When comparing Play Framework vs Meteor, the Slant community recommends Play Framework for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Play Framework is ranked 7th while Meteor is ranked 25th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Asynchronous Core
Pro Interoperable with Java
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Pro Good documentation and a great community
Play has quite a large community which provides numerous tutorials and videos related to developing with Play.
The Play official documentation covers many things, such as the framework itself but also specific stuff such as Akka, SBT and Netty.
There are also many big companies that base their main sites around Play, one of them is LinkedIn which provides third-party documentation on a regular basis.
Pro Play is an extensive ecosystem
Play uses Akka for concurrency, Scala for a templating engine, Netty as a client-server framework and SBT (Simple Build Tool) for building. And they all come out of the box.
Play also comes with the option to scaffold your applications. Play is an all-embracing ecosystem designed to increase developer productivity and shorten development times.
Pro Simple for beginners
Play is very simple to get started. The documentation is very helpful for beginners and advanced users alike and the official website has a great "Getting Started" tutorial to begin developing with Play.
Pro Good Websocket Support
Pro Readable code
Play framework's convention over configuration methodology makes most Play projects have a very similar structure. This means that the code written for the framework is very readable. This enables a developer to switch between applications without having to relearn the ecosystem for every project. The built-in templating system also helps with code and makes it possible to have a very low count of lines of code.
Pro Can use Java, one of the most widely known languages
Java is one of the most widely known languages, so people coming from that background can jump right in and not have to learn a new language syntax.
Pro Easy to learn
Furthermore, Meteor does not have complex and esoteric concepts that may be hard to grasp by a beginner, it has a clear documentation and well-established coding conventions.
There's also a very useful resource for learning Meteor in the form of a book: Discover Meteor, by the authors of many Meteor packages.
Pro Integrated front-end library
Meteor uses both your existing front-end library and it's own library called Blaze, which is integrated beautifully in the framework and fulfills the purpose of a true MV* front-end framework.
Pro Full-stack reactivity
Changes in the database will be propagated to all subscribed clients in real time, without you having to write any code.
Pro Seamless communication between client and server
Meteor is built on top of Node.js and jQuery on the client.
Meteor enables the client and server to communicate data seamlessly, in real-time. You don't have to write any REST API or pub/sub code - Meteor takes care of it all automatically for you.
Pro Isomorphic package system
A Meteor package can supply code for both the client and the server, and for mobile (Cordova) apps. For example, an autocomplete package supplies both server code to search a collection, and client code to display the results. The mdg:camera package supports the native camera if the app is built for mobile, or the HTML getUserMedia API to take pictures from the browser.
Pro Auto reload/refresh (hot code push)
Every time a change in the source file is saved, all connected clients will refresh automatically - browser tabs, mobile apps running in the simulator or on the physical device.
Or, deploy a Meteor app (
meteor deploy myapp) and all clients, plus all mobile apps with the server set to
myapp.meteor.com will automatically reload to use the code changes.
This drastically reduces the development cycle for apps in the App Store, where a regular update can wait for one to two weeks before being approved.
Meteor is the 10th most starred project on GitHub and has overtaken even Rails.
Pro Support for MySQL, PostgreSQL and Redis
While Meteor only supports MongoDB and Redis natively, MySQL support is on the roadmap, and there are 3rd-party packages that integrate MySQL reactively with Meteor to some extent, such as numtel:mysql. For reactive PostgreSQL support, there is numtel:pg.
Pro Real-time testing framework
Meteor also has an official testing framework called Velocity. Velocity enables real-time unit testing and integration with Jasmine or Mocha syntax. Tests are automatically run when code is saved and the testing result is indicated by a green or red dot in the upper right corner of the app.
Pro Includes latency compensation
The client will mimic instant server-side response, and updates automatically if it was different once the information is available.
Pro Built-in security
Meteor takes care of many concerns with it's out-of-the-box security measures.
Pro Mobile apps from the same code base
Moreover, these hybrid mobile apps benefit from hot code push, which dramatically accelerates the development cycle.
Pro Eliminates the need to look for a database to use
Meteor uses MongoDB, eliminating the choice among NoSQL databases. MongoDB is highly scalable - used to store petabytes of data and perform billions of operations daily at eBay, FIFA, Adobe, Craigslist, McAffee, Foursquare and others.
Pro Gets rid of Node's callbacks
Although Meteor's server side runs on top of Node.js, it manages to avoid callbacks by making use of Fibers.
Pro Extensive ecosystem
Meteor's package repository called Atmosphere has more than 5000 packages available. What's more is that Meteor can also use into the packages available for the Node ecosystem.
Pro Powerful performance monitoring tools
Meteor uses Kadira which is an excellent performance monitoring tool for Meteor apps. It profiles CPU and RAM consumption, subscription latency and throughput etc.
Pro VC-funded open-source
Bright future for Meteor - funded by venture capital and open-source.
Pro In-app debugging
The community behind Meteor has created a useful application for debugging Meteor apps that will automatically delete collections and display client-side documents, allow you to control subscriptions and lets you modify the documents.
Meteor also has great support for server-side debugging, and WebStorm has also released full support for Meteor, including debugging capabilities.
Con Not as many resources to learn
Other languages and frameworks have countless tutorials, books, moocs, etc. Java and Play does not have nearly as much.
Con Backward incompatibility
The jump from Play 1 to Play 2.x caused a lot of confusion. While it is important to have some kind of evolution, sometimes it causes backward incompatibility which can create some problems. It makes tutorials or modules made for the old version obsolete. This can make it hard for beginners to find useful resources. The template engine which used Groovy now uses Scala.
Con No native SEO support (no server-side rendering)
Meteor does not have support for server-side rendering of views, which is extremely helpful when it comes to SEO. However, there's a third-party server-side rendering package available for download. The Meteor team has also said that server-side rendering is on the roadmap.
Con Officially supports only MongoDB, which is well-known to have issues with data integrity
MongoDB advertises scalability but only if you don't care about data-integrity. There are other backend options but none of them are officially supported.
Con Requires reliable network connection
It's common for the front-end and back-end to lose sync if an internet connection is flaky. Even though the connection should be in real-time, if the connection is weak, you may lose that real-time sync. For example, in chat applications you may have to refresh the page to get the latest updated data from the server.