What is Node.js?
Joyent, a cloud computing and hosting solutions provider, supported Node.js as an open-source initiative. The company also invested in a variety of other technologies, including the Ruby on Rails platform, and hosted Twitter and LinkedIn. The latter was also one of the first organisations to adopt Node.js as the backend for its mobile app. Uber, eBay, Walmart, and Netflix, to name a few, were among the first to implement the technology.
Long-Term Support and the most recent versions of Node.js for Windows and MacOS are available here. Also, keep in mind that npm comes pre-installed with Node.js.
The documents and how-to manuals can be found at this URL.
The use of middleware instead of pure Node.js is a popular practise that makes the life of developers easier. Express.js, Meteor, Sales.js, Koa.js, Keystone.js, and Loopback.js are all featured in a separate post comparing major Node.js frameworks.
The strengths and limitations of Node.js have sparked passionate debate. To clear the air, we examined both the benefits and drawbacks of Node.js in order to determine which applications would profit from this technology. So, why should you use Node.js?
The Benefits of Node.js
⊕ Robust technology stack
improved developer efficiency and overall productivity
speed and performance of code sharing and reuse
a large range of free tools for easy knowledge exchange within a team
⊕ Fast-processing and event-based model
It is not a myth that Node.js is quick. Check out toptal.com’s performance tests to see how GO, PHP, Java, and Node.js handle concurrent queries. There are a few reasons why Node.js produces similar results:
Because of its non-blocking input/output and asynchronous request handling, Node.js can handle requests quickly. Synchronous processing assumes that code is performed in a sequential order on the backend. As a result, each request creates a thread block, forcing other requests to wait for it to complete. Asynchronous processing allows requests to be handled without the thread being blocked (non-blocking I/O). As a result, it can send a callback when a request is processed and continue delivering requests. This allows Node.js to take advantage of single threading, resulting in fast response times and parallel processing.
The event-based model is another consideration. Synchronization is quick when both the client and server use the same language, which is especially useful for event-based, real-time systems. Node.js is a popular choice for online games, chats, video conferences, and any solution that requires continually updated data due to its asynchronous, non-blocking, single-threaded nature.
Many big firms have switched technologies to construct Node.js applications and have seen considerable benefits – PayPal, for example, has seen a 35% reduction in response time since converting from Java.
⊕ Scalable technology for microservices
Node.js is an excellent choice for microservices architecture because it is a lightweight technology tool. “An strategy to designing a single application as a suite of tiny services, each executing in its own process and communicating through lightweight mechanisms, commonly an HTTP resource API,” as Martin Fowler and James Lewis put it.
As a result, instead of developing a single, massive monolithic core, you can provide improved flexibility and lay the framework for future growth by dividing the application functionality into smaller modules, microservices. As a result, adding more microservices on top of existing ones is more easier than integrating new capabilities into the fundamental app logic.
According to the Node.js User Survey Report 2017, Node.js is the technology of choice for building and delivering microservices ecosystem solutions. To construct Node.js web apps, about half of the respondents use microservice-related technologies (specifically, Docker, the dominant software containerization platform):
Microservice-related technologies like as Docker and Kubernetes, according to more recent studies, saw an increase in utilisation in 2018, as this architectural style continues to gain popularity. This architecture enables for higher application efficiency and speed because each microservice communicates directly with the database via streams. Two widely used frameworks for microservice architecture support a match made in heaven. IBM and Uber are among the Express framework’s customers, while npm and Netflix utilise restify.
Walmart’s migration to microservices architecture with Node.js, as an example of live implementation, resulted in the following immediate benefits:
Overnight, there was a 20% increase in overall conversions and a 98% increase in mobile conversions.
On Black Friday, we guarantee 100% uptime (handling over 500 million page views)
Savings of up to 40% on hardware and 20% to 50% on overall operations are possible.
The storey of GoDaddy is another shining illustration of how Node.js may exceed the competitors in terms of performance. Thanks to Node.js, the company was able to manage 10.000 requests per second without interruption during the Super Bowl ad campaign while only using 10% of the hardware.
⊕ Rich ecosystem
With such a large number of free tools available in just a few clicks, Node.js has a lot of promise. Simultaneously, open source software is gaining in popularity since it allows you to create new solutions while reducing total development costs and time to market.
⊕ Strong corporate support
Joyent, as previously stated, aided in the development of Node.js. The Node.js Foundation was founded in 2015 to “allow widespread adoption and help speed Node.js development.” IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, Fidelity, and SAP were among the organization’s original members.
The number of companies utilising Node.js in production is steadily increasing. PayPal, Medium, Trello, Uber, and Zendesk are among the nearly 300 well-known companies on the list.
Few open source projects have ever had such significant backing from the world’s most powerful corporations. And this indicates that Node.js has a lot of promise.
⊕ Seamless JSON support
The Drawbacks of Node.js
Θ Performance bottlenecks with heavy computation tasks
When Node.js receives a CPU constrained task, the problem occurs: whenever a big request arrives in the event loop, Node.js will use all of the CPU available to handle it first, before responding to other requests queued. As a result, Node.js is not recommended for heavy computing due to poor processing and overall delay in the event loop.
