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ExpressJS vs Spring Boot: What are the differences?

Developers describe ExpressJS as "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. On the other hand, Spring Boot is detailed as "Create Spring-powered, production-grade applications and services with absolute minimum fuss". Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.

ExpressJS and Spring Boot are primarily classified as "Microframeworks (Backend)" and "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools respectively.

"Simple", "Node.js" and "Javascript" are the key factors why developers consider ExpressJS; whereas "Powerful and handy", "Easy setup" and "Java" are the primary reasons why Spring Boot is favored.

ExpressJS and Spring Boot are both open source tools. It seems that ExpressJS with 44.6K GitHub stars and 7.48K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Spring Boot with 39.8K GitHub stars and 25.8K GitHub forks.

Twitter, Intuit, and OpenGov are some of the popular companies that use ExpressJS, whereas Spring Boot is used by MIT, Intuit, and OpenGov. ExpressJS has a broader approval, being mentioned in 854 company stacks & 788 developers stacks; compared to Spring Boot, which is listed in 333 company stacks and 615 developer stacks.

Advice on ExpressJS and Spring Boot
Rafsanjanee Rizvi
Owner at Mingchen Information And Technology · | 4 upvotes · 37.5K views
Needs advice
on
Spring Boot
NestJS
and
ExpressJS

Hi, I am a new developer using Ionic to develop a mobile app. I have recently tried to build a social mobile app which will have video calling, payment transaction, chatting, sharing, etc. I am now confused as to which framework I should use for the backend: Spring Boot or ExpressJS or NestJS? Any detailed advice will be better for my development. Looking forward to your valuable reply.

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Replies (2)

Any tools that achieve your software functionalities is good. you should check if with these frameworks you can do video-call, chat etc. how the scalability is achieved and the complexity of using it with them. since you are starting from scratch you can do this kind of feasibility before starting

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Recommends

If I want to write server api, I will use NestJS as primary framework. It base on express | fastify so I can use anything of expressJs. SpringBoot is a java framework. I will think to write as payment transaction service. If you are Ionic developer. you will know Js / ES6. You can try NestJS / ExpressJS. - video calling: You can not create video calling feature. Some keywords: ffmpeg / coturn / webrtc - chatting: realtime (socket.io / websocket) - you can try some opensource as rocketchat. It also have video calling feature.

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Hi

I’ve been using Django for the last year on and off to do my backend API. I’m getting a bit frustrated with the Django REST framework with the setup of the serializers and Django for the lack of web sockets. I’m considering either Spring or .NET Core. I’m familiar with Kotlin and C# but I’ve not built any substantial projects with them. I like OOP, building a desktop app, web API, and also the potential to get a job in the future or building a tool at work to manage my documents, dashboard and processes point cloud data.

I’m familiar with c/cpp, TypeScript.

I would love your insights on where I should go.

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Replies (3)
Recommends
.NET Core

Theres a logt going on in the dotnet world. I currently do all my Rest APIs with asp.net core.

The Setup is very easy as the .net web sdk provides with a lot features you don't want to keep yourself concerned with. You can integrate Swagger with little effort.

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Dzung Nguyen
Researcher at Florida Institute of Technology · | 6 upvotes · 72.5K views
Recommends
Spring Boot

Spring Boot is the lightweight of the Spring framework. I used the Spring framework before, and I fall in love with the Spring Boot. I also use .NET core, but still, I like Spring boot the best. If you have time then you should experience both. You are more than halfway in gaining experience. My suggestion is always to try to learn many things as you can.

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Nikhil Gurnani
Sr. Backend Engineer at Grappus · | 4 upvotes · 68.4K views
Recommends
Spring Boot

I see what you're going through and I extend my hands to you. I felt the same frustration after almost 1.5 years of working with Django and Node.js in the parallel. And since the last one year, I've transitioned into Spring Boot. I think its fair to say, that its quite different when you're going from Django background as a framework, but otherwise. I think it's one of the robust ones out there. Scalability is seamless and you get most of the things out of the box or easily supported by dev dependencies. You should definitely check it out! :)

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Eva Maciejko
Needs advice
on
Spring Boot
Laravel
and
ExpressJS

Hello, I am a fullstack web developer. I have been working for a company with Java/ Spring Boot and client-side JavaScript(mainly jQuery, some AngularJS) for the past 4 years. As I wish to now work as a freelancer, I am faced with a dilemma: which stack to choose given my current knowledge and the state of the market?

I've heard PHP is very popular in the freelance world. I don't know PHP. However, I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to learn since it has many similarities with Java (OOP). It seems to me that Laravel has similarities with Spring Boot (it's MVC and OOP). Also, people say Laravel works well with Vue.js, which is my favorite JS framework.

