Introduction to MeteorJS

Get introduced to MeteorJS open-source software for building JavaScript applications.

Meteor framework

MeteorJS is a free, open-source framework written on top of Node.js. Meteor is used to build full-stack web applications because it can make all aspects of a web application (client, server, and data access). Along with full-stack web applications, Meteor uses JavaScript to build mobile applications.

Meteor integrates perfectly with MongoDB, a document-oriented, NoSQL database used for data storage. The same language, JavaScript, is used across the entire stack, which makes Meteor easy to learn.

Meteor web applications communicate over both the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Distributed Data Protocol (DDP).

Note: DDP is a client-server protocol developed by Meteor to poll and update server-side databases and synchronize updates with simply connected clients. It simply polls the database to pick up changes, which it pushes to the client.

Client-server interaction

The initial request is made by the client to the server through HTTP. The server responds with static assets, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that go back to the client. The client can affect change in the server by calling server functions named methods through a Remote Procedure Call (RPC).

A publish-subscribe pattern is achieved through DDP, which watches for changes in the data and pushes updates to all subscribed clients. This is perfect for building real-time web applications with little effort.

Meteor works with popular JavaScript front-end frameworks like React, Vue, Angular, Svelte, or its own frontend rendering system called Blaze.

Advantages of using Meteor

There are many reasons why we might want to choose Meteor as the framework for our next project.

Easy to learn

Meteor is very easy to pick up and learn because its development only requires familiarity with a single language that we use for both client and server development.

Fast prototyping

Meteor provides us with a quick way to prototype applications. Like in other application development environments, We can easily spin off a Meteor application to show to clients without much effort while setting up databases and struggling with environment setup. A simple meteor create appName gets us started quickly with tools and packages that make our lives easier.

Easy to create a real-time app

It’s very easy to create real-time applications, like a messaging web application (which would normally take more effort if we were to code it in pure Node.js instead of Meteor).

Community backed

Meteor has a fantastic community behind it. Packages have been authored that solve common problems. Those packages can be installed from Atmosphere. Packages are available for authentication and account systems that reduce the work we have to do when building our application.

Compatibility with npm

npm packages are also compatible with Meteor projects, making the developer’s life easy in terms of supporting libraries and packages.