Why Choose Node.js?

・6 min read
Why Choose Node.js?

With so many frameworks available, sometimes it is hard to decide on something new and different. In the case of Node.js, you probably have heard sentences like ‘JavaScript runtime’ or ‘event-driven’ or ‘operates on a single thread event loop’ and have been wondering what it all means.

This article will talk about thy choose Node.js as your next framework, explaining its pros, use cases and business advantages.

What is Node.js?

Let’s start with diving into what Node.js is. As mentioned above, it is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JS engine. It uses an event-driven, asynchronous non-blocking input/output model (meaning how it interacts with the system’s disk and network eg. reading/writing data, making HTTP requests etc.) and operates on a single thread event loop.

Node.js was created in 2009 by Ryan Dahl. He argued that software should be able to multi-task and said that the right way to handle several concurrent connections was to have a single-thread, an event loop and non-blocking I/Os. This all made Node very efficient and eliminated the wait for requests.

Usage of NodeJS

For companies like Netflix, Node.js allows reducing the entire server-side application startup from 40 minutes to just 1 minute. However, the potential of Node can be used not only for server-side application and web development. Thanks to its modularity, scalability and accessibility via CLI on each platform the framework has a lot of use cases.

1. API

Node.js allows developers to write real-time applications while providing scope for mobile application development in JavaScript. The most popular type of application - API services - expose JSON objects with a REST API for the client to consume.

2. Streaming web applications

Node.js has a built-in streams module which allows it to transmit a huge amount of data in chunks, sequentially. That is why it is perfect for services for listening to music or watching videos without the need to download the content.

3. Real-time web applications

Thanks to the event loop API and WebSockets it is possible to build real-time web applications like chat, video conference room or collaboration tools helping coworkers to work on the same document at the same time (like GoogleDocs).

4. Microservices

Apart from that, Node can also be used to build microservices - applications as a collection of small services working independently.

Benefits of using Node.js

Using Node brings a lot of benefits to the development plate. Some of the most unique distinct advantages are:

  • it is open-source
  • guarantees ease of scaling applications vertically by adding new resources to the existing node and horizontally with the addition of new nodes
  • it facilitates building separate components that easily complement larger applications, which means saving money at the initial development stages and potentially shortening time-to-market
  • reusable code (some of the code can be used both on the front and backend)
  • tested on production (a lot of companies use it from the very beginning in 2009)
  • offers improved performance thanks to Chrome’s V8 engine
  • using JavaScript on both backend and frontend makes Node a great choice to improve speed and simplicity of implementation
  • has many frameworks like Express.js, Koa, Nest.js

Node.js in business

You know the reasons why Node.js is so popular among developers, but why is it so appealing for businesses? The answer is quite simple - scalability.

Node is a high-performance, fast and lightweight web framework perfect for asynchronous programming. It enables you to execute multiple actions at the same time as well as take advantage of serverless. Server management and provisioning are outsourced, which allows introducing new features more frequently and automate scaling. Services are handled by cloud providers like AWS, GCP, Azure etc.

For businesses, Node.js provides better scalability, improved performance and optimised costs. Reusable, ready-to-run components will save the time of your team.

Advantages over Java

For many years, Java was one of the most popular languages in the world, known for its versatility, and was very often chosen as the background language for business applications. Present for more than 20 years, Java has evolved into a complete ecosystem with its own libraries, plugins, APIs, runtime environment and a virtual machine.

Although Node.js is not a programming language, it allows execution of JavaScript on the server-side. With its ‘JavaScript’ everywhere concept, Node made it possible to use JS on the backend too.

As mentioned above, Node gives developers the possibility to build applications working on the server and in the browser using the same programming language. JSON is commonly used for transmitting data in web applications. The stored data allows Node.js to function without the impedance mismatch and data conversion as it is a text-based data format following JavaScript object syntax. What is more, Node.js is much faster than Java. The callback model has changes programming by excluding engineers from the job of juggling multiple concurrent tasks. JavaScript does that for them, figuring out what needs to be run. This all results in event-driven, shorter code that focuses on important logic.

Selleo projects

Throughout the years of being present on the development market, Selleo teams have worked on projects that were built in Node.js. Let’s have a look.

Menasa

A Kuwait company supporting online retailers in their journey in the eCommerce industry by offering a platform built to convert, scale and thrive. The project’s goal was to create a scalable and user-friendly platform to improve customer service and grow revenue.

Vendors received a solution powered customizable customer profiles, a flexible product pricing tool and an intuitive merchandise inventory management.

The example backend tasks included:

  • SMS notifications
  • Email notifications
  • Admin panel development

Alyne

A Munich-based B2B RegTech company behind cuber security, risk and compliance management platform. The solution aids organisations of all industries in maturing their cybersecurity, compliance capabilities, risk management and helps to cost-effectively measure maturity without using messy spreadsheets.

We developed a platform that allows performing assessments with highly scalable self-assessment functionality, prioritise risk mitigation with risk detection algorithms and analytics as well as to easily develop a full set of policies to maturely and safely govern IT.

If you want to find out more about Alyne, go to our portfolio.

Conclusions

Node.js can be used for applications of various sizes and needs thanks to its high level of scalability. It is a type of technology that works without any unnecessary effort.

Node.js is perfect for creating streaming web applications, server-side apps or microservices. Being built on Chrome’s V8 engine, using asynchronous execution and operating on a single thread event loop Node is recognized as an amazing and scalable framework for many businesses.

Selleo has a lot of experience working with Node.js so if you are looking for a team to build you a highly performant solution or want to rewrite your current backend to this modern framework, contact us. Let’s talk about what we can create together.

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