When and Why Node.js Development – A Comprehensive Guide

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node js development
August 03, 2021 | 11 min read

Finding the right tool, framework, technology to create an application or any other IT-enabled solution is critical for the success of a business. Ask a developer or IT consultant what’s the key to success in development, and you are most likely to hear the value of a technology, framework, or tool adopted for developing a product.

Having numerous backend technology options to choose from is a good thing, but that leaves a business owner or a startup founder in a dilemma as to what technology or framework they should choose for their project. While we’ve got a lot of them, we’re going to talk about Node.js today. 

In this article, we will try to answer – What is Node.js? What is Node.js used for? Why use Node.js? Why Node.js is among the leading tools in the technology stack of some big companies? to help you decide whether this technology is suitable for your next project.

Node.js Quick Overview 

Node.js (or Node) is an open-source JavaScript runtime environment designed for creating the server-side part of web applications. Node.js has event-driven architecture, making it versatile and ensuring fast app performance. The JavaScript and Node.js run on the V8 runtime engine that compiles JS code to native machine code. It is lightweight and efficient for data in real-time applications. 

Node.js is mainly used for backend operations and can be used with frontend JavaScript frameworks like Angular, Vue, React, and others. It plays an essential role in the technology stack and offers cheaper, extremely scalable, resilient, and independent services. It is ideal for developing real-time smartphone applications since it allows you to edit several modules simultaneously. 

The Popularity Of Node.js

The popularity of Node.js has significantly grown in recent years because of its extremely lightweight and high flexibility. Being written in JavaScript, Node.js has become the most popular programming language globally. With the developers going crazy over the technology, businesses are focusing on the potentialities of Node.js.

Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey results show – Node.js is continuing at the top with a 51.9% stake as the most popular web framework for web app development.

Node.js is the primary choice for startups. Node.js is scalable, relatively easy to learn, and uses the same language across the frontend and backend. The latter is especially important for small teams, such as startups. Having your frontend and backend technologies the same sure helps with efficiency, speed, and cost. A lot of Node.js statistics can be explained with these features alone.

An annual Node.js User survey by the Node.js Foundation states that – web apps remain the most popular use case for Node, with 85% of respondents indicating they use Node for web application development, while 43% of respondents indicate they use Node for enterprise applications. 

It is no wonder that it has become a highly trending technology that many companies have embraced, including some of the most prominent players like Netflix and PayPal. Both Netflix and PayPal saw significant results economically in performance after implementing Node.js. With the implementation of Node.js, both companies reduced their startup time from 40+ minutes to under a minute.

Companies have been actively switching from their backend tech stacks to Node.js. Linkedin replaced their mobile backend infrastructure built on Ruby on Rails with Node.js for performance and scalability reasons.

Node.js powers the backend of AliExpress and eBay. Two of the world’s largest online marketplaces choose Node.js as their primary backend programming language. There must be complex business logic behind it; Node.js has it.

Node.js has become a solution to many problems due to its valuable features and efficiency. Node.js has become the go-to choice for many industries like IT, Healthcare, and many more. With several sectors continuously increasing their usage upon their platforms, the Node.js framework is observing good growth and business efficiency. 

Applications You Can Build With Node.js

Although Node.js is primarily used to build awesome web apps, its application is not limited to a single-use case. Node.js offers great advantages for a wide range of applications like single-page applications, real-time chats, streaming platforms, cross-platform applications, remote collaboration tools, and more. Let’s have a look at some of the common applications you can build with Node.js.

Single-Page Applications (SPAs)

A single-page application is a web application that interacts with the user by dynamically rewriting the current page rather than loading entire new pages from the server. SPAs are widely used to create social networking apps, online drawing and text tools, and many more. Node.js is an excellent fit for SPAs due to its efficient handling of asynchronous calls and heavy I/O workloads characteristic of these applications.

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools are the ones that enable multiple users to work on the same app simultaneously. Node.js makes the collaboration environment update seamlessly due to Event API and Web Sockets. Trello, a project management application, is the best example of a web app where a real-time collaboration pattern is implemented.

