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Ashraf Khan
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What is Mean Stack Development, How Does it Work? Benefits & Use Cases - tutorial for building a simple Application using Mean


In web development, being full stack MEANs handling all parts of a web app. You've got the front end, which users see, and the back end, where data hangs out. The MEAN stack is a tech combo that tackles both.

In the MEAN stack, applications stick to a simple client-server setup. The client, made using Angular, could be a web, mobile, or desktop app. It chats with the server via an API, powered by Express. The server takes care of requests using the MongoDB database.

The MEAN Stack rocks as a top pick for building Full Stack Web Apps. It's a mix of technologies, all rooted in JavaScript.

In web development, being full stack means handling all parts of a web app. You've got the front end, which users see, and the back end, where data hangs out. The MEAN stack is a tech combo that tackles both.

What is the MEAN Stack?

The MEAN Stack is a web development framework that brings together MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS. Each component has a specific role:

  • MongoDB: a document-oriented database
  • ExpressJS: a web framework for NodeJS
  • AngularJS: a client-side JavaScript framework
  • NodeJS: a JavaScript back-end runtime environment

    MEAN is the go-to choice for full-stack JavaScript development. It's a set of open-source tools that's gaining popularity among big players like Google, Accenture, Sisense, and PayPal. Let's take a quick look at each part

    Let's look at each component of Mean.js one by one.

MongoDB (Database)


MongoDB is a document database with a unique setup. Unlike traditional SQL databases that organize data into tables and columns, MongoDB opts for a horizontal scale-out architecture and a flexible schema. Since its start in 2007, MongoDB has gained a global fanbase among developers.

Instead of rows and columns, MongoDB stores data as documents in BSON format, which is a binary version of the data. These documents are then easily retrievable in JSON format, making it a breeze for applications to handle.
Here's the link of the official documentation of MongoDb.

ExpressJs (Backend)

MEAN stack express

ExpressJS, the second piece of the MEAN stack, helps us create the backend for web and mobile apps. With Express, we don't need extra Node modules because it offers lots of handy tools, called middleware, to keep our code in check.

It basically adds a layer on top of Node.js to help you manage servers and routes smoothly.

Here's the link for the official documentation of ExpressJs

Benefits of ExpressJS

1. Simple and Light: This software is simple and light, a breeze to install and get your app up and running.

2. Flexible: Customizing and setting it up is a cinch, giving you the flexibility you need.

3. Good for creating APIs: When it comes to building APIs, Express.js shines.

AngularJS (Frontend)


AngularJS, the third component of the MEAN stack, is a popular front-end framework known for building dynamic user interfaces.

Its standout feature is the ability to interact with web applications without needing to refresh the page, leading to reduced site traffic and improved performance.

By allowing you to extend your HTML tags with metadata (or jQuery), AngularJS makes it easier to develop dynamic, interactive online experiences compared to manually constructing them with static HTML and JavaScript.

Additionally, AngularJS offers features such as form validation, localization, and connectivity to back-end services, which are standard for front-end JavaScript frameworks.
Here's the link for the official documentation of AngularJS.

Angular Benefits:

1. Two-Way Binding Feature: AngularJS makes it easy to keep your app's data and view in sync. So, when you change something in the model, it instantly shows up in the view, and vice versa. This makes building the user interface a piece of cake, keeping things simple and smooth.

2. Supports SPA features: When you're building a website with AngularJS, it feels super fast and smooth. With AngularJS, building SPAs is a breeze. Your site loads quickly, works on any device, and gives users a great experience. Plus, it's a cinch to maintain.

3. Simple Declarative UI: AngularJS uses HTML to create templates for your webpages. It's easy to understand and work with. Designers can focus on making things look pretty, while developers connect everything up using simple tags like ng-app and ng-model.

4. Backed By Google: Google loves AngularJS too! They use it for their own stuff and keep making it better. Having Google behind it gives AngularJS some serious street cred. Plus, there's a huge community of developers who can help out if you ever get stuck.

NodeJS (Backend)

Node js

Node.js is a crucial part of MEAN.js. It's an open-source platform that runs JavaScript code, making it perfect for building the back end of web and mobile applications. Web apps run in browsers, while mobile apps run on mobile devices.

Both types of apps need to interact with backend services for tasks like storing data, sending emails, and managing push notifications.

Node.js is great for building highly scalable, data-intensive, and real-time applications. It's also perfect for agile development and creating services that can scale up easily.

