalability.
- Overall, we can say that LAMP is a collection of tools, that can fulfill the purpose, but probably aren’t the best of the choices at least in the current scenario.
Now we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the above stacks, now we will be discussing few critical parameters that need to be taken into consideration while choosing the right Stack for our organization.
Stage of Your Business
We must choose the right Technology stack basis on the current stage of your organization. If you are a start-up, then your primary goal must be launching the product and solutions as quickly as possible. In such a situation, any technology stack would be a good fit for you if it allows you to launch a working prototype in the shortest possible time.
This is the most important parameter to keep in mind while choosing the right Technology Stack. If you need a website with huge interaction capabilities, then Drupal and WordPress (LAMP) will be used. If the project requires a frontend user interface with complex interactions, then Angular or React will be good fit. The organization should understand project goals and its business objectives before choosing a specific technology stack, else it could cause financial loss.
Availability of Resources
The availability of developers who will develop the applications is a big deciding factor for choosing the right technology stack. An organization should choose a stack that enjoys the support of a thriving developer support community. Stack-based on commonly used programming language should be chosen as it will help the organization to add additional programmers wherever it is required.
This is among the primary factors to decide the right technology stack for the organization. The cost of a developer depends on the kind of Stack an organization is using, also if the stack contains open source components then the cost of development and maintenance will be reduced gradually, also such components can be upgraded and changed without any restrictions.
Time to Market
This is a parameter which is quite crucial for any organization, as it is their primary objective to develop and release their products and get the feedback of the end-users to make any sort of improvements. Any Technology stack which offers rapid development of the application will be the best fit.
An assessment of the proposed product is necessary to ensure we use adequate Stack that help and organization to scale the Software vertically and horizontally.
Conclusion – A Developer’s Perspective
As we said earlier that there are multiple parameters that need to be assessed before making a decision to use the right Stack, however, we have to look at this decision from a developer’s perspective as well. It depends upon the development and functional requirements of the proposed system that need to be developed. If you have multiple developers working on an Enterprise solution then Angular.js is the primary choice, hence MEAN fits the bill, renowned organizations like HBO, NASA, Nike and YouTube use MEAN stack development for their web solutions.
MERN stack makes User interface rendering easy via its React.js library. It uses a single language for both client and server end scripting, hence there is no need for context switching, which is a major relief for developers. Several big organizations such as Netflix, Uber, Flipkart choose MERN stack and their web solutions are based on React.js.
If you want to make an application with MVC capability and better server-side interactivity, then MEVN is the right choice. It provides robust features of both MEAN and MERN, that help us building high-performance and lightweight apps like e-commerce platforms, social networking platform and gaming portals.
If you want to make a complex enterprise solution with huge customization, with a lot of flexibility and cost-effectiveness, along with robust security, then LAMP & MEAN or MERN is the right choice for you.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on the latest technological trends.