However, with the 10.5.0 version in 2018, multithreading was added to Node.js as an experimental feature. The worker threads module is a new feature that may be used to utilise additional threads from a thread pool to carry CPU-bound activities. However, this is only possible on machines with several cores, as Node.js only allows you to use one core per thread. As a result, massive parallel processes can be run on a separate thread. In Node.js version 12, this feature is still experimental, although it has been greatly enhanced.
Θ Callback hell issue
Because of its asynchronous nature, Node.js mainly relies on callbacks, which are routines that run whenever each task in the queue has completed. Keeping a multitude of queued activities running in the background, each with its own callback, can lead to callback hell, which has a direct influence on code quality. Simply described, it’s “a situation in which callbacks are nested within other callbacks several levels deep, possibly complicating the code’s understanding and maintenance.”
Θ Immaturity of tooling
Despite the fact that the core Node.js modules are relatively stable and mature, there are numerous tools in the npm registry that are either of poor quality or have not been well documented/tested. Furthermore, the registry isn’t well-structured enough to allow users to search for tools depending on their rating or quality. As a result, if you don’t know what to search for, finding the ideal solution for your needs could be challenging.
The majority of the Node.js ecosystem is open source, which has an impact. While Joyent and other significant contributors oversee the quality of the core Node.js technology, the rest of the tools may fall short of the quality and high coding standards imposed by multinational corporations.
Θ Growing demand for experienced professionals
As the buzz about Node.js grows, so does the demand for experienced people in the sector.
How to Learn Node.js
This is your starting point for learning and working with Node.js.
Don’t limit yourself to official documentation: W3Schools has a tonne of free classes, Nodeschool has worldwide workshops, and freeCodeCamp has a collection of free tutorials.
Start an online course on Node if you’re a dedicated student. js: Here’s one on PluralSight, and one on Udemy, of course.
Learn Node.js with interactive lessons and activities with these free and paid resources. The Art of Node is one of the most popular.
The official list of community-run Node.js projects can be found here. Research Facebook groups and communities in your area/first language as a quick recommendation. And, of course, there’s Reddit’s Node.js groups, StackOverflow’s tag, and Quora’s topic.
Node.js vs Ruby on Rails vs Django vs Symfony
There aren’t many technologies that can match Node.js in terms of popularity or commercial need. However, there are at least three more blazing lights in the sky when it comes to server-side programming solutions. Ruby on Rails, Django, and Symfony are the three frameworks. Let’s see if they can stand up to Node.js’ advantages and share its disadvantages.
Ruby on Rails is notable for its straightforward but opinionated language and gems, Rails’ own ecosystem of custom packages. RubyGems is a helpful and devoted community that contributes code to RubyGems. Ruby is an intuitive and beginner-friendly language with a supportive and dedicated community. Rails was designed for rapid development and prototyping, but it’s been successfully utilised by companies like GitHub, Twitter, and Airbnb, demonstrating its versatility. Rails’ data migration functionality is particularly excellent; unlike Node.js, which requires additional packages, Rails already includes a feature that allows you to manage your database quickly and consistently.
When should you use Rails over Node.js?
Although Rails cannot compete with Node in terms of performance and scalability, it can be a preferable alternative for quick development. To accomplish that pace of development, Node.js must rely on third-party modules, but Ruby does it in an unusual way. No tool has a clear advantage in terms of language – while Node.js has a high demand but low proposition, Ruby’s talent pool is initially smaller.
When should you use Django over Node.js?
Symfony is a PHP framework that comes with more than two decades of documentation and a large, active community. With projects like Facebook, Baidu, and any other WordPress-based website, PHP powers more than 80% of the web. While Symfony is only one of several PHP frameworks available, it is remarkably robust, scalable, and capable of handling large-scale applications. It also makes use of the Twig templating engine, which is similar to many PHP-based Content Management Systems.
When should you use Symfony over Node.js?
Symfony comes with built-in CMS capabilities like templates and admin dashboards, making it ideal for running blogs, news sites, and eCommerce websites. Yahoo Answers, Dailymotion, and National Geographic are just a few examples.
Make Node.js Shine
With all of the positives and downsides listed, it’s clear that Node.js isn’t a panacea. Java, on the other hand, isn’t. PHP or the.NET framework However, each of the technologies listed performs well in unique situations. These are real-time apps with a lot of I/O that require speed and scalability in Node.js. Hire dedicated Node.JS Developer
This might include social media platforms, gaming apps, live chats, and forums, as well as stock exchange software and ad servers, where performance is crucial. Node.js is the technology of choice for data-intensive, real-time IoT devices and apps because it is fast and scalable.
Node.js has recently seen a lot of use in enterprise software. Many significant enterprises and multinational organisations, such as Capital One and NASA, have already implemented Node.js, despite the fact that there is still much debate about it. With technologies like IBM API Connect, Joyent’s Triton, NodeSource’s N|Solid, Red Hat OpenShift, RisingStack’s Trace, and others, the enterprise Node.js ecosystem continues to grow.