Why Choose Node.js?

・15 min read
Why Choose Node.js?

It might be difficult to choose something fresh and distinct when so many frameworks are accessible. You've undoubtedly heard phrases like "JavaScript runtime," "event-driven," and "operates on a single-threaded event loop" concerning Node.js and wondered what they meant.

This post will show why you should utilize Node.js as your following backend framework and its benefits, use cases, and commercial benefits.

What is Node.js?

Let’s start by 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, e.g., 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.

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New Features of Node.js

Here are some of the newest features of Node.js:

A highly anticipated feature fetch to node

Developers could have implemented the new request functionality earlier, but they typically chose to do so by using third-party packages. As a result, there was a lot of third-party code in the project. At the very minimum, it was difficult and undesirable in contexts where safety is paramount. We now have a single, standardized mechanism to send HTTP requests throughout all JavaScript environments.

To put it another way, the newly added functionality is mainly based on undici, a piece of code created specifically to cover the fetch-shaped gap in Node.js. The most important disadvantage that most developers and IT administrators will want to know is that the implementation is infamously sluggish. Its implementation is almost a hundred times slower than that of its younger sister Deno.

Stable Timers Promises API Feature

The timers provide a collection of timer methods that yield promise objects promises API. These procedures were included as a prototype functionality in Node.js 15 and are now permanent functionality in this release.

The timer's promises API includes 3 APIs: setTimeout, setImmediate, and setInterval.

SetTimeout

setTimeout (line 3) delays a number of milliseconds before fulfilling the promise.

import { setTimeout } from 'timers/promises';

console.log('setTimeout start time:', Date.now());

const time = await setTimeout(2000, Date.now());

console.log('setTimeout execute time:', time);

console.log('setTimeout end time:', Date.now());

We have explained that the ES module uses the .mjs extension. Execute the code:

% node timers.mjs

setTimeout start time: 1640376095501

setTimeout execute time: 1640376095507

setTimeout end time: 1640376097510

The promise is fulfilled 2 seconds later as expected, although the promise itself is executed immediately.

Set Immediate Code

Set Immediate (line 3) fulfills the promise immediately.

import { setImmediate } from 'timers/promises';

console.log('setImmediate start time:', Date.now());

const time = await setImmediate(Date.now());

console.log('setImmediate execute time:', time);

console.log('setImmediate end time:', Date.now());

Execute the code:

% node timers.mjs

setImmediate start time: 1640377036883

setImmediate execute time: 1640377036889

setImmediate end time: 1640377036890

It is obvious that the promise is fulfilled immediately.

V8 8.6 Language is now Included

The V8 JavaScript engine was upgraded from version 8.4 to version 8.6. The V8 version includes the following language enhancements in addition to performance developments and adjustments:

promise.any() and AggregateError (from V8 8.5)

await setTimeout and AbortController (experimental)

String.prototype.replaceAll() (from V8 8.5)

Logical assignment operators &&=, ||=, and ??= (from V8 8.5)

Node.js Architecture

Node.js, like any other javascript project, requires a set of dependencies to run your code.

The V8 and libuv projects are two of the most significant requirements.

What is V8?

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It is a Google-created open-source Javascript Engine that allows you to run Javascript code outside the browser.

What is the libuv project?

It’s a C open-source development that allows Node to reach the underlying file system of the operating system. It provides networking capabilities and also manages certain concurrency issues.

One thing to keep in mind is that V8 and libuv are not javascript code. The V8 project is around 70% C++ code, while libuv is entirely written in C.

Event loop - the core of nodejs

It runs all callback functions (functions that are called when work is completed) in a separate thread and simplifies large or costly activities like file compression to a thread pool. In node.js, Eventloop enables asynchronous programming.

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It handles all arriving events and balances the workload by dumping bigger activities to the thread pool and doing the lesser tasks independently. Since there's much more to it, and it's a crucial feature of node.js, I'll go over some more in the coming articles. It's important to note that the Event Loop is at the core of Node js, which sets it apart from other backend languages.

Node is single-threaded

Node.js is a single-threaded application. A thread is simply a series of directions, and it isn't necessary to fully comprehend what a thread or process is. Consider a thread to be a container where our code is run in a computer's processor. What's important to remember is that the node executes on a single thread. For example, if we have four distinct jobs, they will all be completed in one thread.

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We start a new thread for each job in programming languages like PHP. So, yet again, your Node program will operate on a single thread. Whether you have one user, 100 users, or even 100 million people utilizing your app simultaneously, you'll have a good time. The center of the node is known as the event loop.js.

Event-driven architecture

Node.js is an event-driven technology, which implies that the server-side platform's data stream is dictated by the events occurring. So, when a Node app is launched, an event monitor called Event Loop starts waiting for events and continues to do so until the program is closed down.

