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While the ExpressJS framework has many advantages, it’s not necessarily the best fit for everyone. There are products on the market that can compete with ExpressJS.
In this article, we’ll cover all about ExpressJS and the top ExpressJS alternatives that may better suit your needs.
What is ExpressJS?
Express is a minimal and flexible NodeJS web application framework providing robust features for web and mobile applications.
It’s designed to provide the foundation for the full-stack web apps you build with NodeJS, with APIs that are easy to scale. It offers a powerful development experience with a simple learning curve for beginners and experts alike.
Express is built on top of Connect, a minimal HTTP server written by TJ Holowaychuk. Express builds on top of Connect’s functionality to provide additional features such as URL routing, view templating, and middleware functionality.
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Advantages of ExpressJS
Easy to learn
Express has been built to scale, making it perfect for small applications through to large enterprise-level systems. Its modular design makes it easy to add more functionality as your application grows.
Express has an active community, contributing code and helping other users with problems they encounter when developing with Express. Many open-source projects use Express as their base framework, so you can find many examples and documentation on how to use it effectively in your application.
I/O request handling
One of the main advantages of using Express is its simplicity when dealing with I/O requests and response handling. It can handle multiple requests and notifications simultaneously. A developer must write a few lines of code to make all this work.
ExpressJS has an easy-to-use routing system, making it easy to design and launch complex applications. It also supports HTTP sessions, cookies, URL parameters, headers, etc.
Few developers can work efficiently with ExpressJS. It allows developers to easily create RESTful APIs with minimum effort, which is helpful in modern web applications.
Integration of third-party services and middleware
ExpressJS can easily be integrated with any third-party service or middleware, such as authentication libraries or analytics tools (MongoDB). This means a developer doesn’t have to worry about setting up everything from scratch, saving time, money, and effort while building your app.
Disadvantages of ExpressJS
Callbacks are the most preferred way of working with Express, but when it comes to large applications, they can get out of hand quickly.
Also, debugging might not be easy if the developer doesn’t understand what’s happening in the code.
Code organization is one of Express’s most significant challenges because no packages or dependencies are required for creating routes, controllers, or views in Express.
A developer needs to do everything manually. It is time-consuming and very difficult for beginners to learn how to organize their code correctly without guidance from anyone else.
Awareness about middleware
There are no official middlewares for any task like authentication or authorization, etc. So, the developer needs to create the middleware from scratch.
It takes a lot of time and effort from developers who want to build simple applications quickly without worrying about security or performance issues.
Now, let’s look at the top 10 ExpressJS alternatives that are available in the market.
Top Alternatives of ExpressJS
Sails is a robust, flexible, high-performance MVC framework for NodeJS.
It’s designed to mimic the MVC architecture from frameworks like Ruby on Rails but with support for the requirements of modern apps: data-driven APIs with a scalable, service-oriented architecture.
Sails does not dictate how you should build your application. Instead, it provides a highly flexible architecture that lets you build exactly what you want, whether a simple CRUD app or a complex real-time social network.
Built on Express, Sails provides a simple but powerful ORM, easy database migrations, utilities for modeling relationships, and more.
Sails also provide a robust extension system that allows you to easily create your own reusable “sails” that can be integrated into any application – even code written in other languages.
- Works with every database.
- Power to assign different names to different databases, and the association still works.
- It lets you auto-generate Rest APIs.
- Policies written for Sails work for both WebSocket and HTTP automatically.
NestJS is designed to be used in both client-side and server-side applications. It uses TypeScript for its entire codebase and provides a powerful toolchain for developing modern web applications.
You can develop your frontend using Angular or React (or Vue) while using NestJS as your backend framework.
NestJS is preferred over ExpressJS as it provides a cleaner microservices architecture than ExpressJS with fewer components.
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- Strong Command Line Interface (CLI) for increased productivity and development simplicity
- It makes it easier for developers to do unit testing on applications.
- Developers can use Nest to create enterprise-level applications.
