Web frameworks are code libraries that provide developers with a way to add additional features and functionality to their applications, while using less code. Working with web frameworks can save developers countless hours by simplifying the development process. There are three popular frameworks you may have heard of are:

  1. Express is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications. It is primarily used for building single-page, multi-page, and hybrid web applications.
  2. Koa.js is a MVC (model view controller) framework that is an incarnation of minimalism and built by the developers of Express. The Express team wanted to reduce the middleware used in Express to provide developers with more control.
  3. Meteor.js is a full-stack opinionated MVC JavaScript platform that allows developers to build web applications solely with JavaScript.

What role do web frameworks fill?

Frameworks provide support for building and deploying web applications. With frameworks, developers no longer have to build an entire application from scratch. Many frameworks provide libraries, template engines, and scaffolding to automate processes.

Types of frameworks

Model-View-Controller (MVC) frameworks

The MVC framework is an architectural pattern that is designed to separate an application into three distinct parts: Model, View, and Controller. The model contains all the data and logic. The view presents data to the user and handles user interactions. The controller is the interface between the model and the view.

Full-stack MVC Frameworks

The Full-stack MVC framework comes bundled with scaffolding, template engines, websocket and persistence libraries, which allow you to build real-time scalable web applications.

Rest API Frameworks

Rest API Frameworks allow you to send requests over HTTPS and communicate primarily using JSON.

So how does Express differ from the other frameworks listed? Express is part of the MEAN stack and is used by a large number of developers. It is an unopinionated framework like Koa.js, but unlike Meteor.js. Express provides freedom to developers, high performance, and a large number of developers. Koa.js was built to reduce the middleware used in Express, provide developers with more control over the application, and address callback issues. Although, Koa has some disadvantages over Express, it has a small number of developers and a high learning curve. Meteor differs from both Express and Koa.js because it’s a full-stack MVC framework that allows you to use the same code on both client and server side applications and it provides bi-directional data synchronization between them.