gswardman

Why Use Node JS

By gswardman January 17, 2022

Node.js usually plays the role of a server-side agent where it manages multiple concurrent systems in a non-blocking technique. It also alternates varying response times with different services and gathers information for separate source points. Read along to understand Node.js and why you should use it.

What is Node.js

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript, cross-platform, back-end runtime environment that operates on the V8 tool but implements JavaScript code over a web browser. With Node.js, developers can generate command line gear using JavaScript. They can also deploy server-side scripts to create compelling web page content before rebounding to the user’s browser.

Node.js illustrates a “JavaScript all-present” model, combining web app development with one programming language instead of using different languages for client-side and server-side scripts.

Why Should We Use Node.js?

Why Should We Use Node.js?

Node.js is a robust tool for developing actual time web apps. It offers cross-platform apps that operate on the web easily. Developers do not require extra tools to deploy a node application. According to a survey conducted on Node.js users, more than 40% of programmers use Node.js to build enterprise applications.

The platform is scalable and has light features that make application development easy on the enterprise level. Node.js can be used for both backend and frontend applications, making the development process more efficient.

Node.js leverages the non-blocking I/O concept where two developers can launch a request side by side without waiting for a response from one another. With the non-blocking I/O feature, multi-threading is not necessary.

What is so Special About Node.js?

Various characteristics make Node.js ideal for large-scale and enterprise programs as seen below.

  • js facilitates the development of high-traffic and real-time applications like gaming and chats.
  • Both backend and frontend developers can use Node.js smoothly
  • It allows developers to code in JavaScript from the server and client-side.
  • Code execution on Node.js is faster compared to other languages
  • The rapidly growing Node Package Manager (NPM) provides developers with multiple modules and tools to use, increasing their productivity.
  • js is ideal for microservices popular among enterprise apps

Why we Use Node.js for Backend?

  • The backend of applications is critical in web development. As a result, developers focus on it and use the best available technology and solutions to ensure it works appropriately. Here are reasons why many developers prefer Node.js for the backend.
  • js works effectively in managing massive data in real-time. It enables developers to collect and visualize data to be illustrated as dashboards.
  • js backend development offers numerous features that are unavailable in other event-oriented environments.
  • Numerous developers support Node.js. As a result, they always strive to improve it. Apart from executing high-performance data streaming, Node.js is ideal for building software for multiple platforms on any operating system.
  • js stashes its information in Native JSON making it fast
  • js is non-blocking and promotes async functions, enabling it to manage tasks simultaneously. In this case, processes are managed in one thread as opposed to queuing, accelerating server activities.
  • js-based apps are scalable, boosting their performance.
  • Learning Node.js is easy, and with more developers using it, employers do not have to incur high training costs when hiring new developers.

How to Use Node.js?

Download and install Node.js on your personal computer.

Set up a Node.js file, name it myfirst.js, and add the code below.

var http = require(‘http’)

http.createServer(function (request, response) {

response.writeHead(200, {‘Content-Type’: ‘text/plain’)

response.end(‘Hello World!’);

listen(8080)

Save that file on your PC at Local C:\Users\Your Name\myfirst.js

That code will communicate with your PC to display “Hello World” should someone attempt to access it (the computer) from the 8080 port. As a novice developer, you learn and master codes on the go.

Understanding the Command Line Interface

A Node.js file must launch from your computer’s Command Line Interface. Your operating system determines how you initiate the Command Line Interface. If you use Windows, click the start button and search for Command Prompt. You can as well type CMD on the search section. Proceed to the folder hosting the myfirst.js file. The Command-Line Interface tab will be something similar to C:\Users\Your Name>

·       Launching the Node.js File

Launching the Node.js File

You should launch your file with Node.js before executing any other action. Initiate your Command Line Interface, and type “node myfirst.js,” then click OK or enter. Your PC will now operate as a server, and should anyone attempt to access it via the 8080 port, the response Hello World will appear.

What are the Benefits of Node.js?

Here are some of the key benefits of using Node.js.

·       Easy to Master

Coding in Node.js is easy to understand. Once you have basic information about Object-based programming and JavaScript, you can start practicing with Node.js. Still, learning the client-side model, and understanding Node’s nonsynchronous flow can be a daunting task. However, there are numerous tutorials, interactive courses, and GitHub examples you can use to ease your learning process.

·       Simplicity

Node. js-based applications need less code and fewer files than apps written in other languages for backend and frontend. Developers can share and reuse code on Node.js between the backend and frontend of their app. This approach is crucial in accelerating the development process.

A single code facilitates deployment under one roof. These significant benefits are valuable at the beginning of your app. You can have your full-stack developers for both the backend and frontend, reducing costs and saving time.

·       Enhanced Scalability for Advanced Apps

With many giant companies experiencing tremendous growth in their customer base, they opt for Node.js, as an applicable scalability solution.

