Prototyping Web Apps with Meteor

Meteor is a great tool that you can use to quickly start prototyping your app ideas. It allows you to quickly get that first initial prototype done and out the door quickly so that you can get feedback on it. Of course, once you have your prototype written in Meteor, you can scale it up and continue to work on your project, even after you have left the prototyping stage.

What is Prototyping?

When we prototype, we aim to build products in order to test concepts. We want to try out some new idea and get feedback on it as quickly as possible. We want to identify what works and what our false assumptions are.

The faster you can test concepts – the faster you can go from 0 to initial prototype – the better.

What is Meteor?

Before we get into what exactly Meteor is, let’s look at how you would prototype an app in JavaScript without Meteor. Right off the bat, we have some questions that need answering. How do you…

  1. Set up a web server?
  2. Serve dynamic content?
  3. Separate your code into multiple files?
  4. Set up a build system to bundle those files?

We have a lot of questions to answer even before we start building the actual logic of our prototype. If you have built a prototype before, you can copy and paste that scaffolding and tweak if for your new app. You might have something like:

  • Use ExpressJS on NodeJS as our server
  • Render templates using Handlebars and send them to the client
  • Use CommonJS syntax to load modules
  • Use Gulp to bundle files to send them to the client

Or, of course, we can just use Meteor.

What is Meteor?

 

Meteor provides you with:

  • A Command Line Tool
  • A full stack package system
  • A build system

And this is all written in 100% JavaScript.