How to choose the best Node.js framework: Express.js, Koa.js or Sails.js

How to choose the best Node.js framework: Express.js, Koa.js or Sails.js

The introduction and growth of Node.js have changed web development. It gives developers an opportunity to build the server-side of the applications using JavaScript. Now we are ready to discuss three mail Node.js backend frameworks: Express.js, Koa.js, and Sails.js.

What are MVC frameworks for Node.js?

Node MVC frameworks are based on the Model View Controller that consists of three components:

  1. Model (that is business logic)
  2. View (format and layout of information)
  3. Controller (that is able to send requests and updates)

MVC frameworks are quite good for enterprise-grade solutions and give support but are not extremely flexible. On the other hand, it is better to choose a more lightweight Node.js server framework because it allows applications to be maintainable.

Why choose Express.js framework?

Express.js framework gives a wide range of functions for creating single-page, multi-page, or hybrid web applications. A lot of Express.js users say that it is a powerful tool that is able to simplify the testing process using middleware and routing.

As a result, using a routed API, developers can do a lot of tasks, e.g. creating an Express.js REST API server or making routes for a simple web app. Moreover, Express.js API made use of the Node.js manager package node to install a lot of third-party plug-ins. So, it’s easy to implement OAuth integration or social logins.

Nevertheless, the absence of a system can be a problem for developers because it causes inabilities to repair projects. By the way, there are a lot of manual labor-intensive tasks that can influence memory usage.

Express.js is quite good for small or medium projects. For instance, it was used as a middleware framework for PayPal and My Space sites.

Why choose Koa.js framework?

As an alternative to Express.js, Koa.js framework was created. It is able to build web applications and APIs with improved performance. Express is based on callback technology that separates requests and objects. So, the biggest benefit of Koa.js is the usage of ES6 Generator feature that allows avoiding callbacks and gives an opportunity to manage code simpler, etc.

So, Koa.js is much more modular than Express.js. As a result, there is not a lot of material and you are able to use everything that you want.

Why choose Sails.js framework?

Sails.js is good because it has some special features:

  • There are some automated generators, so it works at a higher level in the development.
  • js provides a lot of database adapters that are accessible for MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis, and Microsoft SQL Server. So, using a single structure regardless makes developers work much easier.
  • Waterline (a middle ORM layer) gives the consistent syntax to access different databases, so developers are able to connect ORM to any database without using query languages.

If you want to build a data-heavy enterprise-grade app, Sails.js is the most suitable variant for you. For example, it can be used for developing chat-rooms, real-time toolbars, and multiplayer games.

How to choose the best Node framework for your project?

Of course, the choice of Node.js framework always depends on your project and objectives. Moreover, the cost to build a website is one more point for you to consider. There are some important criteria that we would like to pay your attention to:

  • Community
  • Documentation
  • Versions upgrading
  • Scalability
  • System resources loading
  • Performance
  • Simplicity of development and testing
  • Availability and variety of modules
  • Customization

I hope that this data helped to understand the difference and now you are able to choose a good Node.js framework.

Sergey Lypchenko

About the author

Sergey Lypchenko
Sergey Lypchenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It is a web and mobile app development company located in Eastern Europe. Our main goal is to develop first-rate and competitive software for our customers. My mission is to provide people with interesting material about innovations in the world of IT.
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