Are you planning to start off with the emerging disruptive Digital technologies? Well, then we are pretty sure you must be overwhelmed with a plethora of options available across the globe. Those who seek value from technology-based options must move faster as their digital business efforts move into high gear. Till now you must have heard about Node.js. You should as it is one of the most trending topics in the web development industry. We have come across several posts on the benefits of learning Node.js or why you should choose it from the business perspective or node.js best practices to consider but the following post simply focuses on node js for beginners.
Table of Content
- Introducing Node.js
- Time to Learn Node.js
- Why Choose Node js For Beginners?
1. Introducing Node.js
Before we begin with the Node.js tutorial, let us have a basic understanding of some of the major milestones of the web development framework.
In the year 2009, Node.js is an open framework released in the market and the first version of the npm node package manager was created.
In the year 2015, The Node.js Foundation was formed, io.js which was merged back into Node.js and simultaneously Node.js 4.0.0 was released. Here npm or node package manager was introduced with a few private modules.
In 2018, Node.js 10 came into existence featuring a bunch of built-in modules along with a ES modules.mjs experimental support.
2. Time to Learn Node.js
Let’s take a situation in mind, you know one of the common tasks for a web server is to open a file on the server and return the content to the client.
Now how PHP or ASP handles a file request:
- Sends the task to the computer’s file system
- Waits while the file system opens and reads the file.
- Returns the content to the client.
- Ready to handle the next request.
Now let me show you how Node.s handles a file request:
- Sends the task to the computer’s file system.
- Ready to handle the next request.
- When the file system has opened and read the file, the server returns the content to the client.
2.1 Let Us See What Node.js Can Do?
- Node.js can generate the dynamic page content
- Node.js can collect form data
- Node.js can add, delete, modify data in your database
2.2 Features of Node
There are numerous programming languages around which can be used to build back-end services so what makes Node.js different I am going to explain.
- It’s easy to get started with developing web applications and can be used for prototyping and agile development.
- It provides fast and highly scalable services
- Source code cleaner and consistent.
- Large ecosystem for open source libraries.
- It has Asynchronous or Non-blocking nature
Speaking further about Node advantages we can go on and on for ages. We don’t have that much time, you want to develop your project after all. Now we will show you how it’s a true blessing for both business and software development.
Some of the Significant Advantages are
1. Open-source NPM repository – Over 60 thousand available modules you can easily find a ready to use solution for your problem, instead of reinventing the wheel.
2. Scalable Systems – Node is pretty easy to scale the application horizontally by deploying many instances of your project to the different servers. You can also scale your system vertically, by using a cluster built-in module that will fork the application process to all the CPU cores you have.
3. Microservices – Of course, it’s worth mentioning that a lot of companies migrate to Node.js when they want to move to microservices. Just sayin’.
Above all, Node reduces the time to market. You see businesses often have a great idea for a web application but needs to verify it on a market. With Node.js you can deliver an MVP very fast which reduces the amount of money and effort needed to achieve it.
4. Why Choose Node js For Beginners?
Now since we have covered what Node is and how the js extension is beneficial. It’s time to learn all the aspects of node js for beginners in detail (This section is to help developers to understand the node better). Here we have listed a few topics which can be referred to any time whether it’s to learn Node.js or for mastering.
4.1 Node.js Architecture
Node.js uses Single Threaded Event Loop Model Architecture which means all the client requests on Node.js are executed by a single thread. Unlike other programming languages like HTML, CSS, AJAX, Node is not just single-threaded, but event-driven architecture as well which eventually helps Node.js in handling multiple clients concurrently.
All the features offered by Node Architecture
- Requests – Incoming requests can be categorized into both blocking and non-blocking, depending upon the tasks that a user wants to perform in a web application.
- Node web server – It’s a server-side platform that takes requests from users, processes those requests, and returns responses to the corresponding users.
- External resources – External resources deal with blocking client requests. These resources can be for computation, data storage, etc.
Overall, before you learn Node.js as a beginner it is important to know that the programming language can handle multiple concurrent client requests in a quick and easy manner, without the need of creating multiple threads. Another key Function of Node is the ability to handle concurrent connections with minimum overhead on a single process compared to creating a separate thread for each connection.
4.2 Installing Node.js
Next step in the path of learning node js is installation. And trust me this is one of the simplest procedures you will come across. All you have to do is visit the Node.js Official Site and download the stable version of Node.js. But before you install just to ensure that you have sufficient space and your RAM is at least 4GB.
4.3 JSON File
In other words, the package.json file of your project is used for managing the dependencies used in the project along with the scripts that are required for generating builds, running tests, etc.
4.4 NPM (Node Package Manager)
When we installed Node, we got a command-line interface tool NPM (Node Package Manager). The tool here installs, updates or uninstalls Node.js packages in your application. It may quite interest you to know that this one acts as an online repository for open-source Node.js packages. The node community around the world creates useful modules and publishes them as packages in this repository.
NPM performs the operation in two modes: global and local. In the global mode, NPM performs operations that affect all the Node.js applications on the computer whereas, in the local mode, NPM performs operations for the particular local directory which affects an application in that directory only.
4.5 Web Server Basics
Many premium companies like eBay, General Electric, GoDaddy, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, Wikipins, Yahoo!, and Yammer uses Node js.
4.6 File System
The node comprises an fs module, mainly used to access a physical file system. The fs module is responsible for all the asynchronous or synchronous file I/O operations. And since you have accomplished the fundamentals of Node, you are all set to create and execute all the basic programs and code.
After this, your next step is to read and write data into a file rather than on a console. In order to access a physical file system, Node.js makes use of the fs module.
Since we all know that Node.js applications are event-driven. The name event implies its meaning as something that “happens” or “occurs”. And speaking for Node technology, the event is quite similar to the callback function here. The only difference is that the callback function executes once the asynchronous function returns its results, whereas events are triggered on its corresponding event handler.
Node provides an event module for creating and executing custom events. Since the Node.js application is based on a single-threaded and event-driven architecture, it supports concurrency.
4.8 HTTP Modules
It may be quite interesting if you know that Node has a built-in module known as HTTP, this one allows Node.js to transfer data over the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It helps to develop and execute server-based applications. Using the HTTP module, you can easily build REST APIs with Node.js.
Express.js, AdonisJs, Meteor.js, NestJs, Sails are some of the best and most used frameworks of Node technology. Gone are the days when developers found writing code for each function right from the scratch. And since all this was pretty time-consuming, Node came up with numerous such frameworks which helped developers and programmers to conduct faster application development with better features.
For example, Express is a framework that allows you to build normal websites very easily. Along with the Node command, you also have access to a command called “npm”. This tool has access to an enormous collection of modules created by the Node community.
MySQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Oracle, CouchDB are some of the most renowned databases that will certainly assist you in developing a fully functional web application with Node.js.
So that’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed reading this post on advantages of node js for beginners. So, what are you waiting for? Start learning Node today and position your future self in a better position. In case if you have any doubt or queries, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.