On the other hand, I already know the Javascript language, and I like Vue.js, so I figure I could go the fullstack Javascript route with ExpressJS. However, I am not sure if these techs are ripe for freelancing (with regards to RAD, stability, reliability, security, costs, etc.) Is it true that Express is almost always used with MongoDB? Because my experience is mostly with SQL databases.

The projects I would like to work on are custom web applications/websites for small businesses. I have developed custom ERPs before and found that Java was a good fit, except for it taking a long time to develop. I cannot make a choice, and I am constantly switching between trying PHP and Node.js/Express. Any real-world advice would be welcome! I would love to find a stack that I enjoy while doing meaningful freelance coding.

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Replies (10)
Recommends
Spring Boot

Hi Eva, As you have solid experience with Spring already, you should jump into freelancing with that. It would be quite stressful to start freelancing with a tech stack you don't know well. Then in the background you can keep learning/practicing an alternative and switch over when you are confident enough (eg. 0.5-1 year later). I think you should learn Laravel as you already like it and find it easier. Express has better performance but that is not required for most of the small freelancer projects.

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Recommends
ExpressJS

Looking at current technological trends and rise of JavaScript, you cannot go wrong with JavaScript. - There's an abundance of libraries to get most things done - You can use JavaScript for both the frontend and the backend - this allows you potentially share your logic/models/code across both stacks - A dynamic/interpreted language such as JavaScript is great for serverless (there's somewhat of a trend towards serverless aswell - especially in modern projects) - If you like/need static typing, you can always migrate seemlessly to Typescript - VueJS is a lightweight framework (compared to Angular), it has more GitHub stars and most would argue it's easier to work with (beginner friendly). Additionally most modern webapps do not use JQuery anymore (even though a lot of legacy projects continue to do so). You don't need JQuery if you use Vue/Angular/React

Additionally it doesn't seem like performance is a hugely important metric in your scenario, so JavaScript would suffice.

Note: These are all my opinions and what I've seen in the current market when recently searching for jobs.

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Benoît Hubert
JavaScript Instructor at Wild Code School · | 6 upvotes · 155.6K views
Recommends
Spring Boot

I think Patrik and Alex are right: if you're comfortable with Spring Boot already, you'll be more productive right from the start.

If you wish to learn something else besides, both Laravel and Express are good choices. They aren't in the same category of frameworks: Laravel is an all-in-one solution, while Express is more like "build your own stack from different parts". Which implies that you can use whatever you want as a database engine: MySQL or PostgreSQL are perfectly valid choices (in my school, we teach Express with MySQL, because SQL is still a big thing here in France, and a sought-after skill). You can use Sequelize or TypeORM which support all major SQL DBMS.

Express is widely used, but if you're seeking the JavaScript equivalent of Spring Boot or Laravel, you probably want to look at NestJS. The only potential downside is that it's still young, maintained by a small commmunity, compared to those behind Spring Boot and Laravel.

Bottom line: using a stack tech, that you enjoy and are comfortable with, matters. Spring Boot + Vue.js seem perfectly fine to me. But do forget jQuery if you're using Vue.js, React or Angular, because it will definitely bring more harm than good!

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Hi as someone who employs and select developers i agree with a lot almost sayed but think of what are your strengths and where you are or better where your customers are. If you search for big enterprise projects spring boot is ok sql is must and html css as well. if you want to go more to internet related companies (like airbnb, what sup, facebook ) or similar (and not asia) then react is a must node js as well. The libraries tools etc which are used you need to adopt fast. If asia then VUE is a must. but if you like small projects with individuals or like wordpress or similar then you can learn php but i think in 2020 it is wasted time. Same for python in that area. and i also see that we often have problem that developer at least must understand docker docker compose better as it works with kubernetes ,.. just my 5 cents

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Recommends
Spring Boot

I would definitely recommend you to go with Spring Boot + AngularJS + jQuery. Reasons: 1- You have an experience of 4 years with the above-mentioned stack. 2- As you mentioned that you wish to work as a freelancer, your stack is the perfect one for finding good bids with a little less effort than that of PHP + Laravel + Vue.js.

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Rubin Thomas
Software Cloud Developer at RUBIN THOMAS · | 4 upvotes · 95.8K views
Recommends
Python
PHP
Perl

As a developer myself, I would recommend you not to restrict yourself to JAVA, PHP or any other language. New Tools/languages keep coming every day. If you do plan to move to freelancing. PHP has a lot of options in the freelance space and a lot of competition too.

