Most Popular Node.js Frameworks in 2018

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 With the introduction of Node.js in 2009, it has become possible to use the JavaScript language while scripting server-side as well as client-side parts of an application or project. Earlier that was not possible since developers had to use different and multiple programming languages for both client and server-side scripting. Hence the invention of Node.js is still viewed as an important breakthrough in the world of web development. Now developers can easily create full-stack dynamic web pages.

As you know, there is no limit to perfection, therefore developers are working continuously and creating numerous frameworks for Node.js development. These frameworks will further enhance the development of web applications. Frameworks actually enable developers to grow their applications. They have the ability to automate different repetitive processes with the help of libraries, templates, and reusable components.

In this article, you will come to know about the best frameworks for Node.js development. We will provide you with a list of frameworks that are popular and considered to be the best. These frameworks include Sails.js, Hapi.js, NestJS, LoopBack, Derby.js, Mean.io, Total.js, Mojito, and Koa2.

Top Node.js frameworks

Sails.js

Sails node.js framework

Sails.js can be viewed as the most popular real-time framework that is based on MVC (Model View Controller) pattern. It was released in 2012 as free and open source software under the MIT license. It is a cross-platform web application framework written in JavaScript. It was mainly developed to create custom and business-oriented Node.js applications. Some important points about Sails.js are:

  • Commonly used while implementing data-driven APIs in order to create real-time chatting applications, dashboards, and games.
  • Works well with other front-end development platforms like Angular, Backbone, React, Android, iOS, Windows, Java and many others. Hence developers can choose the toolsets of their choice.
  • Ability to support Grunt modules such as LESS, SASS, Stylus, CoffeeScript, Pug (formerly Jade), and Dust. Therefore it is considered ideal for creating browser-based applications.
  • Incorporates waterline.js, which further provides support for an object-relational mapping interface and database solutions. This helps developers in avoiding trouble while configuring several database queries.
  • Implements Express.js in order to manage HTTP requests.
  • Extensively used in the development of websites. For instance, the website of Verizon, which is a US-based telecommunications company, is developed using this framework. Another implementation of this framework can be viewed on the website of Detroit Lions, an American football team.

Hapi.js

Hapi.js Node.js Framework

Hapi.js is an open-source, lightweight, and high-performance framework for creating web applications. This framework was designed by the team of Walmart Labs and that team was led by the Eran Hammer. They designed it with the intent of directing more traffic towards their Black Friday event. Black Friday was among the busiest days for online shopping in the United States.

Initially, Hapi was developed using the Express framework, but there were so many limitations in the design due to which it was not able to deliver output regarding some particular requirements. Hence Walmart created Hapi as an individual and stand-alone framework. Some important points about Hapi.js are:

  • Allows you to create static websites since it has built-in support for databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL
  • Easily implemented with any of the available front-end development frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue.js.
  • Can be implemented as an API server, a website server, and an HTTP proxy.
  • Can be used to design RESTful and real-time web applications as well as services.
  • Still very popular and hence implemented by several websites including Disney, Concrete, PayPal, Walmart, and many others.

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NestJS

Nest Node.js Framework

NestJS is a server-side application framework that is new to the list of Node.js frameworks. It is considered as the gateway to the world of advanced engineering concepts including microservices architecture, event sourcing, and domain-driven design. It was designed with the intent to support server-side scripting and create server-side applications.

The coolest feature of this framework is that it implements TypeScript, which is a superset of JavaScript. Some important points about NestJS are:

  • Modular structure through which you can easily divide your code into separate modules. Using this structure, you can simply use external libraries.
  • Contains an in-built dependency injection container (DiC).
  • Supports modularization according to which every logical part (module) will exist within the region of the same domain.
  • Eases the process of testing due to the presence of features like DiC and mModularization.
  • Allows developers to create extensible and loosely-bound software solutions.

LoopBack

LoopBack Node.js Framework

LoopBack is a powerful framework that comes with a default API explorer. It enables the framework to get connected with a number of back-end resources. This framework is designed by the team of Express.js. LoopBack also provides support for several databases such as Oracle, MongoDB, and SQL.

Due to its powerful features, it is implemented by the DA-14 team while creating Cosmunity (a social media app). You can also find its implementation in the GoDaddy (US-based domain registrar and web hosting provider), and the website of Symantec company (developer of cyber-security solutions).

Some important points about this framework are:

  • Ability to decode data model definition and design new end-to-end RESTful APIs that further helps developers while setting predefined roles at the user, role, and application levels.
  • With the help of Node Package Manager (NPM), users can easily create dynamic APIs in their application.
  • Using dynamic APIs, performance of dynamic server-based applications can be improved to a great extent.
  • Offers multiple additional components for file management, 3rd party login, OAuth2, and storage providers etc.
  • Runs on-premises or in the cloud.
  • With this framework, you can use Android, iOS, and Angular SDKs in order to design new client applications.
  • Creates REST APIs using the CLI tool, API explorer, models based on a particular schema etc.
  • Can quickly connect devices and browsers to data and services.
  • Easy and simple-to-use authorization and authentication setup.

