The Top Node.js Backend Frameworks

8 min read

With multiple JavaScript backend options available, software companies are often searching for the best backend framework to harness the true potential of their coding scripts. Each Node.js development environment offers different levels of flexibility and programming conventions to choose from, and the JS frameworks that contribute to a tech stack ultimately result in the environment that software developers will have to live with.

While different backend Node.js frameworks can ensure the same endpoints, finding the right combination of the backend frameworks, database ORMs, and authentication libraries is essential.

Picking the right Node.js frameworks, or in general, the right JavaScript frameworks can be quite a task. This is mostly due to the fact that the JavaScript community is full of different libraries and different approaches to web development. This article covers the Top Node.js Backend Frameworks to help your software company build software in sustainable manners.

Top Backend Frameworks

The choice of the right backend Node.js framework is essential for the optimal functioning of a software company. When choosing a backend framework, you are not making decisions in isolation. You have to find a comprehensive web framework that offers the combination of the right developer flexibility, the best patterns, attractive documentation and adoption, the right database interactions, and streamlined authorization and permission capabilities for security purposes.

In some cases where your web framework doesn’t provide you with the required additional features, you have to pair up the database ORMs and authentication libraries to get the complete package. In consideration of this fact, we have shared the best backend Node.js web frameworks, Node.js database ORMs, and Node.js authentication libraries.

Node.js Backend Frameworks

Node.js framework handles the combination of backend and front-end tech stack activities. Although it performs reasonably at the front end, backend processing is its specialty. The backend involves the server, database, and code. All these aspects are essential for the execution of a task.

The calculations for every front-end client request-made require complex processes, including data fetching and validation. The top Node.js web frameworks perform these functions with considerable ease.Nestjs, logo Icon in Vector Logo


Nest.js is a fully-featured web framework for Node.js. Nest.js creates versatile and extensible web applications based on a modular architecture. It can use multiple libraries to provide complete server-side support for different applications, making it suitable for creating all types of useful functionalities. Building the backend with Nest.js offers stability over flexibility, which helps develop large-scale web applications.

Using Nest.js, you can incorporate the latest JavaScript features without requiring any considerable changes to the basic framework. It lets you enjoy mature solutions and bring new design patterns.

It supports TypeScript; thus, writing maintainable web applications is fully backed with lesser bugs involved. Any problems in the code create an immediate warning, making the development environment error-free. Besides, if you have coded in Angular before, the environment would be a lot similar, reducing your time in the learning process. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that extends the core functionality of JavaScript to include strong typing. This enables developers to catch type errors before releasing code to your production web applications, which means fewer bugs for the end users.

A few users have regarded the Nest.js framework to be a bit too similar to .NET Core, which gives the developer an outdated feel while working with it.

Also, beginners might get stuck in the file navigation and its functionality because of its extremely structured settings and automatic management of a few aspects. Once the environment stops functioning automatically (without any external intervention), it is difficult for newbies to find a solution on their own, unlike some other web development environments.

Overall, we feel that Nest.js provides a great set of programming standards for backend development. Not having to think too much about inventing patterns or conventions allows for faster development speed and process.AdonisJS


Just like Nest.js, Adonis.js is a Node.js web framework that supports TypeScript and is organized. Adonis.js offers a complete package to create a fully functional API server without requiring you to look for other related databases or libraries for support. The baseline framework offered by this environment lets you head start your projects without requiring much effort. Besides, it can be connected to different databases.

Stability over flexibility is usually the main concern of the software houses and developers using this web framework. It is not a minimalist framework, and you have access to a lot of code. But most of it can be put on automation, reducing your workload. Security and testing the code wouldn’t be an issue with this backend Node.js framework.

File:Expressjs.png - Wikimedia Commons


It is one of the most popular and often the default frameworks in Node.js coding architecture. A general understanding of the Node.js environment can let you use this development environment fully. The robust and asynchronous structure of Express.js helps in quick development.

This development environment relies on flexibility instead of stability and general conventions. The MVC Architectural pattern and rapid server-side programming packages let you develop your apps faster. You can develop enterprise-grade applications through Express.js, thus ensuring scalability.

The downside of this tech stack is that it doesn’t offer high security. Besides, it has a steep learning curve and is not beginner-friendly. Moreover, Express.js also creates bottlenecks as a result of executing complex computation tasks.

The Top Node.js Backend Framework

Although there are multiple backend Node.js frameworks available, from the three we have discussed here, Nest.js is the best one. In terms of backend frameworks, the selection of the best isn’t performance-based but on the overall project and the development mindset. Nest.js is user-friendly for the developers, has a structured architecture, and allows unit testing. All these features cover enterprise-grade application development.

We’ll rank Adonis.js as the second best for the enterprise-grade application development environment. On the other hand, although Express.js is quite popular, it is overly flexible and doesn’t provide a good set of standard programming conventions.

Database ORMs

The database ORMs are the query builders to be used in association with Node.js. The selection of the right database ORM to be used depends on its structure and abstraction levels. Popularity, repo activity, developer support, and project maturity are the other variables on which we have evaluated the following database ORMs.


Sequelize is a TypeScript and Node.js ORM for different databases. Transaction support, relations, eager and lazy loading, and read replication are the main features of this database ORM.

The Sequelize database ORMs can offer complete support in case of any issues. However, it can sometimes create complex relationship queries, which might be a problem.


Apart from running in Node.js, you can expect it to be equally functional in multiple tech stack environments. TypeORM supports TypeScript and JavaScript. You can easily create databases irrespective of the complexity. While using TypeORM, users have complained about excessive bug encounters, which can limit their productivity.


It is a database ORM different from the other ORMs available where the data is not defined in classes but in the Prisma schema. You have to define the relevant databases and the relationship between them. Based on the Prisma Schema, you can send your query to the database.

On the downside, Prisma does not contain a Database Abstraction Layer (DBAL). Moreover, it is difficult for beginners to use.


It is one of the most popular object modeling tools that helps establish an extra abstraction layer, limiting the need to use named collections. In Mongoose, the schema defines the property attributes or fields. It helps in the creation of the model, and all the operations are dependent on it.

The Best Node.js Database ORM Framework

From these database ORMs, TypeORM provides the most relevancy with the Nest.js backend framework, which we often recommend. The support for TypeORM for Typescript, ActiveRecord, and DataMapper patterns is the basic reason. You can also expect TypeORM to provide support for more databases.

The authentication libraries are crucial in acquiring security tokens to validate the users while accessing the Node.js backend frameworks.

When considering Nest.js as the backend framework and TypeORM as the database ORM, one of the authentication libraries that can fit the situation is Passport.js.

JavaScript Stack 2020


Passport.js is an unobtrusive Node.js authentication middleware that can make the authentication and signing process easier. It allows Single sign-on with OpenID and OAuth. Also, it incorporates 500+ authentication strategies to ensure reliable login to the users.

Passport.js is really standard in authentication for Node.js.

Work with Flatirons Development

Flatirons Development utilizes Node.js as a core technology. As a general rule of thumb, consumer-grade and enterprise-grade application development can be fully supported using the following combination of the backend frameworks, database ORM, and authentication libraries, i.e., NestJS + TypeORM + Postgres + Passport.js

Well, if you aren’t sure which development environment will suit your particular case, you are always welcome to consult professionals at Flatirons Development. We don’t only consider your organizational size and the nature of the projects at hand but also look into the specialization of your developer before recommending you a particular framework to work in. Get in touch with us now!

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