5 Best BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript Kids Must Know

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JavaScript is a versatile and kids-friendly full-fledged programming language. With more experience, you’ll be able to create games, animated 2D and 3D graphics, comprehensive database-driven apps, and much more.

With websites, it can do a  lot of amazing things. JavaScript is a full-fledged programming language that can add interactivity to a website. This happens in games, in the behavior of responses when buttons are pressed or with data entry on forms; with dynamic styling; with animation, etc.

What is a Framework?

A framework is a platform for developing software applications. It provides a foundation on which software developers can build programs for a specific platform. For example, a framework may include predefined classes and functions that can be used to process input, manage hardware devices, and interact with system software. This helps in streamlining the development process since programmers don’t need to rewrite the code each time they develop a new application.

JavaScript frameworks are an essential part of modern front-end web development, providing developers with tried and tested tools for building scalable, interactive web applications. 

We’ve already discussed some of the most popular front-end JavaScript frameworks, but what about the back-end? While some frameworks overlap, it’s better not to combine front and back-end development, especially with something as critical as JavaScript.

BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript

Here we bring you 5 important frameworks for backend web development.

1. Express

Express.js is a web application framework for Node.js. It provides various features that make web application development fast and easy which otherwise takes more time using only Node.js.

Express.js is based on the Node.js middleware module called connect which in turn uses the HTTP module. So, any middleware which is based on connect will also work with Express.js.

BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript

Following are the features of Express.js:

  • It makes Node.js web application development fast and easy.
  • It is easy to configure and customize.
  • It allows you to define routes of your application based on HTTP methods and URLs.
  • It includes various middleware modules which you can use to perform additional tasks on request and response.
  • Express.js is easy to integrate with different template engines like Jade, Vash, EJS, etc.
  • It allows you to define an error handling middleware.
  • Using Express.js it is easy to serve static files and resources of your application.
  • It allows you to create a REST API server.
  • Express.js is easy to connect with databases such as MongoDB, Redis, MySQL.

2. Meteor

Meteor is one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks, which offers a lot of features for back-end development, front-end rendering, database management, and business logic.

The framework has enormously grown its ecosystem since its release in 2012. It helps developers in the fast development of end-to-end web and mobile applications in pure JavaScript.

BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript

Following are the features of Meteor.js:

  • Full Stack Solution: Meteor offers a full-stack solution for developing and deploying web applications. Meteor comes bundled with several built-in features, such as reactive templates, automatic CSS and JS minification on the production server, and hot code reload. Its cloud platform, Galaxy, is quite powerful for deploying, scaling, and monitoring client applications. It also offers useful client-side technologies, including templates, helpers, and events.
  • Deployment Ecosystem: Meteor.js is more than a JavaScript development framework. It is an open-source Isomorphic Development Ecosystem (IDevE). Meteor.js allows building real-time web applications from scratch. It contains all the necessary front-end and back-end components (such as frameworks, libraries, configuration tools, databases, and much more) that aid developers through the entire app development lifecycle, right from setup and development to deployment.
  • Isomorphic JavaScript Code: Meteor allows using the same code on the front-end and the back-end as well as for mobile and web applications. It prevents developers from requiring to install and configure different libraries, module managers, APIs, drivers, and more. Moreover, with Meteor, developers can leverage the power of JavaScript while reducing code length and complexity. This saves a lot of developer’s time as they do not have to perform context switching between server language and JavaScript.
  • Front-End Solution: Meteor offers Blaze.js, a front-end development framework. Though it is not an advanced framework, it offers some good features. But, Meteor also integrates with popular modern front-end frameworks like Backbone.js in order to yield better results. Meteor offers isomorphic APIs that communicate between the front-end and back-end. This allows developers to handle client-server management and server-session management with ease. Data communication between client and server happens automatically without having to write any boilerplate code.
  • Database Integration: One of the disadvantages of Meteor.js is that it supports only MongoDB as of now. So, you cannot use Meteor if you need to include NoSQL database support for your applications. But, the Meteor ecosystem offers a MongoDB database as well as a front-end representation of MongoDB called Minimongo, which is written entirely in JavaScript. Meteor has a Mongo API which seamlessly integrates MongoDB on the back-end and Minimongo on the front-end. This results in the faster page reload and page updates thus mitigating latency.
  • Live Reload: Another prominent feature of Meteor.js is its integrated live-browser reloading. Whenever there are any development changes to make on the front-end, it automatically reloads the live web page. Live reloading also allows refreshing only the required DOM elements on the web page without making an entire page reload in spite of any dependent changes to data on the back-end or front-end.
  • Custom Package Manager: One can use npm modules (98,000+ modules) with Meteor but it has also got its own custom Package Manager which features the necessary npm functionalities and some additional functionalities. Meteor’s official repository of Meteor packages named atmosphere.js features more than 2,600 smart packages.

3. Next

Next.js is a small JavaScript framework primarily used as a back-end for developing applications in the React framework. The main purpose of Next is to provide a simple implementation experience for the development of React applications.

BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript

Following are the features of Next:

  • Hot Code Reloading: Next.js reloads the page when it detects any change saved to disk.
  • Automatic Routing: Any URL is mapped to the filesystem, to files put in the pages folder, and you don’t need any configuration (you have customization options of course).
  • Single File Components: Using styled-jsx, completely integrated as built by the same team, it’s trivial to add styles scoped to the component.
  • Server Rendering: You can render React components on the server-side, before sending the HTML to the client.
  • Ecosystem Compatibility: Next.js plays well with the rest of the JavaScript, Node, and React ecosystem.
  • Automatic Code Splitting: Pages are rendered with just the libraries and JavaScript that they need, no more. Instead of generating one single JavaScript file containing all the app code, the app is broken up automatically by Next.js in several different resources.
  • Prefetching: The Link component, used to link together different pages, supports a prefetch prop that automatically prefetches page resources (including code missing due to code splitting) in the background.
  • Dynamic Components: You can import JavaScript modules and React Components dynamically.
  • Static Exports: Using the next export command, Next.js allows you to export a fully static site from your app.
  • TypeScript Support: Next.js is written in TypeScript and as such comes with excellent TypeScript support.

