Top 10 Ember JS Alternatives

This article will cover ten of the best Ember JS Alternatives. The list includes Express JS, Angular JS, Backbone JS, Vue JS, etc.

Initially released in 2011, Ember is now a decade old and has been around for more time than Vue, React, Svelte, and all the other frontend JavaScript frontend frameworks.

While it has hardly been the household name in frontend JavaScript development, it has silently helped several teams ship steadily and sustainably since its release.

Several techniques introduced in Ember and Angular are now widely adopted and accepted as frontend development grows in popularity.

Over the years, however, libraries like React and Vue have taken the core concepts of Ember and improved upon them, becoming more popular as a result.

Ember has been quietly productive, but more organizations are gravitating towards Ember alternatives that are less opinionated and provide other benefits like component reuse, better testing, etc.

In the following post, we take a look at some of the best features of Ember JS and the pros and cons of using this framework in various projects.

Following that, we present a list of the top Ember JS alternatives that can be used in other scenarios. If you are a developer wondering about deploying a JavaScript framework for your upcoming project, the following list should help you make an informed decision about the same.

Keep reading to discover some of the best Ember JS competitors.

What is Ember JS? 

Ember JS is a free and open-source JavaScript client-side framework distributed under the MIT license. It is used to develop client-side, reusable, and maintainable JavaScript web applications with HTML and CSS at the core of the development model.

With thorough documentation, consistent structure, and a vibrant community backing, Ember JS is a stable and robust framework that can be used to create highly functional and responsive applications.

With Ember, developers can incorporate the best practices, common idioms, and patterns from other single-page-app ecosystems into the framework.

It provides a wholesale solution to client-side development unlike other frameworks, which provide a View solution and attempt to grow from there.

Ember is used on several popular websites on the internet, some of which include Twitch, Ghost, LinkedIn, Live Nation, Discourse, and Digital Ocean.

While Ember is primarily directed toward web development, it can be used to build mobile and desktop applications by using a hybrid app pattern. One of the most popular examples of this is the desktop app of Apple Music, which itself is a feature of the iTunes desktop app.

Features of Ember JS

Ember JS is primarily used to create maintainable and reusable JavaScript web apps with more native features. It has a CSS and HTML development model core and provides instance initializers that run each time an object class is created.

In Ember, the application state is represented by a URL, which has a corresponding route object determining what is visible to the users. Every route has an associated model, and most apps use a model library like Ember Data.

Ember also provides tracked properties, data injection, and declarative one-way data flow.

  • To increase the rendering speed, Ember provides the Glimmer rendering engine to the developers.
  • The Ember Inspector tool is used to debug Ember applications.
  • Ember CLI integrates the Ember JS patterns into the development process and helps improve developer productivity.
  • Ember uses templates to update the development model automatically if the app contents are changed.
  • Ember supports two-way data binding that updates connected properties instantly when either one of them is upgraded.

Keep reading to discover some of the best competitors to Ember JS.

Advantages of Ember JS

Here are some of the advantages of app development using Ember JS.

  • Large Ecosystem

While Ember provides you with the flexibility to build apps from scratch, you do not necessarily have to build an app from the ground up.

Ember has a huge collection of add-ons, most of which can be installed by entering a single line of code. Two of the most popular addons are Ember Data (for state persistence) and liquid-fire (for animating transitions).

Ember addons can be published by anyone and some of the optional add-ons are considered a part of the core project.

  • Ember CLI

Ember’s command-line interface allows developers to interact with the computer’s operating system, which is often the primary tool for generating codes, live recompilations, and browser testing.

The CLI tool is a great addition as it allows developers to ascertain app functions and generate an entire app within a short amount of time using a single line of code. 

  • Stability over stagnation

With Ember 2.0, the idea of stability without stagnation was released, which emphasized continuous progress without leaving anyone behind.

Therefore, Ember is backward compatible, and any future updates will not spoil the apps running the older version of the framework.

Ember provides deprecation warnings in minor version updates, which developers can clear in the last version and easily upgrade to the next major version of Ember without breaking anything in the process.

Disadvantages of Ember

  • Hard to learn

One of the major criticisms against Ember is the fact that it is quite challenging to learn and master. Ember is not a library like React and Vue, it is a full-stack framework and comes with a steep learning curve. As a result, it is more suitable to use for complicated large-scale apps and might be overkill against small-scale apps.

  • Highly Opinionated 

Ember is highly opinionated, i.e., the developers creating Ember believe that certain approaches are inherently better, and the framework is crafted around them.

It removes the burden of reinventing the wheel, thereby reducing the number of decisions developers need to make.

However, since the software is limiting and forces a certain abstraction method, deviating from the “golden path” can lead to frustrating issues.

  • Popularity concerns

While Ember has been around for over a decade and older than some of the more popular Ember alternatives like React and Vue, it has never been at the forefront of frontend development.

It has failed to attract new developers and organizations are forced to choose frameworks with more active developers in the community.

Top 10 Ember JS Alternatives 

Express JS

Express is arguably one of the most popular Ember JS alternatives and the de facto standard library in the NodeJS environment. It is a minimal and unopinionated web app framework that provides a robust set of features to build and maintain web apps and APIs.

