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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

AngularJS vs. NodeJS vs. ExtJS - The Real Difference

AngularJS vs. NodeJS vs. ExtJS - The Real Difference

AngularJS, Node.js and Ext JS – all three are very popular and industry leading JavaScript Application frameworks for building cross-platform web applications which are interactive and feature rich. Yes, all of these are use techniques such as AJAX, DHTML, DOM scripting and so on – Does that mean these can be used interchangeably? Not really. There are lot of differences between these and depending on the web application requirement and the business needs, you need choose the most appropriate one.

In this post, we present to you, the features, the pros and cons and the business scenarios you should consider while choosing these frameworks.

AngularJS:

AngularJS is an open source web application framework which is maintained by Google and a community of passionate developers. It helps you in adding dynamic views in your web applications. With Model-View-Whatever (MVW) architecture and components which are commonly used in Rich Internet Applications, it has become a preferred framework for creation of interactive web applications and data-driven apps. AngularJS is a tool-set which interacts with the HTML. Any back end platform such as Node.js can serve the HTML.

Salient features of AngularJS:

 

 Ease of use

  • Because of decoupling of DOM manipulation from application logic it is very easy to use.
  • It is excellent for single-page applications (SPA).
  • With features such as directives, filters and automatic data bindings, the developers don’t need to write hundreds of lines of code for simple features, thus making the code more manageable.

Cross-Browser Compatibility and Mobile Support

  • For ensuring cross-browser compatibility, you need to implement features differently – however, the directive (aka HTML extensions) take care of the differences. Note that AnugularJS ver. 1.3 and above has dropped the support for IE 8 so if your application requires support for that, you should not consider AngularJS.
  • Cross platform native mobile applications or Hybrid apps development is possible with Trigger.io, Cordova or Phonegap integration. One can also use Ionic framework.
  • For developing mobile sites, one can use AngularJS responsive modules such as angular-responsive or angular-deckgrid, UI Bootstrap, AngularJS responsive directives, angular-gestures or the ngTouch library.

Architecture

  • The architecture is MVW (Model-View-Whatever). It can also support other patterns such as Model-View-Controller or Model-View-ViewMode.
  • It provides support for Dependency Injection and Direct DOM manipulation.

Testing

  • Unit testing of the AngularJS applications is very easy.
  • It supports all the facets of automated testing like unit, integration and functional testing.
  • It comes with its own test runner called Karma which facilitates unit testing.
  • For end-to-end testing, Protractor can be used. Protractor runs tests against the application running in a real browser, interacting with it as a user would.

Programming

  • Supports Object-oriented, Functional and Event-driven programming paradigms.
  • Offers support for Dart, CoffeeScript and TypeScript Scripting languages.
  • Does not offer any official IDE Support and IDE field use validation.

Things it does:

  • It manipulates DOM.
  • It allows writing custom HTML declarations.
  • It manages state of model(s).
  • It integrates seamlessly with other UI tools.

Node.js:

Node.js is built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript runtime. It helps you build scalable network applications. With event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, it offers efficiency which is ideal for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices. Node.js is a platform. It works on the server-side. Node.js can function with other front-end toolset(s) such as AngularJS.

Salient features of Node.js:

 

Suitable for

  • Rapid development where the applications need to undergo quick and frequent changes.
  • Latency sensitive – Ideal for applications where page load time matters.
  • Enterprises which are looking to improve developer productivity – Using the package management system called NPM, it is possible with Node.js to merge web and backend teams into one unit.

Architecture

    • The architecture is MVC (Model-View-Controller). It can also support other patterns such as Model-View-Presenter or Actors.

Programming

    • Supports Event-driven, Object-oriented, Functional, Concurrency Oriented, Pub/Sub programming paradigms.
    • Offers support for Ruby, CoffeeScript and TypeScript Scripting languages.
    • Offers official IDE Support.

Things it does:     

    • It Communicates communicates with databases, web-sockets, middle-ware etc.
    • It Serves serves web.

Ext JS:

Ext JS is a pure JavaScript application framework. With techniques like AJAX, DHTML and DOM scripting, it helps in building highly interactive web applications. Ext JS includes interoperability with jQuery and Prototype. It is touted as the most comprehensive JavaScript framework for building feature-rich cross-platform web applications. Ext JS also adds to the core layers of building blocks by adding components like responsive design styles, layouts, UI components, theming, and etc.

Salient features of ExtJS:

 

Cross-Browser Compatibility and Mobile Support

    • It offers complete cross browser compatibility.
    • For developing mobile sites, Sencha touch is used.
    • Cross platform native mobile applications or Hybrid apps development. is possible with Sencha Touch and Apache Cordova or Phonegap integration.

Suitable for

    • Rich UI applications.
    • Single page applications.
    • It also offers very powerful and advanced standalone charts which can be used without any plugins.

Architecture

    • ExtJS 5 supports both MVC (Model-View-Controller) and MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) architecture.
    • For Dependency Injection, it can be augmented with Deft JS to add an Inversion of Control (IoC) container.
    • It offers support for Direct DOM manipulation.

Testing

    • There is no in-built support for automated testing but it is possible with the use of external tools.
    • It does not come with any testing framework – However, other third-party JavaScript testing frameworks such as Siesta, Jasmine or Mocha can be used for testing.

Programming

    • Supports Object-oriented and Event-driven programming paradigms.

New introductions in ExtJS 5

    • Deep linking allowing a direct link to a specific part of the application.
    • Browser’s bookmark support.
    • Support for Browser history, forward and back buttons.
    • With the use of browser history stack, the Router can track the application state.

 

 

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