Mean Stack for beginners 

These days, the updated and the latest information is popped up on every single tap. A simple application or a website with plain text is not at all entertained ever for a millisecond. To surf well in such a vast ocean of internet, engaging and easy to use elements are required on the app or a site.

Mean Stack is a framework of a Javascript used for the development of a website. The benefits of using the mean stack for website development lie in its ease, both for developers and users. It’s quite a purpose serving framework standing on the peak of demands.

Full-stack is used to handle both - client and server end. Whilst mean stack is the javascript framework. 

Here is a brief look for beginners who are willing to make a career in website development with a mean stack framework:

Components of Mean Stack

Before hopping on to the setup and actual usage of the framework, a quick look over the components will allow you to know its high demand. 

The key components used in the mean stack are:

MongoDB (Database)

The database is the heart of every project. MongoDB has a highly efficient way of sorting out the data in a very organized manner. The renowned companies with a huge database use MongoDB as its global standard.

ExpressJS (Web Framework)

ExpressJS is a Node.js framework used for the development of websites and applications. This framework enables users to build the website in the most customizable way. With node.js interface, it becomes very easy to design absolutely any sort of functionality. Moreover, this amazing platform is open source.

AngularJS (Front-end Framework)

Angular JS is the open-source framework for front end activities. It is a javascript framework to deal with any sort of front-end issues effectively well. Also, AngularJS is maintained by Google. Many corporations make use of AngularJS to fix the website application bugs.  

NodeJS (Application Server)

NodeJS is an amazing and super easy platform to interact with. All the sources and templates are already available for the NodeJS application server. You can design whichever website or application with any sort of functionality in it with node js. And the best thing is, it is open source and easily available to get. 

These are quite familiar terms with respect to website or application development. These basic components form the foundation of the Mean Stack framework. With all the components combined, a lot of time and energy saved to code a website or application otherwise. 

Industrial Implementation of Mean Stack 

The vast range across the IT industry is served with Mean Stack. Being built up with open-source components, Mean Stack is getting updated frequently. Let us dwell on some very prominent applications and websites that are built with the Mean Stack framework.

World's leading websites and applications are running on the mean stack. Using the mean stack is simple and requires accurate knowledge about its components. A few people handling MongoDB are not fully aware of its right usage. MongoDB unfolds its functionality and features with the clever operation of the same. This goes with other frameworks like express and nodejs. These platforms have humongous interactions. 

Features of Mean Stack 

Features of the Mean Stack make it outperform other frameworks when it comes to ease and compatibility. 

Building up with JavaScript

Java is the basis of all the website and application developments. This is why the mean stack framework works well with the javascript. It is operated on the client’s end making the internet usage less, and ultimately the loading and responding time.

The quick and smooth response on the site makes it engaging. Also, JavaScript allows HTML and CSS3 coding.

The ease of JSON

ExpressJS and Node.js are operated and performed using JSON language. JSON is a very compatible and open-source tool. With JSON as a language, many complicated features can be easily added with simple modifications.

The data placement and aggregation with JSON are so simple that it is arranged and placed without really having to rewrite and reform any of the data. This smartness of the language serves a lot of functions.

Unlike any other languages like PHP and MySQL, JSON is smart in every single aspect of it. All the functions like GET, POST, manipulate, etc. are working on the same Mean Stack platform with JSON language.

Efficiency of Node.js

The efficiency of node.js server lies in its architecture. The users are happy because of its highly responsive trait. The server of node.js is faster than even Apache server. When the speed is delivered by a server with such huge data, the server is loved and preferred. 

The optimum loading time for any page on Google is 2-3 seconds after which the website goes into bounce. Hence the speedy server is on high demand and node.js meets the demand very well.

AngularJS is very supportive and smart

AngularJS is simple as it allows the HTML and CSS codes to be used. It is so supportive and intelligent. The flawless frontend is achieved with AngularJS. Any type of looks are made to user experience with the help of AngularJS and hence the implementation in various platforms is witnessed.

The smooth feel of applications and websites is due to the implementation of AngularJs. The edges are made to feel extremely light. 

Mean Stack does the use of AngularJS as part of it. Hence the Mean Stack website also has a smooth and user-friendly interface naturally.

MongoDB is highly efficient in maintaining and organizing data

In comparison to other database management tools, MongoDB plays heroic and is hence implemented by most applications and websites. Data is fetched out and accessed very wisely within no time, and aggregation of the data is done in a matter of seconds.

