I am really torn between two different stacks with which to build a large application. One the one hand there is this option:
The node.js path is appealing to me because i can write all of the server side code, views and client side code in coffeescript, which i already know. If i go down this road i am still not 100% sure which db path i would take. mongoose makes storing data quick and easy, but the lack of true relationships might be more difficult to work with given the data model i have in mind (very SQLish).
The Play Framework path is also appealing because i know the framework well when using Java, but i don't know much about Scala, so there would be a hit to productivity as i work through learning that language. The Anorm database access layer is appealing because i can write the SQL by hand which i would prefer, and have the results mapped to objects automatically, which saves a lot of effort.
I keep leaning towards node.js, but i'm not sold on the best db access layer to use. Anyone have any experience with any of this and can share some insight?
The stack you choose should depend upon the needs of your application. Let's look at Play vs. Node for their strengths:
If your application more closely matches a traditional web-based model, Play is probably your best choice. If you need immediate feedback and real-time dynamic messaging, Node is the better choice.
For large traditional applications, seriously consider the Play! Framework because of the built-in unit and functional testing along with database migrations. If incorporated into the development process, these go a long way toward an end product that works as expected and is stable and error-free.
There are 10 major categories you should consider when comparing web frameworks:
Check out my talk Node.js vs Play Framework for a detailed breakdown of how these two frameworks compare across these 10 dimensions.