Spring Boot vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core vs. Django: a “celebrity face-off”

We look at four of the most popular programming languages (Java, JavaScript, C# and Python) and one of the most popular development frameworks for each language.

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One of the confusing things when trying to decide on a suitable application development framework is which one to use? If you add to this the question of which language to use, then the options can seem overwhelming! In this blog we look at four of the most popular programming languages (Java, JavaScript, C# and Python) and one of the most popular development frameworks for each language.

Specifically, we are going to look at:

  • Spring Boot – this is a Java based framework which includes the whole of the Spring ecosystem within an opiniated, but easier to use (than plain Spring) framework.
  • .NET Core – this is a primarily Windows-based runtime, suite of libraries and framework used to create almost any type of application including server-side applications, web-based applications, mobile applications and windows applications.
  • Django – this is a Python-based applications used for creating server-side application.

Each of these applications have their own strengths and weaknesses and one of the problems in comparing and contrasting them is finding common points for comparison. Therefore, for this blog we are going to consider these frameworks from 10 different aspects, these aspects consider their underlying programming language, portability, general performance, ease of learning, their eco system etc. The results of this comparison are summarised in the following table:

Spring Boot


.NET Core





C# (and other .NET languages)





Primarily Microsoft Windows (although Mono allows .NET to run on other OS)








Java and JVM

JavaScript and Node runtime

Common Language Runtime (CLR) plus .NET languages e.g. C#, F#, C++, Visual Basic)

Python Runtime

Application Types

Larger enterprise-oriented applications

Smaller, less complex applications

Larger Enterprise Oriented Applications

Mid sixed server-side applications

Ease of Learning

Steep Learning Curve

Easy to learn

Steep learning Curve

Moderate Learning Curve


Provides extensive Security support

Minimum security support

Extensive Security Support

Provides built-in security facilities


Comprehensive and active eco system

Large and Active

More restrictive

Rich Eco system






Database Support

Spring DB




What is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is an open-source, Java based framework built on top of the underlying Spring framework. Spring Boot applications build on the concept of the MVC design pattern (that is there is a Model representing the data, a View representing the UI/Web Page and the Controller representing the behaviour / interactions between the model and the view). 

Spring boot provides an opiniated application framework and standard configurations for different types of applications. It hugely simplifies the basic Spring framework and makes configuring and constructing Spring applications much easier. 

It is widely used to create RESTFul services, batch processing applications, database-oriented applications and web sites. It is a very popular choice within the Java world for creating enterprise style, secure and performant systems.

Spring Boot vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core vs. Django: a “celebrity face-off”

What is Node?

Node is an open source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime built on to of Chrome’s V8 JavaScript execution engine. It can be used to create desktop and server applications when often combined with Express.js provides a framework for building server side RESTFul and web applications. 

It utilizes an asynchronous, event driven application model that is intended to be highly scalable although can become confusing when multiple event driven elements are chained together and can lead to callback hell!

What is .NET Core?

.NET Core is the core framework within the Microsoft .NET platform. It is supported by all the .NET languages although C# is the most commonly used programming language with .NET. 

It is the default development environment and runtime for Microsoft Windows and can support desktop applications, server-side systems, web applications etc. 

.NET provides a Runtime, a set of libraries, a compiler, Software Development Kit (SDK) and app stacks for different types of applications.

Spring Boot vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core vs. Django: a “celebrity face-off”

What is Django?

Django is a Python framework used to create server-side web-based applications including RESTFul services. It provides a set of utilities, design patterns and functions that make service-based applications easier to build. 

Django builds on the MVT (Model view Template) which is a variation on the MVC design pattern. In this pattern the Template is a specialised HTML page that will have data provided by the Model and the View hands the request made when a particular URL is selected by the user. It is very useful in creating Single Page Applications (SPAs).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Spring Boot


  • Easy to set up. Spring Boot makes it easy to set up a Java and Spring application.
  • Fast Development. Spring Boot makes it easy to configure applications for REST, database access, security etc. just by finding the right libraries on the classpath.
  • Robust and Scalable. Java, Spring and Spring boot together provide a robust and scalable architecture within which to create enterprise scale applications.
  • Large Ecosystem. There is a large, well-documented and well supported eco system of modules available for Spring and thus Spring Boot.
  • Security. Security is an important feature of any internet-based application and Spring provides a sophisticated security framework that can be used to manage users, restrict access to different components and provide fine grained access control mechanisms.
  • Well suited to larger enterprise scale applications. The very nature of Spring is very well suited to the creation and maintenance of large-scale enterprise-oriented applications.
  • Extensive support for Database integration. Spring Data provides extensive support for both relational and non-relational databases access. The Spring ORM integration can make this particularly straight forward.


  • Steep Learning Curve. There can be a steep learning curve to working with Spring and Spring Boot. Although Spring Boot simplifies this process it is still necessary to understand the opinionated style of a Spring Boot application and how other modules plug into a basic application.
  • Opinionated so some lack of control. Partly due to the attempt to simplify the construction of a Spring based application taken by Spring Boot, the opiniated nature of the resulting applications can limit the options available to a developer or development team.
  • Complexity. Spring is a very large and powerful framework that can do almost anything you want but with this flexibility can come great complexity.
  • Less Suitable for smaller projects / services. Even for very small applications, numerous libraires need to be loaded and a significant amount of (hidden) infrastructure and scaffolding is put into place, this makes Spring less appropriate for smaller applications.
  • Performance relies on JVM. As Spring is Java based and runs on the JVM, then any inherent performance limitations of the underlying JVM will become performance characteristics of the Spring application such as garage collection and memory management.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Node


  • Easy to Set Up. It is very easy to set up the node runtime environment. It is also simple to create a new Node project and get started.
  • Easy to Learn. Node is a very simple environment in terms of running a JavaScript program. The basic framework is very simple, and it is thus very easy to write a program which will respond to HTTP requests and handle responses. Most applications will use additional framework such as Express.js which does provide more infrastructure and thus it is necessary to understand these frameworks – but these frameworks are not complex.
  • Performant. The Chrome V8 JavaScript engine on which Node relies provides very good JavaScript performance.
  • Good for smaller applications and micro services. Due to the simple nature of Node and the ease with which it can be used it is ideal for small applications and microservices. It also works well with container frameworks such as Docker.
  • Asynchronous Event Driven Programming Model. Node and Express use a simple Asynchronous Event Driven programming model which is straightforward to work with and easy to understand.

