LAMP to MEAN, the shift

This STACK has the ability to scale easily with large datasets.

MEAN is more than a simple rearrangement of acronym letters, The MEAN (MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, Node.js) stack is a modern challenger to the long-popular LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack for building professional websites with open source software. MEAN represents a major shift in architecture and mental models — from relational databases to NoSQL and from server-side Model-View-Controller to client-side, single-page applications powered by full-stack javascript.

Node.js replaces Apache in the LAMP stack, Node.js is far more than a simple web server. In fact, you don’t deploy your finished application to a stand-alone web server; instead, the web server is included in your application and installed automagically in the MEAN stack. The deployment process is dramatically simpler as a result, because the required version of the web server is explicitly defined along with the rest of your runtime dependencies.

The move from a traditional database such as MySQL to a NoSQL, schemaless, document-oriented persistence store such as MongoDB represents a fundamental shift in persistence strategy. You’ll spend less time writing SQL and more time writing map/reduced functions in JavaScript. You’ll also cut out huge swaths of transformation logic, because MongoDB emits JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) natively. Consequently, writing RESTful web services is easier than ever.

The biggest shift from LAMP to MEAN is the move from traditional server-side page generation to a client-side single-page application (SPA) orientation. With Express, you can still handle server-side routing and page generation, but the emphasis is now on client-side views, courtesy of AngularJS. This change involves more than simply shifting your Model-View-Controller (MVC) artifacts from the server to the client. You’ll also be taking the leap from a synchronous mentality to one that is fundamentally event-driven and asynchronous in nature. And perhaps most important, you’ll move from a page-centric view of your application to one that is component-oriented.

The MEAN stack isn’t mobile-centric — AngularJS runs equally well on desktops and laptops, smartphones and tablets, and even smart TVs — but it doesn’t treat mobile devices as second-class citizens. Testing is no longer an afterthought: With world-class testing frameworks such as MochaJS, JasmineJS, and KarmaJS, you can write thorough, comprehensive test suites for your MEAN app.

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