To put it another way, it's the equivalent of having a super-efficient waiter taking orders until the restaurant closes.

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Usage of NodeJS

Node.js helps streaming platforms like Netflix cut the time it takes to launch a server-side application from 40 minutes to just one minute. Moreover, Node's capabilities aren't limited to server-side and web programming. The framework offers a wide range of applications due to its flexibility, extensibility, and CLI access.

API

Node.js is a simple server-side proxy that can manage many concurrent requests in a non-blocking way. It's particularly handy for proxying various services with varying reaction times or gathering data from many sources.

Consider a server-side application that interacts with third-party resources, pulls data from various sources, and stores assets such as pictures and videos in third-party cloud storage.

Despite separate proxy servers being available, Node might be useful if your proxying technology lacks or if you want a service for local development. You might create a client-side app using a Node.js development server for assets and proxying/stubbing API calls while handling similar exchanges in operation with a dedicated proxy service (Nginx, HAProxy, etc.).

A node can expose API in a few ways; the most popular is REST API and graphql (both share JSON objects)

GraphQL queries allow you to access not just the characteristics of a single resource but also the relationships between them. GraphQL APIs obtain all the data your program requires in a single request, whereas traditional REST APIs need fetching from numerous URLs. Even on sluggish mobile network connections, apps that use GraphQL can be efficient.

Streaming web applications

Node.js includes a streams module that allows it to send large amounts of data consecutively in segments. That is why it is ideal for services that allow users to listen to music or watch movies without downloading the material.

Netflix can handle a massive volume of live streaming for millions of customers.

Netflix first employed Node.js to facilitate high-volume online streaming for its 182 million members. They wanted to offer detectability (metrics), debuggability (diagnostic tools), and durability with this early architecture (service registration). The NodeQuark infrastructure was born as a result. The NodeQuark service verifies and directs requests to an application gateway, interacting with APIs and preparing replies before sending them back to the client. Netflix has established a managed experience with NodeQuark, allowing teams to design bespoke API experiences for certain devices. This allows the Netflix app to work across many devices.

Real-time web applications

It is possible to create real-time web apps using the event loop API and WebSockets, such as chat, video conference rooms, and collaboration tools that allow peers to work on the same document simultaneously (like GoogleDocs).

Uber handles even 2 million real-time calls per second.

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Microservices

Besides that, Node can be used to create microservices, which are applications made up of tiny, self-contained services.

Scalability - microservices-based programs will be more scalable and stable in the future. Node.js is a basic framework well-known among developers as an option for microservice architecture. They can expand their Node.js application horizontally by adding new nodes to the current framework and vertically by increasing the capacity of individual nodes. As a result, as new microservices are introduced, it becomes possible to implement on top of the previous ones.

Alternatively, applications may be tailored to user interests, age, region, language, and other characteristics, resulting in greater efficiency and customization. As a result, it is an ideal foundation for designing complex business applications with increased scalability.

IoT

Node's great speed, asynchronicity, and capacity to process much more requests than other similar solutions

Even though different technologies are employed to construct smart linked systems, the framework is critical. Because this field is still in its early stages, there is no clear victor. However, most software developers and hosting firms believe that Node.js development is the most dependable for IoT projects. And we'll tell you why. So, what are the benefits of Node.js?

One component on which the Internet of Things is heavily reliant is interconnectivity. Node.js supports the MQTT protocol, which is popular among IoT apps, making it simple to connect to independent and third-party services and configure it for integration across many contexts. Back-end integration is carried out.

Benefits of using Node.js

The use of Node gives several advantages to the development plate. Among the most significant advantages are:

  • Node.js is open-source, it has a sizable development community. The community is incredibly active and ever-changing, and it participates in its growth and improvement. Indeed, one of Node.js' strengths is that developers can always rely on JavaScript experts for assistance. GitHub, they supply simple solutions and fully prepared answers.
  • It ensures that applications can be scaled vertically by introducing new capabilities to existing nodes and horizontally by bringing additional nodes.
  • It makes it easier to create elements that readily complement bigger applications, cutting costs in the early phases of development and perhaps lowering time-to-market.
  • It's code that can be reused (some of it can be used both on the front and backend). Production testing (a lot of companies used it from the very beginning in 2009).
  • It has better performance owing to Chrome's V8 engine.
  • Because Node uses JavaScript on both the backend and the frontend, it is an excellent solution for improving implementation efficiency and clarity.
  • It includes several frameworks such as Express.js, Koa, and Nest.js. NestJS is a framework for creating fast and scalable Node.js server-side applications built using and completely supporting TypeScript. It takes advantage of powerful HTTP server frameworks such as Express or Fastify. Nest protects the standard Node.Js frameworks and exposes its APIs to the developer.