For instance, PayPal uses Node.js alongside Java and Spring for its applications.
Here's the link for the official documentation of NodeJs.

NodeJS Benefits

Node.js has several benefits:

1. Speed: Node.js apps are faster compared to those built with other frameworks, and they need fewer developers to get the job done.

2. Less code: It requires fewer lines of code, making development more efficient.

3. Faster response time: Node.js apps boast a 35% faster response time compared to others.

4. Smooth transition: The biggest advantage is that Node.js uses JavaScript. If you're already a front-end developer, transitioning to full-stack development with Node.js is a breeze.

How Does MEAN Stack Work?
MEAN Stack working

The MEAN bundle lets you make live apps, really fit for cloud-based and one-page web apps made with Angular.js. JSON files made in the Angular.js user part can go to the Express.js server to work on and save in MongoDB. The parts of the MEAN bundle mix well because they all use JavaScript and JSON, which makes making apps easy and direct.

Express.js makes it easy to guide and handle web tasks, while Angular is strong for making web pages that change and chat with the server part. Node.js offers an open and for all, cross-use JavaScript run space that lets JavaScript run on the server side.

Even with MEAN's plus points, coders need to watch out for possible mix-up and speed bumps when it gets big, because of how JavaScript works and the speed of making things, which might lead to mixing up business and server work.

All in all, the MEAN bundle gives an all-in-one way to make full web apps using JavaScript all through, pushing the use of the same code again and making things match. It fits cloud-hosted apps well, scales up, and handles many users at once well, making it a liked pick for new web app making.

Benefits of MEAN Stack

Unified JavaScript Language: MEAN stack allows developers to use JavaScript across the entire application stack, from front end to back end and database. This promotes code consistency, reduces context switching, and simplifies development, debugging, and maintenance.

Flexibility and Scalability: MEAN stack applications are highly flexible and scalable, making them well-suited for cloud-based deployment. With MongoDB for the database and Node.js for the server, applications can easily scale up or down to handle varying workloads and usage spikes.

Cost-Effectiveness: MEAN stack applications are optimized for cloud environments, leveraging the cost savings and performance benefits of cloud computing. The ability to scale resources dynamically based on demand helps optimize costs by only using what is needed at any given time.

Streamlined Development Process: By utilizing a consistent set of tools and technologies within the MEAN stack, developers can streamline the development process. This reduces development time, minimizes resource allocation, and enhances collaboration among team members.

Single Skillset Requirements: With MEAN stack development, you can rely on a single pool of JavaScript developers who are proficient in building both front-end and back-end components. This eliminates the need to hire specialized developers for different parts of the application, reducing overhead costs and simplifying team management.

Code Reusability: Standardizing on JavaScript across the entire stack promotes code reusability. Developers can reuse components and modules across different parts of the application, leading to more efficient development and minimizing redundant code.

Community Support and Ecosystem: The MEAN stack benefits from a large and active community of developers and contributors. This ensures ongoing support, regular updates, and a wealth of resources, libraries, and frameworks to enhance development productivity and address various needs.

Rapid Prototyping and Iteration: JavaScript's dynamic nature and the modular architecture of the MEAN stack enable rapid prototyping and iteration. Developers can quickly build, test, and iterate on features, allowing for faster time-to-market and the ability to adapt to changing requirements and user feedback.

Overall, the MEAN stack offers a powerful and efficient framework for building modern web applications, combining flexibility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of development into a cohesive solution.

MEAN Stack Architecture

The steps involved in the MEAN stack framework are as follows:

Step 1: AngularJS acts as the front-end framework, facilitating client-side interactions. Upon receiving a client request, AngularJS initiates processing and awaits results for display.

Step 2: Node.js receives and handles requests forwarded by AngularJS. It manages the server-side logic, processing requests and coordinating responses effectively.

Step 3: Express.js serves as the middleware framework, handling client requests and managing API endpoints. It facilitates smooth communication between the front end and MongoDB, constructing RESTful APIs for data retrieval and manipulation. Express.js efficiently routes requests to MongoDB, ensuring seamless interaction between the client and the database.

Step 4: MongoDB acts as the scalable NoSQL database, storing and managing the system's data. It utilizes a document-oriented model for storing JSON-like documents, providing flexibility and efficiency in data storage. Express.js seamlessly integrates with MongoDB, leveraging its querying capabilities to fetch and modify data. Once data operations are completed, MongoDB returns responses to Express.js for further processing before passing control back to Node.js.