Learning PHP is as simple as learning any other language. It depends merely on your interest.

Personally if you can code, you should not restrict yourself. I have had to code in many languages, PHP, Perl, shell script, Python, Java, Javascript, Ruby etc... I would keep your developing skills and logic, algorithms etc.. and increase your knowledge and experience in the different languages.

I agree with you JAVA is a lot more time consuming. But it also has its enterprise level scope.

At the same time learning a new language should not be a barrier for you to stop exploring what's out there and keeping your skills up to date. Learning new technologies should be your primary focus and getting project out of your stack helps you build a good reputation.

There are many options for you to pursue. Having an open mindset will help you move forward. If you look to learn now, you are setting yourself up for a brighter future.

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Alex Spieslechner
Recommends
Spring Boot

in order to stay employable, I'd work with something you can deliver with. if I'd be your client and you'd have to get comfortable with a new stack, I would 100% not pay you for this startup time. learn new stuff in your free-time. or set aside time for learning.

that said, if you want to reorientate, php (even though i personally hate it) is extremely wide spread. but so are java and nodejs. so I'm not a fan of that argument... i recommend building something in each language, and see what you enjoy more. for me it was nodejs, because I already enjoy frontend JavaScript, and appreciate the ecosystem and community.

regarding expressjs and mongodb: yes, it is a goto solution for a lot of tutorials, because its as simple as it gets. especially wben using something like monk. BUT if you want to use mysql, posgres or similar, check out TypeORM, Prism or another ORM-like solution. you can use any db with express, and there's plenty of abstraction layers, which make your life easier. but i noticed that expressjs does a lot less "holding hands" compared to .net core (c#), or laravel (php). can be a pro or a con.

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I like fullstack freelancers who stacks are clean as one of below

  1. PHP (laravel ) + Jquery + Bootstrap

  2. Python(Django) + Angular JS or VueJS

  3. NODEJS + REACTJS

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Recommends
ExpressJS

Hey There, I would recommend going fullstack javascript since you already have experience with javascript on the front end it would be very easy to pickup node and express js. You can use sql with node and express if you please, but mongo is pretty easy to get going with.

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Ahmed Gamal

Please, try to work with your comfortable stack, here is some recommendation

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Decisions about ExpressJS and Spring Boot
Hampton Catlin
VP of Engineering at Rent The Runway · | 7 upvotes · 90K views

Starting a new company in 2020, with a whole new stack, is a really interesting opportunity for me to look back over the last 20 years of my career with web software and make the right decision for my company.

And, I went with the most radical decision– which is to ignore "sexy" / "hype" technologies almost entirely, and go back to a stack that I first used over 15 years ago.

For my purposes, we are building a video streaming platform, where I wanted rapid customer-facing feature development, high testability, simple scaling, and ease of hiring great, experienced talent. To be clear, our web platform is NOT responsible for handling the actual bits and bytes of the video itself, that's an entirely different stack. It simply needs to manage the business rules and the customers experience of the video content.

I reviewed a lot of different technologies, but none of them seemed to fit the bill as well as Rails did! The hype train had long left the station with Rails, and the community is a little more sparse than it was previously. And, to be honest, Ruby was the language that was easiest for developers, but I find that most languages out there have adopted many of it's innovations for ease of use – or at least corrected their own.

Even with all of that, Rails still seems like the best framework for developing web applications that are no more complex than they need to be. And that's key to me, because it's very easy to go use React and Redux and GraphQL and a whole host of AWS Lamba's to power my blog... but you simply don't actually NEED that.

There are two choices I made in our stack that were new for me personally, and very different than what I would have chosen even 5 years ago.

1) Postgres - I decided to switch from MySql to Postgres for this project. I wanted to use UUID's instead of numeric primary keys, and knew I'd have a couple places where better JSON/object support would be key. Mysql remains far more popular, but almost every developer I respect has switched and preferred Postgres with a strong passion. It's not "sexy" but it's considered "better".

2) Stimulus.js - This was definitely the biggest and wildest choice to make. Stimulus is a Javascript framework by my old friend Sam Stephenson (Prototype.js, rbenv, turbolinks) and DHH, and it is a sort of radical declaration that your Javascript in the browser can be both powerful and modern AND simple. It leans heavily on the belief that HTML-is-good and that data-* attributes are good. It focuses on the actions and interactions and not on the rendering aspects. It took me a while to wrap my head around, and I still have to remind myself, that server-side-HTML is how you solve many problems with this stack, and avoid trying to re-render things just in the browser. So far, I'm happy with this choice, but it is definitely a radical departure from the current trends.