The innovative technology has numerous features, such as the cluster module that eases load balancing over different CPU cores, easing the delivery of expected outcomes via small modules without running down the RAM process. Further, Node.js leverages the event loop non-blocking technique that increases scalability facilitating seamless request processing.

Node.js allows developers to use Microservices, facilitating the partitioning of an application into smaller sections. That way, you can outline tasks and assign them effectively among various teams. Doing so is crucial for fast-tracking deployment, development, and support for each part of your application.

Microservice and Node.js enable advanced applications to scale, either up or down when necessary, helping firms acquire high performance on a budget.

·       Smooth JSON Support

Unlike other backend technologies that shift from one binary model to the other for communication, Node.js can do so through JavaScript without the need to convert. This approach is critical when developers develop a NoSQL RESTful API database support such as MongoDB. This simple connection with one of the main information transfer principles is vital to the JS (JavaScript) ecosystem.

·       Robust Corporate Support

The Node.js Foundation was launched in 2015 to promote extensive adoption and speed up Node.js development. Some of the biggest organizations like Fidelity, PayPal, and Microsoft became affiliates of the firm. The number of companies using Node.js is growing exponentially and is currently more than three hundred renowned organizations.

Not many open-source runtime environments can boast such support from some of the biggest companies across the world. This unique support is enough to demonstrate that Node.js has tremendous potential.

·       Reduces Your Application Marketing Time

Every development team always seeks ways to maximize the little time they have. Worth mentioning is that time is one of the key gauges of performance and quality for many organizations.

Node.js is not only light, but it also allows developers to speed up the general development speed. Further, your team has numerous easily accessible codes, libraries, and GitHub resources, saving coding effort and time.

Node.js provides server-side and client-side in JavaScript, making it ideal for faster and easy management of data files and code than any other technology. Further, Node.js deployments allow developers to receive feedback throughout the project, reducing your app’s time to advertise.

What are the Pros and Cons of Node.js Versus Apache Web Server

It’s crucial to note that none of these technologies is superior to the other. The technology you choose is case-based.

While Apache utilized PHP, a web-based beginner-friendly scripting language, Node.js is a JavaScript V8 system, which was initially not meant to serve the web.

Apache and PHP are old but stable. Developers will get everything they need to facilitate their development efforts, complete with support. Node.js, on the other hand, is relatively new and developed for web application development. Developers can consider an HTTP-oriented web application as one of the uses of Node.js.

web application as one of the uses of Node.js.

Many popular development frameworks and content management systems are developed in PHP. These frameworks are critical in controlling the code base to accommodate a large application. Node.js comes with various web frameworks such as sails.js and Express. However, they are new, and their support is not as common as it is for PHP frameworks.

Apache is process and thread-based, meaning that a separate process or thread manages each request based on configuration. In this case, if a process is awaiting the I/O, the entire thread is closed. Node.js features an event-driven asynchronous I/O, meaning each Node.js process operates in one thread, allowing the runtime environment to manage multiple simultaneous requests.

Node.js comes with web frameworks such as sails.js and Express. However, they are new in the market, and support is not as available as it is for PHP frameworks.

Why is Node.js so Popular?

·       JavaScript is Its Key Language for Web Application Development

Currently, JavaScript is a critical choice when it comes to the development of web applications from the browser. Further, its developers release an advanced framework regularly to entice developers.

Through Node.js, JavaScript has transformed server operations. Many developers today prefer JavaScript, and it is evident that it is running the globe. Experts in the industry opine that the trend is not about to stop. Many developers are already conversant with JavaScript. As a result, moving from a web-based system to Node.js is easy.

·       Node.js is Super Fast

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that Google developed for use in Chrome. It is compatible with the V8 Engine. V8 can assemble and implement JavaScript swiftly because it arranges it into a natural machine code. Further, Node.js features an extraordinary event loop, a single thread that executes all the I/O functions asynchronously.

·       Node.js is Light

Node.js uses a standard event-driven design, meaning that every application performed on it is a nonsynchronous series. That allows Node.js to operate under one thread, unlike other web-based technologies where a new thread is generated for each client request. This concept makes Node.js lightweight while also creating the base for its Non-blocking I/O aspect.

·       It uses One Language for All Layers

Language reuse is a vital aspect of Node.js. In some web technologies such as ASP.Net or Spring, developers should be conversant with another language like C# Java, or VB.NET to initiate server-side code.

That means all functions include two languages. Node.js uses JavaScript for both the server and client-side. In this case, developers interact with one language across all layers. The language can be re-used in imminent communications.

·       Node.js can be Hosted in any Environment

Based on the continued advancement on Node.js usage in the last few years, numerous web servers and cloud-based hosting provide support out-of-the-box Node-based web applications. These include Heroku, Amazon AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft IIS.

What are the Specific Features of Node.js?