- Easy to use, learn and apply
Fastify is a NodeJS framework for building fast applications and APIs. It’s built on top of ExpressJS and uses Hapi as its underlying framework. Fastify is designed to be simple, lightweight, and easy to use.
It’s also very flexible, making it easy to adapt to different applications. It offers complete encapsulation for plugins, quickly renders incoming requests into JSON, and offers speedy routing. Fastify also has a simpler syntax for writing async programs that are used as controller code.
Fastify is aimed at helping developers quickly build high-performance APIs and web apps in NodeJS and TypeScript. It processes requests 20% faster than ExpressJS, making it a good ExpressJS alternative.
- Fastify can handle up to 30,000 queries per second, depending on the complexity of the code.
- Through its hooks, plugins, and decorators, Fastify is completely expandable.
- It is recommended to use JSON Schema to check your routes and serialize your outputs, even though it is not required because Fastify internally compiles the schema into a very fast function.
The web framework can work with any frontend technology, including React, VueJS, Angular, React Native, Android, or iOS. It also supports more than a dozen databases.
FeatherJS is designed to help you build prototypes quickly so developers can spend less time on configuration and more time building your application. It’s also great for building small single-page web apps that don’t require a lot of code or libraries.
It’s simple to incorporate FeatherJS into an existing Express project since FeatherJS is highly modular and built on top of Express.
- The platform supports relational and non-relational databases.
- Automatically provides Rest APIs
- Speeds up the error-handling process.
- Simplifies the creation of real-time applications.
NuxtJS is an open-source framework used to create universal VueJS applications. Nuxt makes it easy to set up an application with routing and universal data that can be accessed by both the front and backend of your application.
Hiring expert VueJs developers will help you build scalable Nuxt JS applications. Also, you can hire full-stack developers to manage the frontend and backend of the development process.
NuxtJS is distinguished by its server-side rendering (SSR) support and its ability to generate static HTML pages that can be deployed to any web server for more accessible hosting, performance, SEO, and security reasons.
NuxtJS can even extend Universal apps to support completely monolithic applications, which have a shared codebase for both the front and backend.
- Create universal applications with ease.
- Without a server, statically render your Vue applications to reap all the rewards of a universal app.
- Automatic code splitting for pages that have already been rendered
Koa is a web application framework for NodeJS developed by the same team behind ExpressJS. It is created as a more minimalistic framework, focusing on providing an expressive API for building web applications using async functions and generators.
Koa enables you to do away with callbacks and significantly improve error handling by utilizing async functions. Koa’s attractive array of techniques makes creating servers quick and pleasurable even though it does not include any middleware in its core.
The primary distinction between Koa and ExpressJS is how they approach middleware. Koa lacks any pre-bundled middleware and necessitates using modules for templates and routing.
- Built on ES6 specifications, which makes Koa modern and futuristic.
- It provides developers with the ability to write thinner and better middleware.
- Simplies the error handling process.
- By including various practical methods and assessors, the unified object (Vanilla response and request objects) makes it simpler for developers to design web applications and APIs.
Ember’s goal is to simplify the creation of HTML interfaces with less code and more semantics. Ember’s architecture is based on the Model View Controller (MVC).
You can create your UI using Ember’s templates or Handlebars’ templating engine. The Ember Data access library, called Ember Data, helps you deal with APIs, and the Router manages transitions between routes. The Controllers manage how data flows through your application, and the Services provide standard functionality for your models and controllers.
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- Uses the HTMLBars template engine, which is a superset of the Handlebars templating engine, to provide new binding syntax.
- It gives users access to the Glimmer rendering engine to speed up rendering.
- Provides a Command Line Interface utility that conveniently focuses on developer productivity while integrating Ember patterns into the development process.
- Enables data binding to link two properties together so that when one property is updated, the other property also receives the new value.