Advantages of Node.js over Java

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For many years, Java was one of the most famous programming languages globally, and it was frequently used as the background language for corporate applications due to its adaptability. Java has matured into a comprehensive platform with its libraries, plugins, APIs, runtime environment, and virtual machine after more than two decades.

Even though Node.js is not a programming language, it does allow JavaScript to be executed on the server. Node makes it possible to employ JS on the backend with its 'JavaScript everywhere' idea.

As previously discussed, Node allows developers to create server-side and browser-side apps using the same programming language. In online applications, JSON is extensively used to communicate data. Because it is a text-based data format that follows JavaScript object syntax, the stored data allows Node.js to work without the resistance of incompatibility and data translation. Furthermore, Node.js is significantly quicker than Java. The callback paradigm has changed programming by removing engineers from the chore of handling several concurrent processes. JavaScript takes care of things for them, determining what needs to be executed. This leads to an event-driven, shorter code that concentrates on critical logic.

Node vs. Python

What is Python?

Python is a powerful, object-oriented, interactive, and versatile programming language. Python's syntax, dynamic typing, and interpreted nature make it a great scripting language.

It supports a variety of programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and generative approaches. Furthermore, because it is an interpreted language, it cannot be converted to computer-readable code before running.

Node.js

Here are the pros and cons of the Node.js

Pros:

  • Node.js developers are more flexible with the same language for the frontend and backend
  • From the node.js site, you can prepare both view and logic for the app
  • Node.js community is large end fast-growing

Cons:

  • Ineffective management of excessive CPU use
  • Lack of library support

Python

Here are the pros and cons of Python

Pros

  • Python is much friendlier to junior developers
  • Great for Machine Learning(ML) - has a lot of pre-built libraries to implement ML and Deep Learning algorithms

Cons

  • Lacks speed when compared with Nodejs
  • Python is Not Great for Front-end and Mobile Application Development

Node vs. Golang (Go)

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What is Golang (Go)?

Golang, sometimes known as Go, is a 2007 open-source, statically-typed, multi-purpose programming language developed by Google. It combines the reliability and scalability advantages of C/C++ with the speed of Python. Go is a structurally sound, robust, and efficient concurrent programming language popular for its garbage collection, memory safety, and dynamic interfaces.

Node

Pros

  • Node.js developers are more flexible with the same language for the frontend and backend
  • From the node.js side, you can prepare both view and logic for the app
  • node.js community is large and fast-growing
  • It offers better development tools compared to other substitutes

Cons

  • Ineffective management of excessive CPU use
  • Lack of library support

Golang

Pros

  • It’s static typing is an advantage
  • It's great for Machine Learning
  • Concurrency is a strong side of Go

Cons

  • Being a relatively new language, the market cannot satisfy the need to hire Golang developers effectively.
  • It's quite new, and the community is not as big as in other languages

Selleo Projects

Following the 2008 financial crisis, European authorities enacted a slew of new laws, policies, directives, and regulations that raised regulatory pressure on businesses. RegTech solutions provide financial institutions (FIs) with automating tools to handle the compliance burden more rapidly and cost-effectively.

Our team was in charge of creating a quick and efficient React front-end application supported by Typescript and coupled with a scalable, real-time GraphQL API. In addition, we developed a design solution.

Case Study of Our Client:

ECIT Labs is an innovative firm of the ECIT group situated in the Nordics, offering its consumers a variety of services and software solutions for organizations in financial management, accounting, and IT security.

The organization has already established an excellent network of competent people that create profitable solutions to assist businesses in functioning and thriving. They sought to grow their development team to produce a RegTech solution that provides agility, speed, integration, and analytics to satisfy regulatory standards and manage risks.

The project aimed to:

  • Give a tool for businesses to check BPO following AML rules
  • Design a solution that streamlines the legal requirement for timely and reliable verification of corporate organizations
  • For identity, use BankID Authentication.
  • Produce reports with confirmation of validity within the scope of AML obligations.

Selleo helped ECIT lab in achieving their dream framework within the set deadline with an exceptionally experienced and expert team.

Summary

Node.js shook up the world of enterprise IT in ways no one predicted. It transformed JavaScript from an unsightly duckling to a magnificent swan and made it one of the back-end monarchs in a narrative full of surprises with a happy ending.

Importantly, Node.js 18 will be granted Long-Term Support (LTS) later this year (2022). It is high time to invest in a Node.js framework.

We at Selleo can help you build your dream framework with a dedicated team of experts. To get more details, contact us now!