Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone
Rapid Prototyping and Scalable Deployment
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2012
Pages: 204

Build an application from backend to browser with Node.js, and kick open the doors to real-time event programming. With this hands-on book, you’ll learn how to create a social network application similar to LinkedIn and Facebook, but with a real-time twist. And you’ll build it with just one programming language: JavaScript.

If you’re an experienced web developer unfamiliar with JavaScript, the book’s first section introduces you to the project’s core technologies: Node.js, Backbone.js, and the MongoDB data store. You’ll then launch into the project—a highly responsive, highly scalable application—guided by clear explanations and lots of code examples.

  • Learn about key modules in Node.js for building real-time apps
  • Use the Backbone.js framework to write clean browser code, and maintain better data integration with MongoDB
  • Structure project files as a foundation for code that will arrive later
  • Create user accounts and learn how to secure the data
  • Use Backbone.js templates to build the application’s UIs, and integrate access control with Node.js
  • Develop a contact list to help users link to and track other accounts
  • Use Socket.io to create real-time chat functionality
  • Extend your UIs to give users up-to-the-minute information


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oreillyBuilding Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone
 
2.4

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (1)

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  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

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29%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Concise (4)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (5)
  • Too many errors (5)
  • Not comprehensive enough (3)

Best Uses

  • Expert (4)
  • Intermediate (4)
  • Novice (3)
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    • Developer (9)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Good start, terrible use of example

By Joel Burton

from San Francisco, California

About Me Developer, Educator

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Nice Intro To Mongodb

Cons

  • Difficult to understand
  • Poor Use Of Example Code
  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Expert

Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

It's nice to read a book that ties together large technology stacks to help make it clear how you would use them together.

Unfortunately, this is not that book.

It focuses primarily on a social media site example, but rushes through the creation of this site to the point where it's not clear what file is being edited and sometimes even for what purpose. There are no screenshots (none!) of the finished application, nor of it at various phases, nor is there description of how you'd run it as you enter it or test it.

Part of the problem is that the author is biting off more coding that he can chew in a book this size: for example, the first real section, on building an authentication system, includes adding "forgot password" email handlers and such, and the core pieces around authentication and how the framework works (the views/models/routes) gets lost in the weeds. Less focus on niceties like the forgotten password feature and more on explaining *why* the core pieces are there, *where* they go, and *how* this works would be very helpful.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Poorly written

By Alexandre Aquiles

from Brazil

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Interesting Tech Stack

Cons

  • Difficult to understand
  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Expert
  • Intermediate
  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

I got this book in order have an overview of the all-Javascript tech stack suggested in the book (Node.js, MongoDB and Backbone).

- The good -

The book served as start in the tech stack and as a wrap-up of technology choices, namely:
- server-side (mongoose, express, jade, connect, Socket.io, CommonJS)
- client-side (Underscore, Backbone, RequireJS, text).

Also, the main example of the book, the construction of a Twitter-like social network, is a nice idea.

- The bad -

The main problem with this book is the confusing order in which the examples are showed. Code that is not yet shown is mentioned. Or worse, there are mentions to code that is never shown.

Besides that, there a lot of errors.

All in all, a good idea poorly executed.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Can't be learned from

By Wheel

from Berlin

About Me Developer

Pros

    Cons

    • Difficult to understand

    Best Uses

      Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

      I would love to read a book on this specific topic, but this one frequently doesn't identify which files are being edited/discussed so its examples can't be successfully worked through unless you're advanced enough that you could write the app without the book. I attempted to deal with this issue by comparing the book code with the sample code from the repo but it only picks up with Chapter 8, so it doesn't help with the omissions in the writing. It might be a diamond in the rough if it gets a serious edit.