Spring Boot vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core vs. Django: a “celebrity face-off”


  • Some API Instability. The libraries / APIs used with node can change frequently and thus can cause problems with maintenance and upgrade of applications.
  • Smaller ecosystem of libraries available. The ecosystem of libraries and third-party modules for Node is perhaps not as comprehensive as for some other frameworks.
  • Asynchronous Event Driven Programming Model. Although simple to understand and easy to get started with, the asynchronous event driven programming model behind Node can lead to complexity and maintenance issues – with phrases such as callback hell being commonly used to describe these scenarios.
  • Less suitable for larger enterprise scale applications. Due in part to the simplicity of the infrastructure provide by node, it is less well suited to the creation of large-scale enterprise oriented applications than some of the other frameworks.
  • Limited support for database integration. Although there are third party plug ins to make it easier to integrate a database into a Node application, there is no inbuilt support for object relational mappers etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of .NET Core


  • Integration with Microsoft technologies. Being a Microsoft technology which was designed to work from the ground up with other Microsoft technologies, .NET Core is very well integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem etc.
  • Robust well-developed frameworks with many built in functions and facilities. As Microsoft’s primary development and deployment platform for software systems, which has been around for a very long time and has been refined and improved over the years, .NET has a very well-developed set of frameworks and libraries to work with.
  • Large community and widely used. Unsurprisingly, within the Microsoft world, .NET as a very wide community of people working on and with it. It is very widely used within the commercial world.
  • Well suited to larger enterprise scale applications. The .NET framework s are very well suited to the development of larger enterprise scale applications.
  • Close integration with Databases particular SQL Server. It has very good integration with database systems.
  • Security features. There are very well developed and documented security features in the .NET platform.


  • Focusses on Windows operating system. Almost all (if not all) commercial uses of .NET target the Microsoft Windows operating system. This means almost all the tools and documentation also focus on the Windows OS. This means that there is limited experience of and support for the cross-platform runtimes such as Mono.
  • Tied to the Microsoft ecosystem. Whilst this is also an advantage, if you do not want to be tied to the Microsoft world, then it is possible that this is also a disadvantage.
  • Less suitable for microsystem and smaller applications. Due to the inherent nature of .NET infrastructure, if you are trying to use it on a non-Microsoft platform (for example via Mono) then you might find that the resources required, and the infrastructure overheads associated with set up do not make this the best environment for small applications or microservices.
  • Closed source and licensing fees. While .NET Core is open source, some parts of the wider .NET framework are closed source and may involve a licensing fee.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Django


  • Moderate learning curve. Django is a relatively easy framework to learn (although it is more complex than several other Python server-side frameworks such as Flask).
  • Large and active Ecosystem. There is a large and active ecosystem of libraries and modules available that can be easily integrated into a Django application.
  • Support for database integration. There is in-built support for database access.
  • Security features. There are well developed security features in Django.


  • Performance relies on underlying Python Runtime. Django is of course a Python framework and thus the underlying performance of Python may be a limiting factor in the performance of any Django system.
  • More complex than some frameworks for simpler applications. The Django farmwork is more complex than some other Python framework s and assumes a larger style application that might be required for a simple microservice.
  • Monolithic structure. Even if all you are building is a very basic RESTful microservice you will find that you need a significant proportion of Django to get up and running.
  • Lack of convention over configuration. Lack of opiniated framework leads to very different system structures which can make maintenance more difficult.

Who Uses What?

All of these frameworks are extensively used within both the commercial and research worlds, for example companies such as

  • Spring Boot is used by JP Morgan Chase, Groupon, Infosys, Cognizant, General Motors, Citi Group etc.
  • Node is used by organisations such as Netflix, NASA, PayPal, LinkedIn, eBay etc.
  • .NET Core is very widely used with organisations such as NBC, StackOverflow, GE Aviation, UPS, etc
  • Django is used by companies such as Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, NASA, DropBox etc.

Who Wins the Celebrity Face Off?

Spring Boot vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core vs. Django: a “celebrity face-off”

This is really a ‘which language and framework should I use?’ question. Of course, the answer is it depends, but there are some general rules that you can consider:

  1. If you are purely targeting the Microsoft Windows world then consider the .NET Core framework and C#.
  2. If you are creating lightweight microservices, which may not have a long lifespan, then look at Node.js and JavaScript.
  3. If want to quickly create larger applications, that need to be secure but where outright performance is not the primary concern, then look at Python and Django.
  4. If you want to create cross-platform, enterprise scale systems, then look at Spring Boot.
  5. If you are considering a Microsoft platform but are not that worried about integration with other Microsoft technologies, then Spring Boot is generally considered less complex and lighter weight than .NET.
  6. If you want to learn a new language and / or framework to enhance your CV any one of these frameworks would be ideal.


To some extent, with these frameworks, they are all the winners from one point of view or another. You should consider what types of applications / systems you are building and then match the appropriate language and framework to your requirements. In practice you should also consider the existing skills of your team or teams; if you are an experience Python shop then perhaps Django is the way to go whereas if you have extensive experience in java then maybe Spring Boot is the best option.

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