If you are using node.js, it’s best to start with a framework that can help you get started quickly. There are many frameworks built on Node architecture; I will be discussing the top 3 that are most used, i.e.,
Let’s look at some facts
Level: Basic Skeleton
Express is the project of Node, and its first release was in 2009 by TJ Holowaychuk. Express is considered as a layer build on top of Node. It is a perfect framework for building ultra-fast I/O application by taking advantage of Node’s asynchronous single-threaded concept. It makes routing easier, without having a tiresome code.
Express provides you a thin layer of a basic web application without underestimating the Node.JS features. Using Express, you can leverage various middle ware packages to provide useful functionality such as passing HTTP headers, request parameters, cookies, and auto-response header based on data types. Express might be a better choice for prototyping or customized projects, it provides you a basic skeleton for your web development need.
Sites built on Express
Express has a record of 149,432 active sites.
Level: Medium (ORM Level)
The concept of Sails was introduced in October, 2012. Sails.js is an MVC framework for Node for building practical, production-ready apps. It is used to build enterprise level applications like chat, real time dashboards and multi-player games, etc. The auto-generated API makes Sails really easy for beginners. It doesn’t restrict to any database that makes data modeling more practical.
Sails has a flexible pattern, i.e., it uses Express for HTTP requests and socket.io for managing web sockets. It is also compatible to work with any front end framework like Angularjs, Backbone or any other cross platform pattern. It’s best for those coming from that background. Sails has solid documentation and an active community.
Sites build on Sails
Currently, 1,926 active sites.
It provides you a concept of universal JS, i.e., same code across the web and mobile apps. Its reactive rendering makes it flexible, which means that it provides you a best GUI component either by using Meteor’s Blaze framework or integrating with Angular JS and React JS.
Team ‘Meteor’ has been providing services in collaboration with over 115 companies around the world. It has a record of 8,308 live sites currently build on Meteor framework, at the time of writing.
Sites using Meteor
Adopting certain framework for your application depends upon the programmer’s approach and what is he expecting from the framework to provide. If you are looking for something very basic, express is a good start. If you are coming from ruby on rails background, sails is probably the best bet for you. Meteor is the best bet if you are looking for something that covers both the frontend, backend development and goes beyond just basic level skeleton, orm to automatic updates on data changes.