      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Not ready for prime time

      By Joe

      from Santa Barbara, CA

      About Me Developer, Entrepreneur, Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Good Framework
      • What's Written Is Clear
      • What Is Written Is Clear

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Missing Key Explanations
      • Missing Vital Context
      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

      Node + Express + Backbone + Mongo is a powerful combination. Unfortunately, this book is a nightmare to get through. It starts out well, but then devolves into a confusing jumble. After a few chapters, Mike starts presenting code without a clear explanation of where it goes on the server, which makes it hard to build along to make sure I'm understanding. For example different "views" are presented without a clear understanding of how they are used or where. Clearly some of them are to be used by backbone, while some are for Node and Express, but the differences are only occasionally mentioned and really clarified.

      Most importantly, the code in the book cannot be built and tested as you go. I just found the online code repository, so that might help, but by Chapter 6, I had a bunch of files on my server and no way to tell if I was doing it right. Ultimately, Mike says he brings it together, but I'm dubious, especially since I'm not even sure the work I've done so far is in the right file.

      I'd love to see a second version of this, with much clearer discussion of which code goes where, and in particular, with a restructuring so that each section is fully testable to make sure I'm following along correctly.

      Net net: I would not recommend this to someone trying to learn this framework.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Could be better

      By Przemysław

      from Kraków

      About Me Developer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough
        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

        Node.js is quite promising technology and for some time I've been trying to take a deeper look at it. Title Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone looked good for me then I started reading…

        To understand Node.js better I typed every block of code starting from Chapter 5 but after some pages there were times when I got lost and I just didn't where put the code. I found some help with code samples for this book.

        I don't remember any screenshots of working application. It would be much easier to control progress at some points that way.

        I think that lot of potential got lost. The idea of application is good but book was written in hard-to-grasp way for me.

         
        3.0

        Great material but lacking editorial con

        By Gioia

        from Berlin

        About Me Developer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Unclear

        Best Uses

        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

        The idea is great, to build a complete example of using all these great technologies toguether, and generally it uses a clear language, easy to follow. It's a pity that not more care was put on the book conventions for the examples, many times it's not clear what is the file being worked on, and also would be really nice to have a different esthetic when workin on terminal or working on file...

        (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        The Node Social Network

        By R&D

        from Atlanta, GA

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

          Node.js has quickly become a popular platform among JavaScript developers. The potential of using JavaScript in server-side code along with the advantages of its event-driven approach to network connections makes it an excellent option for many applications. Combined with the structure provided through Backbone.js and the high-performance MongoDB NoSQL database, Building Node Applications walks through the creation of a social network web app. But these are not the only technologies used in the book. Be prepared to also work with the Express framework, Jade template engine, Underscore.js, jQuery, and Mongoose. The book offers some short examples as preparation for the project before detailing the setup and construction of a social network. If you are comfortable launching into a complex project based on several JavaScript frameworks, Building Node Applications provides a great way to explore the potential of the language to handle both server- and client-side code to make compelling apps.

          Disclosure: Free access to this e-book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Needs more work

          By deemaxx

          from Sandpoint, ID

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Difficult to understand
            • Too many errors

            Best Uses

              Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

              I have tried to use the examples in this book building the social app. But, there are numerous holes in the authors explanation leaving out important pieces of information in order to build the a working instance.

              This book needs more work, both grammatically and didactically. It's not a finished version in my opinion.

              If you complete the missing pieces of information that would make the app work then I think it is a great start.

              (24 of 25 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Will be better in the second edition

              By CDev

              from New York, NY

              About Me Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

              • Not comprehensive enough
              • Too basic
              • Too many errors

              Best Uses

              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone:

              The idea behind this book is great - build a social networking app with node, mongo, and backbone. Awesome. However, this book is in dire need of an editor. There are grammar and spelling errors throughout and things are often introduced without any explanation. For example, in example 6-15, the template code uses "extends layout" but what this does or why it's there isn't explained anywhere. Also, if following along with the code samples, it breaks the app because there's no template called "layout". Stuff like this exists throughout the book.

              A bit more effort on the author's part coupled with a knowledgeable editor and this would be a 4 or 5 star book.

              Displaying reviews 1-9

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