Once you have decided to create a Java-script based application or a website, choosing the right framework for the same will have a significant impact on the success of your project. It can highly impact your project completion ability and future code maintenance. JavaScript framework makes your application more flexible and scalable by putting structure to your code, keeping it organized and making the development process easier.

There are various JavaScript frameworks available in the market like Angular JS, Ember JS, React JS, Backbone JS, Knockout Js and Vue JS. As these are all open source frameworks, the world is constantly enriching them. And as a result, it has become highly important to understand the differences between each framework along with the scenarios which are best suitable for the respective frameworks.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of the widely-used JavaScript frameworks

Angular JS:

First Release Date: 2009
Licensing: Open Source -MIT License
Pros:

  • Provides active community support, as it is backed by Google
  • Regular releases with new updates
  • Two-way data binding, where data bound to html elements can be viewed and updated as well
  • Dependency injection which allows to easily include services
  • Ionic front-end library that is built on top of AngularJS allows us to build cross platform mobile applications.
  • Karma, the post popular test runner brings productive testing environment to developers.

Cons:

  • Complicated Debugging with two-way binding that impacts performance
  • Performance is slow in large and more complex applications, however a tradeoff can be made for better User Interface
  • Angular 2 is a complete rewrite of framework and is not backward compatible

 
Sites: Forbes, Healthcare.org, Amazon
Bonus: Backed by Google
When to choose Angular JS: Angular JS is best framework for small to medium level projects which needs a quick start. Also in case of large and enterprise applications wherever the user experience precedes performance, Angular JS is a perfect fit for such kind of applications.

React JS:

First Release Date: 2013
Licensing: Open Source – BSD License
Pros:

  • Fastest available JS framework
  • Easy to learn
  • Support server side rendering and answers SEO problem with other client side frameworks
  • Combined with other JS frameworks for View layer
  • React Native allows to write both web and iOS applications.
  • Supports both ES5 and ES6
  • Enzyme and Mocha can be easily used to test React applications.|

Cons:

  • Does not provide templates and reusable components to generate UI
  • Depends on 3rd party plugins.
  • Needs to write custom event logic for 2 way binding.

Sites: Facebook, Instagram, BBC, Netflix
Bonus: Backed by Facebook
When to choose React JS: When the performance is the top most priority in an application than any other aspect, then React JS is the ideal framework to be taken into consideration. It is a perfect framework for single page applications if:

  • DOM operations/updates are huge. For example: Types of pages on Facebook.
  • API returns huge data upfront, then React store will manage it very effectively with Redux

Ember JS

First Release Date: 2011
Licensing: Open Source – MIT License
Pros:

  • Templates library and routing are included in Ember, freeing up developers from mundane and routine tasks
  • Has in-built minification support (Ember CLI) instead of going for Gulp or Grunt
  • Cordova along with Ember and Bootstrap CSS frameworks helps in building cross platform mobile applications.
  • QUnit provides good support for testing Ember JS applications.

Cons:

  • Do not provide much flexibility for developers since it emphasizes to follow “Ember way”
  • Requires a significant amount of time for the developers to understand its complete features due to its large framework

Sites: Vine, Qualcomm
When to choose Ember JS: Ember JS is an ideal framework for medium to large projects. The benefits can get better over the period of time because of learning curve involved in the same.

Backbone JS

First Release Date: 2010
Licensing: Open Source – MIT License
Pros:

  • No templating engine, offering great flexibility for developers
  • Very light weight, preferred in smaller applications, offers great speeds

Cons:

  • Delayed application development
  • May lead to “boilerplate” code
  • Challenging for new developers to effectively utilize the framework again because of its simplicity

Sites: Twitter, Pinterest
When to choose Backbone JS: Backbone JS is ideal for the situation wherein you can afford developers with good experience in single page applications (SPA). One can use additional libraries and plugins in order to bring the best out of it.

Knockout JS

First Release Date: 2010
Licensing: Open Source – MIT License
Pros:

  • Easy to learn with detailed documentation having interactive tutorials and live examples
  • Provides flexibility to developers for implementing their own third party templates
  • Dependencies are handled through a dependency graph which targets specific data as opposed to updating entire models when data changes occur
  • Third party solutions such as Jasmine and Sinon.js are used to test Knockout JS applications

Cons:

  • Functionalities like URL routing and data access are not available

Sites: Live.com, Mediafire.com, Dell.com
When to choose Knockout JS: Knockout JS is an ideal in a scenario wherein you want your application to work with every browser including the obsolete