9 reasons MEAN should power your next programming project

LAMP diehards take note: The flexible simplicity of MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js is no joke.

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The transition from cutting-edge curiosity to practical workhorse is not one that many technologies make. Yesterday’s precocious upstarts often fail to live up to their Version 0.1 promise -- not so for the technologies that make up the fiercely acronymized MEAN stack.

It was only a few years ago that MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js were raising eyebrows on their own. Now they’ve grown up and ganged up, and together they’re doing serious work, poaching no small number of developers from the vast LAMP camp. But how exactly does this newfangled MEAN thing stack up against LAMP? When is it better to choose the well-tested, mature LAMP over this upstart collection of JavaScript-centric technologies?

The answer is when the simplicity and common structure make your life easier. MongoDB offers a more flexible, accommodating layer for storing data. Node.js provides a better nexus for running your server, while Express.js helps standardize how you build your websites. On the client, AngularJS provides a clean way of adding interactive functions and AJAX-driven rich components. Put them all together and they make a clean, coherent mechanism for moving data from user to disk farm and back again.

The real explanation, however, is deeper. Here we offer nine reasons to give MEAN a shot with your next project. Not everyone has the time or budget to toss out and recode the old in the latest, trendiest framework, nor should you throw away the rock-solid reliability of battle-tested tools like Apache, MySQL, or PHP. But for green-field projects that could benefit from flexibility, simplicity, and performance, going MEAN may make your life better than you think.

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