While the COVID-19 pandemic brought many things to a standstill, the world of technology continued as normal. Software development in Sri Lanka was also no exception, as clients scrambled to move their business functions towards a remote environment. This also included the manner in which their customers purchased their products and services. What was once done over the counter at a brick and mortar store, was now being ordered for online, and delivered through contactless methods.
But to get here, a lot of groundwork had to be done. Depending on what businesses specialized in, some were making part of their sales online, or were completely dependent on sales through offline methods. Transitioning to a sales pipeline that was based completely online, while being seamless and reliable at the same time was a challenge for many – in spite of many advanced programming frameworks already present and in use. The true challenge however, lied not in the technologies per se, but how those technologies could be used to solve unique business problems. This was also subject to the complexity of the solution that was proposed, and whether it required scaling up or down in the future.
All these variables combined to create one-of-a-kind problems. But there were still certain factors that could be commonly applied to every unique business problem. For one, cloud computing was in full swing both before and after the pandemic. Therefore, venturing towards a cloud-based application was sensible as well as reliable. Secondly, the aim was to simplify access towards your brand’s products/services. Even for a brand that barely relied on an online presence for sales prior to the pandemic, creating a user journey for your customers had to be as simple and easy as possible.
Enter a one-page application that can accomplish a product order in only a few clicks. This would also be immensely valuable (and easy to execute) for small businesses especially. Of course, the success of online orders doesn’t just depend on the online application itself; the entire supply chain would need to be re-ordered and re-prioritized to accommodate social distancing and contactless payment/delivery methods.
Whether it’s arranging for product delivery or sharing a video conferencing link after purchase, both product and service-based businesses stand to immensely benefit. Developing an application of this calibre is why the MEAN stack comes into play, as it offers all the components a developer may need to create a cloud-based, single-page application seamlessly. On top of that, considering the current pandemic situation and the fact that many are opting for fulfilling their needs online, a minimalistic yet enriched web application could not be more in demand than it is right now.
In turn, this means a number of great advantages for developers and businesses alike. To start off, let’s take a look at each of the components from the MEAN stack, and how they contribute towards the stack as a whole.
The back-end environment for the MEAN stack. Creating connections between the front-end and database, Express.js offers a base for Node.js to also carry out its runtime duties. At the same time, it provides additional tools and features that remove the need to write a lot of code from scratch. Therefore, this provides developers the leverage to focus more on business objectives, while shifting away from monotonous coding tasks.
Every concept has its pros and cons. Likewise, while the MEAN stack comes with its fair share of advantages, it may not be the best option for certain use cases. However, if you’re looking for a cloud-based application that is also maintained within a single page, then using the MEAN stack for development may be a great idea.
Uses a single language
Open-source and highly accessible
Another advantage pertaining to the MEAN stack. While being easy to integrate and collaborate within, all components of the MEAN stack are open-source, which means they are free to use and gain support for. A developer community that is constantly innovating is always within your reach to obtain support through, while also exploring multiple ways to solve complex problems. Make use of free repositories on the internet, and add your own to help others – a no-cost yet highly resourceful means of building high-performance applications.
Arrives with its very own web server
This is where the many value-added qualities of Node.js tend to show. Apart from offering its very own module libraries for versatile app development, it also comes with its very own web server. Therefore, there is no need to worry about how and where you need to host your app, since the Node.js component already takes care of that from the get-go.
Although MEAN stack development is mainly talked about for single page applications, it can be used across the complexity spectrum. From one-page websites to fully-fledged social media networks, let’s take a look from the simplest use cases, and go up the ranks to more complex ones.
The one-page basics
Looking to display data over your site? Then applications such as online calendars and maps can benefit from being built via the MEAN stack. Alternatively, if you’re also looking to collect data via a form, the MEAN stack will still work, especially if it’s confined within a single page or two.
In consideration to this pandemic, many brands have required something as simple as an online payment method to continue offering their services over the web (such as fitness sessions or educational courses). Add to this a form component that gathers additional data about a customer for providing other value-added services, and you have another ideal use case for MEAN stack app development.
Other use cases can include news bulletins, real-time dashboards and even audio/video streaming – with additional data gathering components and other services, once again.
The complex real-time applications
Relative to MVPs, the MEAN stack can also vastly benefit a DevOps lifecycle due to the same reasons as mentioned above, as constant rounds are being made by developers and IT staff alike to keep an application functional, efficient and secure round-the-clock.
We’ve long since been talking about how the COVID-19 pandemic has been shifting technology priorities for good. Likewise, the aspect of software development is no exception to this rule, and the MEAN stack is all the more viable for today’s businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. As most businesses aimed to continue offering their products and services over the online medium, many, especially those that were mostly dependent on offline sales, were up for quite the challenge.
Add to this severe competition, thanks to multiple brands available for any product or service imaginable. The pandemic has further augmented competition, since brands are left with either staying within eyeshot, or losing out completely. So how can these challenges be met to not just ensure your business stays afloat – but also thrives? Cloud-based services have been the mainstream norm both before, during and after the pandemic. Add to this the need for applications that are simple enough for users to navigate through, in order to make a purchase. Both these elements are what will enable a powerful online presence for any brand – no matter how unique their needs may be.