Role of Node JS Framework in MEAN Stack

Mean Stack” is what we call a technology stack and Node JS is a part of this stack. In order to understand the role of Node JS we first need to comprehend the concept and need of a technology stack.

Technology Stack

Development tools are either free and open source, or they are licensed and paid. Some tools are much faster than the others while some are more cost-effective. The collection of such tools that are required for the development of an application or software is what we call a Technology Stack. The combination of tools required is what makes different stacks exist at the same time for the development of similar applications. A couple of the combinations are MEAN Stack and MERN Stack.

MEAN Stack

MEAN Stack, which is the focus of this article is a free and open-source JavaScript stack for building web applications that are dynamic.

MEAN Stack developer use 4 technologies to develop web applications. Each letter of the word “MEAN” is the first letter of the technologies it consists of:

M: MongoDB

E: Express.js

A: Angular

N: Node.js

Angular MongoDB Node.js Express.js, all 4 are open-source and each adds a unique benefit to the Stack. In this article I will be focusing on the Node.js but here is the gist of the benefits each technology brings to MEAN Stack Development:

MongoDB - It offers a better way of storing data in the form of NOSQL structure. The layer MongoDB creates in the stack is thus more flexible and accommodating.

Express.js - It helps MEAN Stack Development Companies to standardize the development of a website. It is also responsible for hosting Node.js projects.

Angular - It is responsible for adding rich interactive functions and AJAX components. Angular builds upon the HTML structure in order to build MEAN Stack Applications.

Node.js - Node.js provides a better runtime environment for running server-side applications. It works in the back end, behind the screen. It fetches relevant data and performs relevant operations.

Now that we are done with the amuse-bouche and appetizers, let’s move on to the main course.


Let’s start with what Node. actually is. According to a whatis:

“Node.js (Node) is an open source development platform for executing JavaScript code server-side. Node is useful for developing applications that require a persistent connection from the browser to the server and is often used for real-time applications such as chat, news feeds, and web push notifications”

Node.js is one of the most famous frameworks of JavaScript. It makes its mark on MEAN Stack, regardless of the Node version, with the help of a non-blocking I/O model. This mode ultimately makes it more efficient and lightweight to use. It also makes Node perfect for real-time data-driven applications that run on multiple devices and platforms.

Following are the major aspects of Node.js with which it makes it place in the MEAN Stack.

Event Driven And Asynchronous

Although Node.js is a single threaded application, it can support multiple responsibilities with the help of two concepts:

  • Events
  • Callbacks

These events use asynchronous functions calls to handle multiple tasks. The single thread in Node.js keeps an event loop. As soon as a task is completed, this loop fires an event which in turn signals the event-listener function to execute.

When an event is fired the listener starts executing. The event and event listeners in Node.js can be bound together as follows:

Importing events module

var events = require('events');

Create an eventEmitter object

var eventEmitter = new events.EventEmitter();

Now binding event handler with event.

eventEmitter.on('eventName', eventHandler);

Firing the event.


Fast V8 JavaScript Engine

According to the official V8 JavaScript Engine website:

“V8 is Google’s open source high-performance JavaScript and WebAssembly engine, written in C++. It is used in Chrome and in Node.js, among others. It implements ECMAScript and WebAssembly, and runs on Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.12+, and Linux systems that use x64, IA-32, ARM, or MIPS processors”

This allows Node.js to gain a tremendous speed in its code execution, and the speed improves with each Node latest version release.

Single Threaded

Node.js uses a single threaded mode with the addition of event looping. Let’s take a look at the mechanism and the benefit it adds to the MEAN Stack.

First, the event mechanism we discussed earlier makes the Node Server highly scalable. It is capable of handling thousands of connections at the same time without dealing with the cost of thread context switching.

This single threading techniques also makes Node.js highly scalable and reduces the amount of buffering on the web page.