In fact, it is the backend component of several popular development stacks like MEAN, MERN, or MEVN. Express is a relatively minimal framework and concentrates heavily on high performance. It brings robust routing and content negotiation along with HTTP helpers for redirection, caching, etc.


Google’s Angular is one of the most popular full-stack JavaScript frameworks used to develop highly scalable web applications.

This open-source web framework is a complete rewrite of Angular JS, the older de facto front-end framework for developing single-page apps.

In its current iteration, Angular is written in TypeScript and HTML and implements core and optional functionality as a set of TypeScript libraries that developers can import into their libraries.

Backbone JS

BackboneJS is a rapidly growing JavaScript library with a RESTful JSON interface that is designed specifically for developing single-page web apps and keeping multiple servers and clients synchronized.

It gives structure to web apps by providing models with custom events and key-value binding and connecting it all to your existing APIs over a RESTful interface.

One of the main reasons behind the popularity of BackboneJS is the fact that it is extremely lightweight, and its only hard dependency is on Underscore.js and jQuery.


KnockoutJS is a standalone JavaScript library implementation that helps developers create rich, responsive user interfaces with a clean underlying data model.

It is designed with dependency tracking in mind, i.e., if your web app has sections that update dynamically, Knockout can help you implement the same easily.

Knockout also provides several other benefits including declarative bindings for connecting your UI deployment to the data model and custom behaviors.

Knockout can be added on top of any existing web app and works on any mainstream browser effortlessly.

Vue JS

VueJS is one of the newer frontend frameworks but is rapidly rising in the popularity ranks and is one of the most popular Ember JS alternatives available right now.

It is a cross-platform, open-source JavaScript framework that is primarily used to build web interfaces and single-page apps. Vue features an incrementally adaptable architecture, meaning it can be adapted to existing projects as per requirements.

The core Vue library focuses on the View layer only and the framework is concentrated on declarative rendering and component composition.


Facebook’s React is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for professional developers for building user interfaces based on UI components.

It can be used as a base for developing single-page server-rendered or mobile applications with the help of frameworks like Nest.js. Unlike other entries on this list, React is only concerned with managing the app state and rendering the same to the DOM.

React sticks to the declarative programming paradigm and updates and renders components when the data model changes.


Initially released in only 2016, Svelte is already a rather popular Ember JS alternative for building fast web apps.

While it is a JavaScript framework, it is not a monolithic library imported by apps; it implements a completely new approach toward frontend development.

Instead of working in the browser and using techniques like DOM diffing, Svelte shifts that work to the compile step and writes code that surgically updates the DOM when the app state changes, an approach that helps avoid the overheads associated with runtime intermediate representations.

Svelte is written in TypeScript like Angular and is distributed under the MIT license.


Elm is a domain-specific programming language that is used to create browser-based GUIs declaratively. It is purely functional and has a small set of language constructs with an extensive focus on functionality, performance, and robustness.

Elm uses static type inference checking to detect corner cases, which allows it to promise no runtime exceptions in practice. All Elm programs are written in the same way, i.e., the app is always split into Model, View, and Update parts.

Moreover, the compiler guides you through the changes, allowing you to refactor in unknown codebases.


Also developed by Google, Polymer is an open-source JavaScript library that was released before the Angular rewrite in 2016.

Distributed under the 3-clause BSD license, Polymer is used for building web apps using Web Components. It is currently widely used in several Google websites and services, including YouTube Gaming, Google Play Music, the redesigned Google Earth, and Allo for web.

Polymer provides multiple features over traditional Web Components, which include one-way and two-way data binding, conditional and repeat templates, custom elements, etc.


Aurelia is a JavaScript front-end framework, platform, and ecosystem consisting of a wide collection of modern JavaScript modules.

Instead of taking a monolithic approach to frameworks, Aurelia is built as a series of collaboration libraries and modules. When used together, these modules can be used to develop desktop, mobile, and browser apps on the open web standards.

It provides all the core capabilities like templating, routing, and dependency injection built in. Aurelia is extensible, i.e., developers can add or remove any component to the framework to improve its usability. 


Frontend development has recently gained a lot of steam with developers trying to provide innovative features to improve the user experience.

Ember is a reliable frontend client-side framework that helps solve the complexities of frontend development by allowing the use of reusable components.

It has been used in the development of several popular apps like LinkedIn and Twitch.  However, it has its own set of issues and is better suited for ambitious web apps with more native features and single-page apps.

If you have been on the lookout for a frontend JavaScript framework for your project, you will need to assess the requirements of your project thoroughly and then select a framework that best is best suited to solving them.

Get in touch with the experts at a leading app hosting company if you need more insights on how to select the best software solutions for your upcoming projects.

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What is Ember JS?

Free and open-source JavaScript client-side framework distributed under the MIT license.

What are the pros and cons of Ember JS?

Pros: Large ecosystem, CLI, stability
Cons: Hard to learn, highly opinionated, not so popular

What are the alternatives to Ember JS?

– Express
– Angular
– Backbone
– KnockoutJS
– Vue
– React
– Svelte
– Elm
– Polymer
– Aurelia

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