Some of the vital features that make Node.js ideal for many developers include:

·       V8 Engine

V8 Engine

The V8 engine was previously developed for Chrome. Today, it has been adapted to conform to web application development purposes. A V8 engine is a superior tool capable of translating JavaScript to overall coding language with the assistance of C++. The V8 Engine is crucial for language-based machine products and servers.

·       Swift Code Execution

Node.js leverages the V8 Runtime JavaScript motor, which Google Chrome also uses. Hub offers a wrapper for the JavaScript motor, speeding up the runtime motor, accelerating the request preparation process.

·       Cross-Platform Support

Node.js can be used in various platforms such as Unix, Windows, macOS X, Linux, and mobile devices. This runtime environment can also be paired with the right package to produce a self-sufficient executable.

·       No Buffering

Data on Node.js is not buffered

·       Swift Data-Streaming

When data transmission is executed on different streams processing could take time. Node.js processes data swiftly. It can process and upload a file concurrently, which saves lots of time, improving the general video and data streaming speed.

Where Node.js Shouldn’t Be Used

Programs whose features are incompatible with Node.js’s features are not ideal for Node development. These are computational-dense, process-intensive, and blocking programs.

·       Computational-Dense Programs

Suppose your application is designed to execute tasks that involve number crunching and heavy computing, Node.js will not be the best runtime environment to use. The heavy computation distracts that single-thread operation in the application and terminates the event loop progress pending completion of the computational process. The process delays the execution of pending requests.

·       Relational Databases and Backend

Node.js’s database support equipment is below expectations from other languages, making it less effective for use cases involving relational databases. However, this situation is changing fast, with excellent quality ORM libraries such as TypeORM and Sequelize already available for Node.js developers.

How and why did Node.js Gain Popularity?

Ryan Dahl first introduced Node.js in the development industry in 2009 when APACHE HTTP was a popular server. Despite its popularity, APACHE could not execute simultaneous connections.

When Node.js was launched, it could solve the problems APACHE experienced. For example, it offered parallel code application and scalability. It provided a JavaScript server-side development approach and logic.

It also initiated the use of one event loop threaded model. The popularity of Node.js has since grown tremendously. For example, Node.js has 71.9 thousand stars on Github, 2.9 thousand watchers, and 17.6 thousand forks.

In Stackshare, this runtime environment boasts 103.9 thousand followers and 8.4 thousand votes. These numbers are enough to demonstrate the popularity of Node.js. Further, renowned corporate companies like Netflix and Microsoft use Node.js.

Netflix and Microsoft use Node.js.

Node.js won first place at the 2020 StackOverflow’s developer survey. More than half of the participants in the survey admitted to having used it before.

Are there any Disadvantages of Node.js?

Like any other technology, Node.js has some drawbacks, as seen below.

·       Handling Highly Computing Functions Hinders Performance

Executing CPU-dense computing functions can be a struggle for Node.js. When the runtime environment receives an intensive CPU-based task in the event loop, it consumes all the available CPU power to execute the undertaking. Doing so slows down the entire event loop, and that can affect your application’s interface.

·       Massive Code Modifications due to Weak Embedded Systems

Frequent API modifications are some of the leading drawbacks that Node.js users experience. Often, these modifications are incompatible, which can be annoying. Users have to keep on changing the access code to synch with the latest Node.js API version.

Other drawbacks include:

  • Poor library support can expose your code to various risks
  • High demand for professionals with only a limited number of skilled Node.js developers
  • js nonsynchronous programming feature means that maintaining code can be a big struggle

Example of Node.js

An example of a Node. js-based web server that responds with “Hello World”

Commands here begin with > or $ to depict their appearance in a user terminal. Avoid these characters when building your code. Lines that do not start with these characters display the output of a previous command.

Download and install Node.js

Launch an empty file and name it “project” before navigating to it.

Node.js in Linux and Mac:

$ cd ~/projects

$ mkdir ~/projects

Windows PowerShell:

> cd $env:USERPROFILE\projects

> mkdir $env:USERPROFILE\projectsWindows CMD:

> cd %USERPROFILE%\projects

> mkdir %USERPROFILE%\projects

Now initiate a new source file inside the projects folder and name it hello-world.js.

Launch hello-world.js.in your preferred text editor before pasting the following content.

const hostname = ‘127.0.0.1’;

const http = require(‘http’);

const port = 3000;

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {

res.setHeader(‘Content-Type’, ‘text/plain’);

res.statusCode = 200;

console.log(`Server running at https://${hostname}:${port}/`); });

res.end(‘Hello, World!\n’);

});server.listen(port, hostname, () => {

Save your file, return to the terminal window and type the following command.

$ node hello-world.js

The output below will appear.

Server running at https://127.0.0.1:3000/\

Launch your preferred browser and proceed to https://127.0.0.1:3000.

Should the browser display Hello World, you can be sure that your service is operating perfectly.

Conclusion

Node.js is a popularly used runtime environment. With numerous big companies using it, its developers will continue advancing it in the future. Node.js comes with advantages as well as disadvantages. However, the former outweighs the latter.