14 Frameworks and Stacks to Create Powerful Node.js Apps

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Node.js is a popular JavaScript runtime for building fast and scalable network applications. One of the most popular web applications nowadays I'm using that runs blazing fast on Node.js is none other than Ghost blogging platform. Today we're going to see some of the powerful and flexible frameworks and stacks that can help you build commercial grade Node.js applications with minimum hassle. Some of the software stacks enlisted here are full fledged frameworks while others act as a layer between other stacks to facilitate easy implementation of a specific feature within the application. If you're a JavaScript pro, these powerful frameworks will keep you busy throughout the year. Let's check out these stacks and see how they can put life in our existing Node.js apps within minutes. Open your favorite code editor, right NOW!

Express - Web application framework for Node Js Runtime
Express - This popular web framework has a huge user base and is used by professional web programmers to build highly optimized and super fast web applications. This framework is database independent allowing you to use virtually any DBMS at the back-end. The same goes for authentication schemes, if any. You can easily integrate JS based popular authentication API with the framework. The framework itself is very small devoid of any added bloat that may slow down the web application. It supports popular template engines to speed up the building process.

krakenjs framework for Node JS runtime
krakenjs - As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this stack adds a layer on top of the express framework mentioned above. It has a powerful application security middleware that can help you create secure applications with ease. It also has a template engine module to quickly deploy front-end web rendering logic. And, thanks to its flexible localization module, creating apps for local audience is dead simple. It also allows to segregate routing logic files based on their category. If you're currently using express framework, I'd highly recommend adding this to your kitty.

AppJS - Desktop application framework for Node JS runtime
AppJS - Web programmer wanting to create cross-platform desktop applications from the technologies they already know will find this excellent framework very handy. It inherently supports powerful HTML5 API and CSS3 facilitating creation of stunning user interfaces for your applications. I've gone through its documentation and found how powerful and flexible is the stack for creating highly interactive applications. The framework installation package comes prepacked with all the necessary binaries, dependencies and files to help you get started immediately.

Totaljs web framework for Node JS runtime
total.js - This is an all-in-one web framework for creating scalable and real-time web applications. Applications created through this framework can run on almost any operating system and its liberal MIT license allows you to freely create proprietary applications. It has a unique and flexible template engine allowing you to create beautiful applications in no time. And the good part is that the framework automatically compresses the resulting code without any need of an external tool. Intermediate level programmers can also get started with this framework easily.

KeystoneJS web framework for Node JS runtime
KeystoneJS - This excellent web framework uses express and MongoDB as the base for creating awesome applications. It has flexible modules for form processing, session management and email communication. This helps in creating eCommerce web applications quite easily through this framework. It's not just the applications but you can also extend and create more powerful API sets for using in mission critical applications. Extensive documentation of this framework eases the adaptation process with plenty of working examples with sample code files.

CleverStack web app framework for Node JS runtime
CleverStack - This framework uses Google's AngularJS web framework to help you create dynamic and flexible web apps in no time. It is one of the few frameworks that enables rapid prototyping for fast app deployment. The applications built through this framework are highly scalable and can work flawlessly under high resource usage too. The entire framework is modular allowing you to develop and extend the application without any conflict or confusion. And since it runs without any kind of dependencies on external libraries, you can get started with your project quickly.

MEAN IO - Web framework for Node JS runtime
MEAN IO - This powerful framework uses four flexible app development stacks viz., MongoDB, Express framework, AngularJS and of course Node.js. Through this flexible framework, you can create both client side and server side apps with infinite flexibility. It has a dedicated package for integrating Google analytics allowing you to make professional apps with in-built analytics system. Deploying or installing the framework is also dead easy and is completed in a few simple steps. It also includes Twitter Bootstrap framework for quickly making impressive front-end design.

action hero API sever for Node JS runtime
ACTIONHERO.JS - It's a powerful Node.js powered API server that can be used to build large and scalable web applications. You can not only easily create custom tasks within your application, but can also trigger and monitor custom actions with ease. Since it is cluster-ready, you can easily build applications with distributed storage and communication. It also supports real time communication allowing you to integrate chat modules within the application. The framework has user friendly documentation that makes the learning curve very easy for quick app development.

Geddy web framework for Node JS runtime
Geddy - This is yet another powerful web framework for building Node.js powered applications. It has flexible authentication, localization and security modules to create professional grade web applications. It also supports rich set of template creating languages to easily make impressive user interfaces. It also supports several popular data storage systems to easily plug the required solution with the main application. It also has a robust app testing mechanism to ensure the application runs seamlessly in production mode. I'd highly recommend using this framework.

Sleek.js web framework for Node JS runtime
Sleek.js - This flexible MVC framework is ideal for making powerful web applications and that too fairly quickly. The framework can also be used to build real time applications that perform in every condition. It includes a powerful theming layer to create flawless designs with ease. Using and firing included libraries is so easy via dedicated API functions. Like other powerful web frameworks, this one also provides a modular structure to easily divide application architecture into manageable chunks. Debugging is also quite easy through this excellent framework.

LoopBack framework for Node JS runtime
LoopBack - This unique framework is ideal for making powerful mobile centric applications. It has a rich collection of SDKs for both iOS and Android platforms. Its powerful role based access control lets you build flexible multi-user application with minimum hassle. And an inbuilt oAuth module ensures you can easily integrate powerful authentication system in no time. All the applications built with the framework can remotely save and fetch the app data from various popular database management systems. It also include a module to manage geolocations of app users.

Nightwatch JS testing framework for Node JS runtime
Nightwatch.js - Professional application developers will find this testing framework extremely handy to test their premium applications before releasing for production usage. Due to its flexibility, one can write different test cases quite easily. Through its command line interface, developers can run either run multiple tests in parallel and can go ahead with a sequential test for a single application. What I liked most is its easy integration with cloud based app testing tools like BrowserStack. You can also extend this powerful testing suite to integrate app specific commands.

Feathers service framework for Node JS runtime
Feathers - It's a collection of real time APIs to create powerful Node.js powered applications. If you're planning to build a real time JavaScript application, then this is one of the good candidates for the same. Sample client, server and service app code helps you quickly understand the entire coding methodology in a few easy steps. If you're already familiar with Express framework, you can use this one instantly. It has a powerful event management system to facilitate creation of highly interactive applications without any performance degradation on client & server.

Meteor web framework for Node JS runtime
Meteor - This is one of the most flexible, rich and powerful frameworks to create stunning web applications. It has some unique features like live page updates and latency compensation that makes the app very much interactive and updated at the client's end. Its intuitive hot code push mechanism lets you update your app without worrying for any app downtime. The client end automatically receives the updated version without any hassle. If you're a hardcore JavaScript programmer, I'd readily recommend once trying this powerful and intuitive framework for making web apps.


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