Streaming Apps

Node.js is perfect for developing streaming applications because of its native Stream API. Application streaming allows parts of the application to be downloaded on demand without overloading the server and the local computer, while the other parts can be downloaded later as and when needed. Node.js handles data streaming exceptionally well. It has an interface of readable and writable streams that can be processed and monitored efficiently. 

Microservices

Node.js is an excellent solution for developing microservices and creating easy-to-use APIs to connect them. It allows you to leverage microservices that further let you segregate your application into smaller parts to fast-track the development, deployment, and maintenance of each division of your application. Similarly, Node.js and Microservices allow modern applications to scale up and down as needed and help companies achieve high performance with fewer resources.

Top Companies Using Node.js

top companies using node js

Node.js is increasingly becoming a preferred technology by big giants over other frameworks, and for good reasons like – better developer productivity, lower development cost, and higher app performance. Here we have listed ten companies embracing Node.js technology for backend development.

  1. LinkedIn 
  2. Netflix 
  3. Uber 
  4. Trello 
  5. PayPal
  6. eBay 
  7. Medium 
  8. Groupon 
  9. Walmart
  10. NASA

The adoption of Node.js by the above big names ensures that it will continue to receive support and grow into better technology. To further understand the rising trend, it is crucial to study why these companies use Node.js and how it has helped them solve development challenges. Below we have listed the benefits of Node.js that will surely convince you to consider the technology for your next application development project. 

Benefits Of Using Node.js

Let’s explore some of the Node.js advantages to find out how projects can benefit from this technology choice.

Faster Time to Market – Node.js is lightweight, enabling developers to accelerate the overall development speed. It offers client-side and server-side in Javascript, making it easier and faster to manage code and data files than other similar technologies.

Modern Architecture – Node.js supports cloud-native, microservices-based architecture and applications which greater agility and versatility. By providing a quick startup time, low resource consumption, and high performance, Node.js offers the ideal technology for modern architectures.

Scalability & Fast Performance – Node.js is built with scalability in mind. Node.js works great with systems using the microservices architecture or containerization where scalability and flexibility can be achieved quickly. Also, Node.js is always known for the speed of delivery of backend services and continues to evolve.

Open Source Community – Node.js, an open-source project, encourages support and contribution to improve and adopt the platform. Members of the Node.js community review each other’s code, share reusable fragments, suggest frameworks, and answer all Node-related questions. It’s an excellent environment for learning and innovation.

The list of Node’s advantages is quite extensive. Among others, lower development costs, better developer productivity, and higher app performance are the other top reasons why companies use Node.js to develop applications. If you want to build an app that needs to handle multiple concurrent requests, frequent data shuffling, or heavy I/O workloads – Node.js is the right choice for you. 

Top 5 Node.js Frameworks

The best part about Node.js frameworks is that they are good enough for scaling, speeding the development process, and boosting performance across diverse projects. The Node.js frameworks have been integral in taking the framework to the heights and are pulling up their game harder for the years to come. Below are the top 5 Node.js frameworks known for their lightweight and simplified development process.

Express.js

Express.js—or simply Express is ideal for creating web applications since it has readily available API generation tools. It is part of JavaScript-based technology called MEAN (MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node) software stack. This means you can use Express.js for making any enterprise-grade browser-based app. Developers get a lightning-fast setup and a pure JavaScript experience, making Express.js a strong contender in the niche of agile development and rapid prototyping. 

Meteor.js

Meteor.js is an open-source platform with a highly simplistic and user-friendly full-stack Node.js framework having capabilities for rapid prototyping and cross-platform development (Android, iOS, Web). Meteor.js enables consistent, smooth, and qualitative client-server communication and is used highly to debug. It is well-known among developers for making javascript applications simple, efficient, and scalable.

Nest.js

Nest.js is an open-source, versatile, progressive Node.js framework for creating compelling and demanding backend systems. It has a strong base of TypeScript and is highly inspired by Angular in its features. Nest.js provides the right balance of structure and flexibility to manage codes for large projects efficiently and still have a sight of structure to follow. Nest.js has a more flexible usage base, a simple interface, and comparatively less downtime than most other similar frameworks.   