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Pros of ExpressJS
Pros of Spring Boot
  • 362
    Simple
  • 318
    Node.js
  • 235
    Javascript
  • 183
    High performance
  • 147
    Robust routing
  • 66
    Open source
  • 64
    Middlewares
  • 52
    Great community
  • 33
    Hybrid web applications
  • 8
    Well documented
  • 8
    Sinatra inspired
  • 4
    Isomorphic js.. superfast and easy
  • 3
    Rapid development
  • 2
    Socket connection
  • 2
    Npm
  • 2
    Event loop
  • 2
    Light weight
  • 2
    Resource available for learning
  • 1
    Callbacks
  • 1
    Data stream
  • 0
    Xxx
  • 131
    Powerful and handy
  • 122
    Easy setup
  • 114
    Java
  • 84
    Spring
  • 80
    Fast
  • 40
    Extensible
  • 33
    Lots of "off the shelf" functionalities
  • 28
    Cloud Solid
  • 22
    Caches well
  • 20
    Many receipes around for obscure features
  • 19
    Modular
  • 19
    Productive
  • 18
    Integrations with most other Java frameworks
  • 17
    Spring ecosystem is great
  • 17
    Fast Performance With Microservices
  • 15
    Community
  • 14
    Auto-configuration
  • 12
    Easy setup, Community Support, Solid for ERP apps
  • 12
    One-stop shop
  • 11
    Cross-platform
  • 11
    Easy to parallelize
  • 10
    Easy setup, good for build erp systems, well documented
  • 10
    Powerful 3rd party libraries and frameworks
  • 9
    Easy setup, Git Integration
  • 2
    Kotlin
  • 2
    It's so easier to start a project on spring

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Cons of ExpressJS
Cons of Spring Boot
  • 22
    Not python
  • 15
    Overrated
  • 14
    No multithreading
  • 6
    Javascript
  • 5
    Not fast
  • 2
    Easily Insecure for Novices
  • 1
    Not a lion
  • 18
    Heavy weight
  • 17
    Annotation ceremony
  • 10
    Many config files needed
  • 8
    Java
  • 5
    Reactive
  • 4
    Excellent tools for cloud hosting, since 5.x

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What is ExpressJS?

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 Spring Boot?

Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.

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What are some alternatives to ExpressJS and Spring Boot?
Koa
Koa aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs. Through leveraging generators Koa allows you to ditch callbacks and greatly increase error-handling. Koa does not bundle any middleware.
React
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
Flask
Flask is intended for getting started very quickly and was developed with best intentions in mind.
Django
Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
See all alternatives
Reviews of ExpressJS and Spring Boot
Review of
Spring Boot

spring boot allow my team to start building web services quickly and package it in a stand alone application

How developers use ExpressJS and Spring Boot
Cloudcraft uses
ExpressJS

Express.js is the workhorse of the Cloudcraft.co backend. It's not the most exciting part of a stack, but it works, is very well documented, and you can find a plugin for almost everything you could possibly want. We also carefully evaluated Koa.js, but decided not to go down this route: fewer plugins, less documentation & answers online. I'm also not personally convinced by the generators yield syntax at all. ES7 async functions looks like a much better bet, and with Promises and Babel I can have that already today.

Volkan Özçelik uses
ExpressJS

I use express.js for nightly.zerotoherojs.com and dojo.zerotoherojs.com web apps.

Express is well-known, lightweight, works out-of-the-box, has great middleware support and has minimal learning curve.

It is the best framework to start developing a general Node.js web app.

Kent Steiner uses
ExpressJS

I'm fluent in ExpressJS, but over the past two years I have moved to HapiJS. Similar results, but I find Hapi to be more full-featured towards my app, api and service needs. I can operate confidently in both.

Promethean TV uses
ExpressJS

PrometheanTV utilizes the ExpressJS web application framework to deploy various web applications and services including the Broadcast Center Tool, our video embed service, and our REST API.

Climate CoLab uses
Spring Boot

Spring-Boot allows us to create stand-alone web servers and helps us configure many of our dependencies with sane default, while maintaining flexibility where we need it.

Merge In uses
ExpressJS

We rely on ExpressJS to serve our content simply, easily, and effectively, without the bloat-ware. Big thanks to StrongLoop for supporting this package.

Emcee uses
Spring Boot

Probably the best application framework in Java, by far. Time-proven, mature.

p009922 uses
Spring Boot

light weight server approach for REST-services

Project44 uses
Spring Boot

All services are spring-boot applications.

Vaadin uses
Spring Boot

Solid base for Java-based web app backend