Step 5: Upon completion of server-side operations, AngularJS receives processed results from Node.js and renders them for display to the client. The MEAN stack architecture thrives on MongoDB's data management capabilities and AngularJS's dynamic rendering prowess.

This architecture encapsulates the flow of data and operations within the MEAN stack, ensuring efficient handling of requests and seamless interaction between components.

What are the possible applications of the MEAN stack?

Though not the best fit for each and every use case, MEAN stack is still an ideal option in many instances. It is the best choice if you need to develop large-scale cloud-native applications with thousands of concurrent users.

Furthermore, AngularJS front end framework makes it a perfect tool for developing single-page applications (SPAs) that provide all information and features on one page.

Thus, here are some examples of MEAN usage:

  • Calendars
  • Expense tracking
  • News aggregation sites
  • Mapping and location finding

In software development, Stack refers to a combination of program packages and development tools that work together to deliver complex online or mobile applications. With the combination of development and sustainability, software developers are now able to expedite web development procedures.


PayPal is a sophisticated money-transfer service that was built using HTML, templates, and Javascript from both the application side and the database. PayPal has two very different frontend and backend programmers who use AngularJS and NodeJS, respectively.


Netflix is a famous subscription model that utilizes MEAN technologies. The streaming site uses AngularJS in many ways to explore various patterns.

The back end of Netflix was written in Java, while the front end was done in JS. However, it seemed difficult to deal with numerous programming skills.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel is a television network that broadcasts weather reports. To conduct its business, Weather Channel also uses Significantly, functioning depends on the utilization of MEAN features on the website as well as the software itself.

AngularJS is applied by Weather Report for easy prognosis of weather conditions coupled with normal functionality. For various themes, AngularJS was employed twice.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using MEAN Stack

MEAN stack Adv DisAdv

Advantages of using MEAN

  1. Consistent Development: Similar to MEAN, MEAN provides a consistent, standardised software stack for Cross-platform compatibility: MEAN applications offer a write-once approach, making them suitable for various platforms. They excel in real-time and cloud-native applications, as well as single-page web apps built with Angular.js.
  2. Versatile use cases: From workflow management tools to interactive forums, MEAN stack finds applications in diverse scenarios, offering flexibility and adaptability.
  3. Seamless integration: Since all components (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.js) are based on JavaScript and JSON, integration within the stack is intuitive and straightforward, facilitating smoother development processes.
  4. Popular and well-supported frameworks: Express and Angular, representing the 'E' and 'A' in MEAN, are widely used and well-supported frameworks for back-end and front-end development, respectively, ensuring robust development environments and extensive community support.
  5. Ideal for Node.js applications: Whether it's high-throughput APIs, simple web applications, or micro-services, MEAN stack provides an ideal foundation for building Node.js applications, leveraging the strengths of JavaScript across the entire development stack.
  6. Open source nature: All MEAN stack components are open source, providing developers with a cost-effective and collaborative development environment.

DisAdvantages of using MEAN

  1. Concurrency and performance concerns: JavaScript, being the foundation of the MEAN stack, may pose concurrency and performance issues at scale, potentially affecting the efficiency of back-end servers in demanding environments.
  2. Rapid development may lead to code quality issues: The rapid development nature of MEAN stack might lead to poor isolation of business and server logic, resulting in spaghetti code and bad practices if not managed carefully.
  3. Lack of concrete coding guidelines: While there are abundant guides and tutorials available, they often lack concrete JavaScript coding guidelines specific to the MEAN stack, potentially leading to inconsistent coding practices and compatibility issues across projects.
  4. Crowded stack field: While MEAN offers a standardised and cohesive development stack, the field of available stacks is crowded, each with its own set of benefits and downsides. Choosing MEAN might not always be the best fit for every project, requiring careful consideration of project requirements and objectives.

How Secure­ Is the MEAN Stack?

The MEAN framework using MongoDB Atlas is recommended. Atlas provides built-in passwords, gateways, and encryption—ideal for securing MongoDB. MEAN gives a clear three-tier separation. Combined with best practices and network isolation, it stops endpoint users from accessing your application logic. Most importantly, it respects your data.

Further, the stack gives a clear boundary that, when used properly with network separation, should prohibit outside access to the core code and, crucially, your data.