MEAN Stack – Introduction


JavaScript has always been defined as the language of the web, in fact since it’s inception, in a mad 10 day period back in 1995, it was supposed to be a language to assist web browsers in rendering content.   Therefore many developers have only ever considered JavaScript as a necessary evil for front end development work.

I have to admit that even until 2009, I was firmly in that camp.  I predominantly developed applications as what one would probably define as Mixed Stack software development projects, where by the  backend database was implemented using some derivation of SQL ( Structured Query Language) i.e. Microsoft  SQL Server, mySQL or even Oracle. The Middle Tier consisted of C#, Java, PHP or Python , the user interface a mixture of JavaScript, HTML and some inter-mangling of the Middle Tier templating language.


What is the MEAN Stack ?

The term MEAN stack refers to a collection of JavaScript based technologies used to develop web applications. MEAN is an acronym for MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS and Node.js. From client to server to database, MEAN is full stack JavaScript. This article explores the basics of the MEAN stack and shows how to create a simple bucket list application.

MongoDB is a schema-less NoSQL database system. MongoDB saves data in binary JSON format which makes it easier to pass data between client and server.

Express is lightweight framework used to build web applications in Node. It provides a number of robust features for building single and multi page web application.

AngularJS is a JavaScript framework developed by Google. It provides some awesome features like the two-way data binding. It’s a complete solution for rapid and awesome front end development.

Node.js is a server side JavaScript execution environment. It’s a platform built on Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript runtime.Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient.

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The Objective of the Tutorial

We’ll build a simple web application and along the way we’ll dive in a little detail about each technology.  We’ll discuss new concepts as and when they are needed and I’ll attempt to provide plenty of links to additional information, to enable you to further explore and research a little more.

We’ll create an application making use of Mean.JS, a full-stack JavaScript solution, to generate the basic application for us and we will extend the application with the desired capabilities.

More about the application we’ll build

The application we’ll build is a prototype of the Field Management application, very similar to a real application I built for a start up company.  The application will feature the essential elements you will need and find in any line-of-business application.