What can we do with Node JS?

First introduced in 2009, Node.js has become a major turning point in the lives of several Javascript developers as well as businesses across the globe. In fact, the web development platform over these years took the IT world by storm.  It’s no surprise the number of Node.js applications is constantly growing.

Now tell me something: how many of you have given a thought on which technology has been used behind their favourite mobile apps? I guess very few and that’s completely okay! I mean being a non-techie, most of you don’t spend time questioning such routine aspects but what about the tech-savvy geeks or Software developers, I am sure they are among the few. The following post is more likely to please them. It mainly emphasizes on what we can do with Node JS and the different kinds of apps that can be built using Node.js. Node plays a critical role in the tech stack of high-profile companies.

With such a rich diversity of options on the market, it is often challenging to choose the core technology for your product. There are numerous back-end tools such as Xamarin, Apache Cordova, and .NET that have proven to be effective in building user-friendly, responsive and appealing applications. But Node.js still remains to be a leader with nearly 50% of js developers in the world choosing this tech for their projects.

Fortunately, we have several information and resources stating how beneficial the tech can be or how to make the most of the development framework by using a few tried and tested Node js security best practices. So before we discover what app types you can build with this technology, let us brush up a little bit on the basics of the web development framework!  

1. Define Node.js

It’s an open-source environment that operates in a JavaScript runtime environment. By using the framework, Node.js developers are able to write server-side scripting to build highly dynamic web pages. Thanks to the event-driven and non-blocking I/O (Input/Output) model, programmers can create highly scalable real-time applications.  

Now we are sure you must have come across several descriptions of Node.js. 

Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient.Node.js’ package ecosystem npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world.

In layman terms, I/O stands for input/output operations. This can refer to a whole variety of terms, for example making an HTTP request to API or reading the file contents. Non-blocking means that the web application is running asynchronously, so the parser doesn’t wait to execute the whole application code from the beginning till the end and can handle many tasks in one thread. 

For example, when an application sees that it will wait for data from another component (i.e. database), it puts the waiting task in a waiting queue and takes another item from that list to process it in the meantime, at the same time minimizing delays and increasing efficiency.

Also, it’s not a framework nor a library nor a programming language, but there are JavaScript frameworks built specifically to run on Node.js environments, such as Express.js.

2. What is Node JS Mainly Used For?

One of the biggest advantages of Node.js is that we can use Node.js for building many business solutions. You can beat your competition with Node.js based business solutions: 

  • Backend for social media networking

It may quite interest you to know that renowned names like LinkedIn and Medium are rebuilt on Node.js. Node.js provides blazing-fast routing with its V8 engine along with a secure authentication. Scalability is one of the most significant factors which enriches a social media network. 

  • Single-page applications

 Much like single-page applications, Node.js can build a single-page app, where you can allocate the entire application on one page and the look and feel are similar to a desktop application. Due to its versatile options, Node.js is a good fit for building social networking platforms, dynamic websites, and mailing solutions. What’s more, the asynchronous data flow quality on the backend web servers in Node.js makes it the best bet for SPA development. 

  • Chat applications

Node js development comprises advanced functionalities for real-time chatbots and chat applications  Some of its key features include multi-user applications, intensive data, heavy traffic, across all devices are very popular in chatbots. Node.js makes it super easy to execute push notifications and server-side event loops popularly used in IMs and real-time apps.

  • Data streaming

Several giants like Netflix welcomed Node.js to serve 190 countries and 100+ million hours of streaming across 120 million users and counting. Node js has a definite edge as it is super-fast speed, and feather-light encodes and uploads. 

  • IoT applications

 IoT has drastically become popular over the recent decade and ever since then Node.js is one of the most preferred solutions for organizations looking to build public and private IoT solution systems. The core advantage here is its brilliant ability to process seamlessly concurrent requests with thousands of events released by billions of devices on its network. So now you know why it is suitable for IoT app development. 

3. Why Use Node.js For The Development Process?

You must be wondering why so many web Apps are built with Node.js? Well, it lives  up to the expectation to fulfil the technical glitches of other frameworks. Some even claim that it’s so powerful that it has the potential to replace Java for good—dethroning it as the most trusted language, a spot that Java has held since 1995.

Let’s see how this framework works wonders for you, by explaining its pros, use cases and business advantages while developing web applications. Every developer wants to introduce an application that allows the user to take advantage of many features at once.

Node.js provides developers with such facilities – one can create highly scalable apps which may allow multiple requests from the user at once. It shows a one-way process without showing a new thread on each user request. 

Some of the crucial features offered by Node js are:

  1. It’s a Javascript framework  
  2. The server-side is based on Google Chrome’s V8 Engine
  3. Rich library of modules available for developers
  4. Non-blocking, I/O
  5. Lightweight
  6. Converts JavaScript code into machine code quickly
  7. Jam-packed module ecosystem containing the entire necessary database you need
  8. Utilizes npm package manager
  9. Asynchronous processing and event-driven nature
  10. Full-stack development language (It can generate back-end code that runs on a web server).

4. Node JS Advantages

  • Node js web development framework makes it extremely fast to build real-time, high-traffic mobile apps (eg. chats or gaming) 
  • Now developing code in Javascript is possible for both client side as well as  server side
  • It increases the efficiency of the server side web application development process as it fills the gap between frontend and backend development (more on this later),
  • The ever-growing and most useful NPM  modules(Node Package Manager) gives developers multiple tools and modules to use, thus further boosting their productivity.
  • Code executes faster than in any other language as one can write code  for Front-end and Back-end in the same programing language,
  • Node is perfect for  microservices architecture which is  a popular solution among enterprise applications for backend development.  Microservices architecture is a way of developing apps as a group of independent, small and modular services each of which runs a unique single process and plays a specific role in the business logic.
  • Node JS has proven its potential as a part of the  robust tech stack with Javascript. Also it brings many benefits to the tech stack while being stand-alone, too.

5. Further Speaking of Node JS

Of course, choosing any programming language might give you some reasons to choose them over others. The only thing about developing enterprise  web applications is that their complex way of creating applications makes Node.js stand apart from other technologies.Stats point out that 97% of modern web applications consist of npm modules.

5.1 Performance and Scalability

Built upon  Google Chrome’s V8 runtime—written in C++, built for multiple operating systems. Both V8 and Node are frequently updated, with performance boosters, security patches, and support for modern JavaScript features. The use of JavaScript also means that transforming JSON data—the most common data interchange format on the Web—is fast by default.

The single-threaded, event-driven architecture of Node.js allows it to handle multiple simultaneous connections efficiently. Most of the popular  programming languages  create an additional thread for each new request, using up RAM for the whole time to process it.

What we can do with Node.js is, since it operates on a single thread making use of the event loop and callbacks for I/O operations, delegating tasks such as relational  database operations as soon as possible. This enables web developers to handle hundreds of thousands or even a million concurrent connections using the Single Threaded feature.

6. Conclusion

All the technical wonders of Node.js are impressive, but we can also sum up its advantages in a few words: it’s fast, lightweight, efficient, fast REST Api, data intensive and offers multiple packages. And what  more could you ask for  developing mobile apps and web apps using Node technology stack.

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Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.

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