You will find MongoDB to be very user-friendly and good for a large amount of database. For global data, MongoDB is commendable and prefered by many prominent global business owners.

How to set up Mean Stack: Beginners Guide

Here is the step by step guide to develop an application with Mean Stack.

The first step is to create a website template. You can do this by visiting meanjs.org site because the mean stack template can be created along with a preview. It is good to use the mean js site as they provide app structure with templates. You would require GIT to work with mean stack apps.

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If you encounter an error like bower ECMDERR failed to execute “git Is-remote - tags - heads”, update your GIT which will solve this error.

Install both Node JS and MongoDB as they are required for running server side Javascript and database.

Database installation would require extra work and the configuration details can be viewed in MongoDB installation docs in official site corresponding to Windows and Mac.

Packages Required:

After Node JS and MongoDB installations, we require more packages which can be installed from the NPM Package Manager. You can easily download by searching 3rd party libraries and NPM package manager gets installed during the installation of Node JS. Bower, grunt-cli, yo, generator-meanjs are some of the packages you need to download.

You can try these commands in the terminal to install the packages.

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Server-side Code:

Let’s understand about Category API. 

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About the Express Framework

In the “MEAN” stack, E stands for Express. We use Express to begin and configure the web server. We also use it to configure route handlers for any sort of business logic and also to return content like html, CSS, and js files. 

Adding a Model

A model represents schema data of categories DB table. Create a category model shell by running the following command.

yo meanjs:express-model category

We can observe two files from which one is for model and another one is for the model test.

app/models/category.server.model.js

app/tests/category.server.model.test.js

The Category model generated will look like this below:

'use strict';

/**

 * Module dependencies.

 */

var mongoose = require('mongoose'),

    Schema = mongoose.Schema;

/**

 * Category Schema

 */

var CategorySchema = new Schema({

    // Category model fields   

    // ... (we will add properties here soon...)

});

// add the model name and schema to the mongoose model.

mongoose.model('Category', CategorySchema);

Let’s have a look at some of the features of MongoDB.

In MongoDB, the data is stored in the form of JSON-style documents as it follows document-oriented storage and has dynamic schemas. We work with the mongoose in this tutorial and it uses schemas. But it is not necessary that you stick to the schema and any two documents in the collection table may have a different schema. 

Check out this link to know more about the terminology if you are new to concepts. 

As said above, we use mongoose driver to connect with MongoDB from Node.js code (server-side code). Databases get created automatically and the settings are also configurable according to the needs.

For Windows Users: Go to the location where MongoDB is installed. i.e. cd C:mongodbbin_. Now _mongod and mongo commands can be executed. Run this command if the database is not executing.

mongod

You can observe stats at http://localhost:28017 after the database process starts running.

Basic Shell Commands to Know:

Access via terminal

mongo

listing all databases:

show DBS

switch to the database:

use northwind node-dev

 List the tables (collections) inactive database:

show collections

 Show all documents from the categories collection:

db.categories.find();

 Show a count of  documents that are in the categories collection:

db.categories.count();

 Create category:

db.categories.insert({ name: 'Electronics' });

Search for new document:

db.categories.find({ name: "Electronics" }).pretty();

 Result for the above query:

{ 

  "_id" : ObjectId("54d7edbc84e3603a777589b6"), 

  "name" : "Electronics" 

}

 Creating a category with different schema in the same collection:

db.categories.insert({ title: 'Electronics' });

 Query this new document with different schema and within same categories collection:

db.categories.find({ title: 'Electronics' }).pretty();

 Result:

{ 

  "_id" : ObjectId("54d7ef3c84e3603a777589b8"), 

  "title" : "Electronics"

}

Creating our first Angular Module

The module is said to be similar to concepts like namespacing in Java or C# but it is not an accurate statement. The initial step would be to create a module for components that will make the categories functionality.

Run the command and proceed with default options with some exception of tests. 

yo meanjs:angular-module categories

Tip: Use arrow keys for up and down movement and use space key for unchecking tests.

In the public/modules/categories folder we can now see some files and folders. The structure will look like below. 

  • categories
  • config
  • controllers
  • services
  • views
  • categories.client.module.js

Create the file categories.client.module.js with this command. The main app will know about the new categories module with this code.