Koa.js

Koa.js is an open-source Node web framework created by the creators of Express.js. This is a comparatively smaller version but more of an expressive and robust foundation builder for web applications and APIs. It is highly flexible and lets you structure the components in the way you want. Koa.js is used for creating a server, routes, handling responses, and handling errors. It is comparatively a lightweight framework and hence easy to use and focuses more upon rapid development. It also requires fewer codes and, therefore, enhances efficiency.

Hapi.js

Hapi.js is a famous open-source framework for web and desktop applications. It is most commonly used to build web services such as JSON API, websites, and HTTP proxy applications. Hapi is ideal for developing secure, real-time scalable social media applications. It is also well known for creating the REST API, desktop applications, and proxy servers.

Top Node.js Development Trends

Let us look at the most popular trends of Node.js that are helping businesses to reach their full potential to build their digital solutions.

MEAN & MERN Stack

MEAN Stack is a combination of MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS. While MERN Stack uses React instead of Angular. These technologies are robust and rapidly growing open-source web and app development frameworks that enable developers to develop frontend web and complex applications. These technologies are used by some of the biggest tech companies, like Instagram and Netflix.

Real-Time Apps

Real-time apps need lightweight processing with a robust backend and data serving platform. So a vast majority of real-time apps are powered by Node.js. This is because the Node.js environment uses Event API and Web Sockets to simplify two-way communication. This functionality makes it easy to implement server-side events and push notifications widely used in instant messaging and other real-time applications.

Serverless Architecture

Node.js is a popular solution for serverless architecture. A serverless architecture reduces the dependency on hardware and servers, leading to less cost of development, saving time, and increasing efficiency. In this case, all the software and hardware problems are handled by the cloud provider while developers can focus on the app’s key features. Node.js gets easily integrated into the cloud platforms with serverless architecture services. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Node.js has become one of the preferred solutions for enterprises and organizations seeking to develop IoT systems. Nodejs happens to be a runtime environment rich in features and enables developers to apply data-centric approaches, real-time capabilities, and microservices that are incredibly beneficial in IoT development. The main advantage of using Node.js in IoT development is faster execution, acquires less memory, and requires fewer resources on the server-end.

GraphQL Deployment

An emerging Node.js trend — GraphQL has grown immensely over the years. GraphQL is a query language used to request JSON data from the server. The most outstanding feature of GraphQL is that users can request specific data from the server, avoiding problems with data over-fetching or under-fetching. Due to its ability to streamline the workflow on multiple platforms like Windows, Android, or iOS, it has become the choice of developers across the world.

Cloud Solutions

Node.js proves to be highly efficient in building cloud-based applications. Node.js serverless architecture simplifies the development of cloud-based apps with efficiency. The framework does not only help to build cloud-native apps from scratch, but it can also be deployed in scaling the existing cloud apps.

To Conclude

Node.js is a robust development framework showing excellent performance in many cases. It is one of the fastest, lightest, and most dynamic frameworks that lends you the ability to pivot your digital presence in line with your business models and scales easily. Due to its unlimited advantages, many companies are embracing Node.js technology. Moreover, the vast Node.js community is constantly making the platform better day by day. 

The list of Node.js application examples is quite long, and your project may very well benefit from using this technology. 

About Scalex – A Node.js Development Company

Scalex is the foremost Node.js development company in India and the USA. Utilizing Node.js’ superior powers and capabilities, Scalex has gained expertise in providing versatile web application development services to help you set new benchmarks in the industry.

We love JavaScript, and that is why we have embraced Node.js to build all kinds of applications of any level of complexity. We develop applications from scratch and by adding our specialists to startup development teams, using several full-stack approaches. Moreover, we are experts in serverless architecture, the prime ingredient for Node.js platforms.

node js development company

About the Author

Nikita has extensive experience in developing data-driven marketing campaigns and strategies. She has worked with SaaS, IT, Travel, Software, eCommerce, and digital marketing companies in the past. She leads marketing teams and has been successful in attracting prospects through content marketing strategies and social media channels.

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