TL; DR – Express is still the biggest game in town by orders of magnitude. Koa, Sails and Feathers continue to grow in popularity.
Framework: ‘a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text.’
In our initial analysis, we looked at the popularity of the following frameworks
Six of the seven top frameworks remain the same as last year, with Restify replacing Kraken in the top tier. Feathers is showing strong incremental growth of over 50% once again.
On Stack Overflow we see a clear lead for Express over the other top tier frameworks.
Development Pace and the Future?
A Closer Look at the Top Frameworks
As we noted in our previous analysis Express moved from IBM to the Node Foundation in February 2016. At the time, we anticipated activity on Express to pick up, but this has not materialized. In discussions with various parties, some consider Express to be more or less complete, while others note that most of the new innovation is happening with Frameworks layered on top of Express.
Once again, we debated including Sails, but given its popularity and its reasonably widespread use in creating REST APIs we continued to include it here. The relative growth rate is lower than several other frameworks at just under 20%, but usage remains strong.
Koa continues to grow strongly, and reached its 2.0 release in February 2017. The pace of development had already slowed quite substantially following the 1.0 release in late 2015. It is also notable that some of the key initial contributors to the project have moved onto other projects.
Loopback is the opensource basis for IBM’s API Connect product, and as you might expect IBM dominate the overall contributions to Loopback. The overall pace of code contributions has dropped dramatically, while the number of community raised issues has remained relatively constant.
As we noted last year HAPI originated at Walmart labs, and most of the original team have since moved on. There has been no activity of any significance since we last looked at the framework.
While interest in Feathers continues to grow, the level of development activity is minimal. We continue to hear positive usage stories, and, as highlighted earlier, the incremental growth in interest of 50% is impressive.
We received a number of requests to include Restify in this analysis, and it still has some devotees. We had not included Restify previously as almost all development ceased by 2016, and most of the original contributors have moved onto other projects and roles.
Commercial Support & Licensing Information
|HAPI||None||Modified MIT (not clearly stated)|
Notes on the analysis
- Data was pulled early July 2017
- Where possible we have identified commercial contributions to a project, but there will be some minor gaps and inaccuracies in this mapping.
Disclaimers: IBM (owners of StrongLoop) and Google (Angular) are RedMonk customers.