'use strict';

// Use application configuration module to register a new module

ApplicationConfiguration.registerModule('categories');

 Let’s now add menu items. Run the command and select categories module by using arrow keys which we added from the list earlier.

yo meanjs:angular-config categories

 

You will now find a new file at public/modules/categories/config/categories.client.config.js.

Replace its content with the below-mentioned code:

'use strict';

// Configuring the Articles module

angular.module('categories').run(['Menus',

	function(Menus) {

		// Set top bar menu items

		Menus.addMenuItem('topbar', 'Categories', 'categories', 'dropdown', '/categories(/create)?');

		Menus.addSubMenuItem('topbar', 'categories', 'List Categories', 'categories');

		Menus.addSubMenuItem('topbar', 'categories', 'New Category', 'categories/create');

	}

]);

Start the app and login ( create an account if you don’t have one). You will see the categories menu with drop-down option. 

Note:

If you observe an error Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property ‘getToggleElement’ of null, do the following in bower.json file.

Change the line in bower.json file from:

"angular-bootstrap": "~0.11.2",

To:

"angular-bootstrap": "~0.12.0",

Now run the command 

bower update angular-bootstrap

You can ignore this step if you are not getting the error.

Adding the Views

You can see two options in the menu item. They are list and create categories. But when you click on those items, nothing happens as pages are not created yet. 

Let’s start with creating the page for the first menu item which is the list.

Run the command and accept the default options.

yo meanjs:angular-route categories

 

The newly created files are as follows:

  • public/modules/categories/config/categories.client.routes.js
  • public/modules/categories/controllers/categories.client.controller.js
  • public/modules/categories/controllers/categories.client.controller.js
  • public/modules/categories/views/categories.client.view.html

Now let’s add a page for the Create categories menu.

Run the command for generating the view:

yo meanjs:angular-view create-category

Select the below options when prompted:

Which module does this view belong to?

Choose: categories

What is the name of the controller this view will use?

Enter: Categories

Would you like to add a route for this view?

Choose: Y (the default)

What is your view route path?

Enter: /categories/create

A new view file gets added:

create public/modules/categories/views/create-category.client.view.html

Replace its contents with this HTML code:

<section data-ng-controller="CategoriesController">

    <div class="page-header">

        <h1>New Category</h1>

    </div>

    <div class="col-md-12">

        <form class="form-horizontal" data-ng-submit="create()" novalidate>

            <fieldset>

                <div class="form-group">

                    <label class="control-label" for="name">Name</label>

                    <div class="controls">

                        <input type="text" data-ng-model="name" id="name" class="form-control" placeholder="Name" required>

                    </div>

                </div>

                <div class="form-group">

                    <label class="control-label" for="name">Description</label>

                    <div class="controls">

                        <textarea name="description" data-ng-model="description" id="description" class="form-control" cols="30" rows="10" placeholder="Description"></textarea>

                    </div>

                </div>

                <div class="form-group">

                    <input type="submit" class="btn btn-default">

                </div>

				<div data-ng-show="error" class="text-danger">

					<strong data-ng-bind="error"></strong>

				</div>

            </fieldset>

        </form>

    </div>

</section>

 

How Mean Stack is proving to be beneficial over other js frameworks?

As discussed, the Mean Stack is providing an easy interface to build any application or website. The key factor of database, server and front end management is dealt in a very good and smooth manner. Custom and tailored websites with the Mean Stack are very easy to build if you know the components of the Mean Stack very well. 

We always crave to have a web application which is reliable, trustable and is flexible. Finding such a web application or website is a lengthy process. Therefore, it becomes vital to discover exact variables that contain front-end functionality, web server, database management system, and server scripting language.

Current Market Demand for Mean Stack Newbie 

Amazon, Netflix, eBay, Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and PayPal use Node JS. And other enterprises are increasingly using the Mean Stack framework. It is without a second thought, the very first choice of the startups. 

May it be a startup or renowned business, the mean stack framework is everyone’s gone luck go tool. Why will anyone with a mean stack skillset not have a market?

Conclusion

Every emerging technology comes up with certain benefits. The mean stack came with the bundle of benefits. Hence, increasing demand for the same will always last for at least a forthcoming decade.

Let us know in the comments below for any query related to the mean stack. Also, if you have already learned the mean stack and do have hands-on experience in the same, comment your experiences related to mean stack.