BackboneJS’s objective is to give web applications structure through:
- Arrays of enumerable functions with a robust API for collections
- Declarative event processing and viewing
- Utilizing a RESTful JSON interface to connect it all to your current API
- Adding key-value binding and custom events to models
- Provides many building elements for creating client-side web applications, including models, views, events, routers, and collections.
- Automatically adjusts your application’s HTML when the model changes.
- It consists of a basic library that is used to keep the logic for business and user interfaces apart.
- Simplify, systematize, and organize your code, and It actually serves as the framework for your projects.
Hapi is a specification-driven, modular, and flexible framework for building REST APIs. It’s built on top of Express and configured via a simple JSON schema.
Hapi configuration is more significant than coding. It’s helpful for large teams due to its capacity to keep developers’ code consistent and reusable over multiple lines of code.
Compared to ExpressJS, Hapi is more plugin-centric. It employs plugins to provide runtime configuration through code and primarily supports the configuration-based MVC architecture.
Hapi plugins can do a lot more than just route and authenticate. Express is more abstract than Hapi since it is less opinionated.
- Hapi intends to become an enterprise framework. The team verifies each line of the source code for security purposes.
- Easy to learn
- By allowing plug-ins to build on one another, Hapi enables you to design a fixed sequence. Priorities can also be set, ensuring the sequence is maintained and followed when changes are made later.
- Hapi provides many areas where you can modify the framework’s operations and expand your application.
AdonisJS is a Laravel-inspired NodeJS framework that helps you build scalable and maintainable web applications or API servers. It has an MVC (Model View Controller) architecture, excellent documentation, and maintainer assistance.
AdonisJS includes a lot of standard functionality in the framework’s core to help your projects start quickly.
AdonisJS supports developers with a consistent and expressive API to create full-stack web apps or micro API servers.
- The framework provides an intelligent and reliable ORM. It includes active record models, migrations, and a query builder.
- Supports all popular SQL servers, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, and others.
- Provides an excellent ORM that draws inspiration from Rails Active Record and Laravel Eloquent. It provides a fantastic API for using intricate SQL queries and controlling relationships.
- With its integrated route groups, subdomains, pattern matching, and resourceful routes, AdonisJS offers one of the most sophisticated routing systems in the Node.js ecosystem.
Express is best suited for highly interactive online projects since it makes it simple for developers to create scalable and speedy web apps.
Lack of standardization can be a productivity bottleneck for your teams if you’re working on a big project that many engineers will support.
Therefore, before choosing a web framework for your project, you must carefully analyze the needs of your project.
Consider speaking with the specialists at one of the top app development companies if you want to proceed best.
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What can we use instead of ExpressJS?
ExpressJS is a great framework, but it has its limitations. Some alternatives to ExpressJS can be used, like Koa, Hapi, Sails, Feather, etc. These are the most popular alternatives to ExpressJS.
Is KOA better than express?
Since Koa Js was developed to outperform Express, it is capable of everything Express is capable of and more. Koa can process more requests per second, making it perform better. Because of this, it is a preferable option for web applications and APIs that serve numerous customers simultaneously.
Is NestJS better than Express?
ExpressJS doesn’t adhere to MVC; hence, the application is less efficient and less optimized because there is no correct structure. NestJS is based on an architecture containing elements like modules, controllers, and providers, making it a better option for developers.
Why is NestJS popular?
Any decent framework should have performance as one of its essential characteristics, and developers love NestJS for its fast performance. In addition to saving time, NestJS can triple developers’ productivity and application speed because it works with Node.js and plugins like Express and Fastify.
Is Fastify faster than Express?
Fastify claims itself as the quickest web framework available. Benchmarks support this assertion, with Fastify outperforming Express in a straight overhead “hello world” benchmark by over two to one. Fastify only lags behind Express when processing empty requests.
Is Next JS good for the backend?
Is NUXT JS a backend?
NUXT is a frontend framework for Vue.js, not a backend. You can use Nuxt to build an entire app with only the frontend, or you can add Nuxt to an existing application.