When comparing Play Framework vs Express.js, the Slant community recommends Express.js for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Express.js is ranked 3rd while Play Framework is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Express.js is:
Setting up a new Express project is very easy. It consists of installing a handful of libraries through NPM run a single `npm install` and everything is ready to go.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Pro Asynchronous Core
Pro Interoperable with Java
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 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 Good Websocket Support
Pro Setting up is very easy
Setting up a new Express project is very easy. It consists of installing a handful of libraries through NPM run a single
npm install and everything is ready to go.
Pro Great routing API
Express' extremely powerful routing API allows developers to do tasks ranging from building a REST API to building the routes for a simple web app and then take it to the next level by using route parameters and query strings.
Pro Great for beginner Node.js programmers
With a little learning curve, it is a good choice for new NodeJS developers to get started quickly. Express boasts great, thorough documentation.
Pro Express.js is in the Node.js Foundation Incubator Program
Pro Relatively mature
Being a somewhat old Node.js web app framework and being one of the most widely used frameworks, Express.js has matured quite a lot during all that time. It's more stable than its competitors and a huge community backing it.
Pro Support for a lot of plugins
Express takes advantage of Node's NPM to distribute and install countless plugins made by third parties which solve almost anything a developer would want to do with Express.
Pro Has the largest userbase
It's by far the most popular framework for node.
Pro Great supportive community
Express has a big community with a lot of guides and tutorials written about it by developers that have been using it for quite some time.
Pro Good Oauth/Facebook integration with connect module
You can easily add oAuth integration/social logins to your next web app without much hassle, using this authentication middleware for connect.
Pro Has detailed information
Very simple and fast.
Pro Massive ecosystem of middleware
If you have not already checked out the Express.js ecosystem of middleware, you should.
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 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 No single recommended way of doing something
Express considers itself to be a "minimalistic unopinionated framework", it basically lets the developer determine how their project will be organized. On one hand, this gives anyone terrific power and flexibility to use any library they want for a certain task and to organize their project structure however they want. But on the other hand, there's no single recommended way of organizing things, which can be a trap for beginners and experienced developers alike and result in unmaintainable projects.