ExpressJS vs Socket.IO: What are the differences?
What is ExpressJS? Sinatra inspired web development framework for node.js -- insanely fast, flexible, and simple. Express is a minimal and flexible node.js web application framework, providing a robust set of features for building single and multi-page, and hybrid web applications.
What is Socket.IO? Realtime application framework (Node.JS server). Socket.IO enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.
ExpressJS can be classified as a tool in the "Microframeworks (Backend)" category, while Socket.IO is grouped under "Realtime Backend / API".
Some of the features offered by ExpressJS are:
- Robust routing
- HTTP helpers (redirection, caching, etc)
- View system supporting 14+ template engines
On the other hand, Socket.IO provides the following key features:
- Real-time analytics - Push data to clients that gets represented as real-time counters, charts or logs.
- Binary streaming - Starting in 1.0, it's possible to send any blob back and forth: image, audio, video.
- Instant messaging and chat - Socket.IO's "Hello world" is a chat app in just a few lines of code.
ExpressJS and Socket.IO are both open source tools. It seems that Socket.IO with 46.9K GitHub stars and 8.54K forks on GitHub has more adoption than ExpressJS with 44.6K GitHub stars and 7.48K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, ExpressJS has a broader approval, being mentioned in 854 company stacks & 790 developers stacks; compared to Socket.IO, which is listed in 561 company stacks and 397 developer stacks.