4. Koa

Koa is a new web framework designed by the team behind Express, which aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs. Through leveraging generators Koa allows you to ditch callbacks and greatly increase error handling. 

Koa does not bundle any middleware within the core and provides an elegant suite of methods that make writing servers fast and enjoyable.

BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript

A Koa application is an object containing an array of middleware functions that are composed and executed in a stack-like manner upon request. Koa is similar to many other middleware systems that you may have encountered such as Ruby’s Rack, Connect, and so on – however, a key design decision was made to provide high-level “sugar” at the otherwise low-level middleware layer. This improves interoperability, robustness, and makes writing middleware much more enjoyable.

This includes methods for common tasks like content negotiation, cache freshness, proxy support, and redirection among others. Despite supplying a reasonably large number of helpful methods Koa maintains a small footprint, as no middleware is bundled.

Following are the features of Koa:

  • Generator support from the ground up Using generators (a bleeding edge feature, even for Node.js) would clean up your code from the mess caused by all those callbacks, making your code more manageable.
  • The development team has a proven track record
  • Koa is developed by the team behind a widely used node.js framework (express.js).
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Koa is very lightweight with just 550 lines of code.
  • sync/await keywords are supported and have transcended beyond generator functions
  • Generators functions are of course a huge plus, but at the time Koa team has transcended generations functions and shifted towards async/await style programming. It has made the Koa best framework available in the market.

5. Sails

Sails.js (or Sails) is a model-view-controller (MVC) web application framework developed atop the Node.js environment released as free and open-source software under the MIT license. It is designed to make it easy to build custom, enterprise-grade Node.js web applications, and APIs. Emulating the MVC architecture of other frameworks, like Ruby on Rails, offers a similar pattern and familiarity, reducing the cognitive burden when switching between other frameworks/languages.

BackEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript

Following are the features of Sails:

  • 100% JavaScript: Like other MVC frameworks, Sails is built with an emphasis on developer happiness and a convention-over-configuration philosophy. But Node.js takes this principle to the next level. Building on top of Sails means your app is written entirely in JavaScript, the language you are already using in the browser. Since you spend less time context-shifting, you’re able to write code in a more consistent style, which makes development more productive and fun.
  • Any database: Sails bundles a powerful ORM, Waterline, which provides a simple data access layer that just works, no matter what database you’re using. In addition to a plethora of community projects, officially supported adapters exist for MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis, and local disk.
  • Powerful associations: Sails offers a new take on the familiar relational model, aimed at making data modeling more practical. You can do all the same things you might be used to (one-to-many, many-to-many), but you can also assign multiple named associations per model (for instance, a cake might have two collections of people: “havers” and “eaters”). Better yet, you can assign different models to different databases, and your associations/joins will still work – even across NoSQL and relational boundaries. Sails has no problem implicitly/automatically joining a MySQL table with a Mongo collection and vice versa.
  • Auto-generate REST APIs: Sails comes with blueprints that help jumpstart your app’s backend without writing any code. Just run sails generate API dentist and you’ll get an API that lets you search, paginate, sort, filter, create, destroy, update, and associate dentists. Since these blueprint actions are built on the same underlying technology as Sails, they also work with Websockets and any supported database out of the box.
  • Support WebSockets with no additional code: In the past, adding a real-time/”comet” feature meant maintaining two separate code bases. But since the request interpreter in Sails translates incoming socket messages for you, they’re automatically compatible with every route in your Sails app, as well as any existing Express routes/middleware. Normalization of parameters, the session, and the streaming interface are all taken care of. In other words, the code you write works with WebSockets and HTTP, without any extra work.
  • Declarative, reusable security policies: Sails provide basic security and role-based access control by default in the form of policies – simple, reusable middleware functions that run before your controllers and actions. Writing policies encourage encapsulation, which dramatically simplifies your business logic and reduces the total amount of code you need to write. Policies are interchangeable with Express/Connect middleware, which means you can plug in popular npm modules like Passport. Finally, like most things in Sails, your policies work for both WebSockets and HTTP automatically.
  • Front-End agnostic: While the promise of “one language/framework to rule them all” is certainly enticing, it isn’t always realistic. Sails is compatible with any front-end strategy; whether it’s Angular, Backbone, iOS/ObjC, Android/Java, Windows Phone, or something else that hasn’t been invented yet. Plus, it’s easy to serve up the same API to be consumed by another web service or community of developers.
  • Flexible asset pipeline: Sails ships with Grunt- which means your entire front-end asset workflow is completely customizable and comes with support for all the great Grunt modules which are already out there. That includes support for LESS, SASS, Stylus, CoffeeScript, JST, Jade, Handlebars, Dust, and many more. When you’re ready to go into production, your assets are minified and gzipped automatically. You can even compile your static assets and push them out to a CDN like CloudFront to make your app load even faster.
  • Rock-solid foundation: Sails is built on Node.js, a popular, lightweight server-side technology that allows you to write blazing fast, scalable network applications in JavaScript. Sails use Express for handling HTTP requests and wrap socket.io for managing WebSockets. So if your app ever needs to get really low-level, you can access the raw Express or Socket.io objects. Another nice side-effect is that your existing Express routes work perfectly well in the Sails app, so migrating an existing Node app is quite easy.

Also read 5 Best FrontEnd Web Frameworks in JavaScript Kids Must Know

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