As a bundle of software, open software stack makes it easier for developers to build robust web applications by based on each component. Each stack includes all components required for developing four distinct tiers of modern web applications – client tier, web tier, business tier and database tier. The developers also have option to use software stacks with open source components to build websites and web applications without increasing project overheads. Both LAMP and MEAN are popular, open source software stacks for web development.

LAMP Stack
LAMP is actually an acronym of the names of its four open source components – Linux operating system, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL and PHP. The combination of these open source and powerful technologies provides a solid and reliable foundation for development and deployment of high-performance web applications. However, the components of LAMP stack are both dynamic and interchangeable. There are many web developers who prefer using Linux, Apache and MySQL with widely used programming languages Perl or Python. Many developers even replace MySQL with other relational database management systems (RDBMS) and NoSQL databases.

MEAN Stack
MEAN is also an acronym of the names of its four components – MangoDB, Express.js, Angular.js and Node.js. MangoDB is a widely used NoSQL database, whereas Express.js is a web application framework that runs on Node.js. Angular.js a JavaScript MVC framework which runs on the JavaScript engine included in web browsers. Node.js is a cross-platform runtime engine that enables programmers to write server side code in JavaScript. Hence, MEAN as a JavaScript software stack allows developers to build both front-end and back-end of a website or web application with a single programming language – JavaScript. However, the web developers do not have option to replace any of these technologies as components of MEAN stack are not interchangeable.

Understanding Major Differences between LAMP Stack and MEAN Stack

Programming Languages: LAMP Stack requires programmers to write code in PHP. MySQL also provides better support to PHP in comparison to other programming languages. But the developers still have option to replace PHP with Python or Perl as components of LAMP Stack are interchangeable. But the components of MEAN Stack are not interchangeable. Hence, the developers are required to write both client-side and server-side code in JavaScript.

Database: While using LAMP Stack, developers often use MySQL as the default relational database management systems (RDBMS). However, they still have option to replace MySQL with other RDBMS like MariaDB and PostgreSQL. Likewise, they can also MySQL with a popular NoSQL database like MangoDB. Hence, LAMP Stack allows programmers to work with both SQL and NoSQL databases. But MEAN Stack required web developers to work exclusively with MangoDB.

Operating System: LAMP Stack requires developers to deploy websites and web applications on a variant of Linux. But MEAN Stack does not include any operating system as its component. Hence, the users can deploy their web applications on any operating system that supports Node.js. They can easily apply the applications on major platforms like Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Web Server: LAMP Stack includes Apache Web Server as a component, while MEAN Stack relies on the web server provided by Node.js. In addition to being modern and lightweight, Node.js also provides an event-based and non-blocking web server. The web server provided by Node.js further boosts the application’s performance by facilitating concurrency of HTTP requests. But Apache is more robust and mature than Node.js. Often developers have to build custom plug-ins to enhance and extend Node.js according to the requirements of large projects.

Front-End Component: Unlike MEAN Stack, LAMP Stack does not include any component to facilitate front-end development. Hence, the developers have to use JavaScript frameworks and tools additionally to build front-end of web application. While using LAMP Stack, many developers use React.js or Backbone.js for front-end development. But they can take advantage of Angular.js, while using MEAN Stack, to create robust user interface of the website without putting extra time and effort.

Presentation and Data Flow: LAMP Stack requires programmers to write additional code in PHP/Perl/Python for web page presentation and control flow. But MEAN Stack makes Express.js act as a controller layer, while making Angular.js handle data presentation. In addition to directing the application flow, Express.js further provides the data required by Angular.js. Both Angular.js and Express.js are lightweight JavaScript libraries, and can be embedded into any web application smoothly. Hence, the web developer can use MEAN Stack to make web page presentation and control data flow more efficiently.

Working with Cloud: As a mature RDBMS, MySQL is currently used by many large and high-traffic websites. Many programmers even prefer MySQL to MangoDB for developing high-performing and high-traffic websites. But MangoDB is a modern NoSQL database. Hence, it comes with a number of new features and compatibilities. While using MEAN Stack, developers can avail the compelling database layer provided by MangoDB to spread the data strategically across an array of servers. Also, they can use full cluster support, automatic shading, and other features provide by MangoDB to build, test and deploy web applications smoothly in the cloud.

Web Browser Dependence: Unlike LAMP, MEAN is a JavaScript software stack. All its components support JavaScript programs to enable developers to write both client-side and server-side code in a single programming language. But JavaScript was originally designed as a client-side scripting language. The users have option to disable JavaScript on web browsers to protect their privacy. Once a user disables JavaScript on his web browser, the web application developed with MEAN Stack will become practically useless. Hence, the users must not disable JavaScript to access the web application developed with MEAN Stack smoothly.

LAMP Stack is more mature than MEAN Stack. But MEAN Stack has become hugely popular among web developers within a shorter amount of time. Many web developers even predicted that MEAN Stack would make LAMP Stack obsolete in the longer run. Both LAMP and MEAN Stacks offer a number of benefits and suffer from several lacunae. Hence, the developers must pick the MEAN or LAMP based on specific requirements of each project.