Derby.js

Derby Node.js Framework

Derby.js can be defined as a full-stack framework that is based on the MVC pattern and is widely used for modern web applications. It has the ability to work well with the development of client-side and server-side applications. Most developers use this framework to create real-time mobile as well as web applications.

Initially it only contains a limited number of standard Node.js modules. But now you can easily add additional third-party modules in order to design and develop a good quality web application. Some important points about this framework are:

  • With the help of its data synchronization engine Racer, you can facilitate real-time concurrency and data synchronization between browser, server, and database of the application (or client and server).
  • Allows you to organize your code into components using designer-friendly HTML templates.
  • Provides support for an online community with which people can connect and ask their queries or questions related to Derby.js.
  • With the server rendering support, it ensures good support for search engine and immediate page loads.

Mean.io

Mean.io is another powerful, free, open-source and full-stack framework that is used to build dynamic websites and web applications. It incorporates all four components of the MEAN Stack i.e. MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js. Along with these components, it also includes some other important web development tools such as Babel and GraphQL. In simple words, you can say that Mean.io provides you a complete toolset for web development.

Some important points about Mean.io framework are:

  • With the help of Mean.io, you can develop applications of any size and complexity level. As it includes all the components of MEAN stack, it is very effective and well known in the entire developer community.
  • There are a lot of websites and applications that are built using the Mean.io framework.
  • Provides almost all the important things that are required when starting application development.

So, don’t wait anymore. Download and install it right now to start your journey of becoming a Node.js developer.

Total.js

Total.js is a server-side framework based on the MVC pattern. It is also best suited for the development of web applications. If we talk about the compatibility feature of this framework, then it is very much flexible and works well with most of the databases. For instance, MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.

It is also compatible with front-end development tools including React, Ember, and Angular. Some important points about Total.js framework are:

  • Capable of creating server-side and client-side applications without having any dependencies.
  • Does not require high-performance CPU and huge memory blocks. It can simply work on ARM architecture.
  • Provides support for events like WebSocket and Server-Sent.
  • Supports SMTP mail sender, localization, media streaming, great view engine, themes etc.
  • Suitable for faster development, solid stability, and higher performance in relatively lower costs compared to other development frameworks.
  • Supports classic routes, dynamic routes, and regex routes. Apart from this, you can also create custom routes in order to handle dynamic content, files or WebSocket events.

Mojito

Mojito is a popular and commonly-used Node.js framework written in the JavaScript language and based on Yahoo!Cocktails, which is a well-known mobile application development platform created by Yahoo. It is designed by Ric Allinson and is based on an MVC framework, and hence has multiple powerful features such as:

  • As JavaScript is used for both client and server components, it can run on both client and server sides of an application.
  • Offers a very effective way for data fetching.
  • Supports local development environment and tools.
  • Has amazing features like unit testing.
  • Huge library for simplifying internationalization and localization.
  • Advantages of Mojito include single language, run-time environment, and Internationalization.

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Koa2

Koa2, the latest version of Koa framework, is developed by the team of Express.js. It is also based on MVC framework. Koa2 has a modular structure and lightweight framework. It has better customization support. It implements generators that encourages it to be good at error-handling. It is widely used to create more robust web applications and APIs. It is created using the ECMAScript 6 or ECMAScript 2015 specification.

Normally while working with Node.js, programmers have to write additional code in order to stream and close a file, but Koa2 has removed this issue. It directly passes the file instead of streaming it. It can easily determine and understand the operation required by the client through HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

Conclusion

So far we have discussed a lot of Node.js frameworks. Let us have a look at how to select any framework and the factors that one should keep in mind while choosing a framework.

Some of the important factors are:

  • Availability and completeness of documentation
  • Availability and size of the community
  • Open issues on GitHub
  • Different types of issues it can solve
  • The flexibility of the framework
  • The complexity of the framework
  • Compatibility of the framework with other tools you are planning to use in the future.

All these frameworks are just a way to enhance and sharpen the future of web and application development technology. There are so many frameworks that work well with Node.js but they are not as popular as Hapi.js, Sails.js, Koa.js, etc. These frameworks help in bringing the latest innovations into the modern tech-savvy world. Hence the development of more complex and function-loaded applications has become possible with such powerful and amazing frameworks.

About Sagar Arora

Sagar Arora is an experienced technical content writer with knowledge of C, C++, python, PHP, Java languages. His writing coverage includes companies such as iSkysoft, Keepvid, Xpo2, Stackify, Entrepreneurbus, etc.
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