- What exactly is Node.js?
- What is Node.js used for?
- What Node.js offers: most important features
- How to create a Node app: a step-by-step introduction
- Node.js app development
- More about Node.js architecture
- Use cases for Node.js technology
- How to hire Node.js developers
- Hire our Node.js developers
- Final thoughts
Node.js has emerged as a game-changing technology in web development, enabling developers to use the same programming language for both the front and back ends. Since its very introduction, Node has gained immense popularity and transformed the way server-side applications are developed.
What exactly is Node.js?
What is Node.js used for?
- Server-side web development, where Node.js provides a scalable environment for building web applications, handling HTTP requests, and managing real-time communication with clients through frameworks like Express.js, Koa.js, or Hapi.js;
- API development (application programming interfaces) primarily by using Express.js or Nest.js;
- Real-time applications such as chats, collaboration tools, gaming servers, and streaming platforms. The event-driven programming with the ability to handle concurrent connections makes it ideal for running multiple client interactions simultaneously;
- Microservices architectures can be quickly built with Node.js due to their lightweight nature. It is suitable for making independent modular services that can work together to form a larger application.
- Command-line tools and scripts for automating tasks, data processing, and system administration;
- Internet of Things (IoT), including data processing, sensor readings, and communication between devices;
- Serverless applications (AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure support Node.js);
- Machine learning utilities and applications by leveraging the power of libraries like TensorFlow.js.
- Blockchain and decentralized applications (DApps) with frameworks like Web3.js.
What Node.js offers: most important features
There are several compelling reasons why developers choose Node.js as their preferred coding runtime environment:
Asynchronous and non-blocking nature
Node.js is built on an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, which means that it can handle multiple requests at the same time without blocking other operations. This feature enables highly scalable and efficient applications, making Node a well-suited tool for real-time applications and scenarios with a large number of concurrent connections.
The underlying V8 engine provides excellent performance and optimization. Node.js applications are able to handle a high volume of incoming requests with lower response times.
Reduced development time
One of the largest ecosystems, NPM, and community
Node.js benefits from the vast and robust system of NPM (Node Package Manager). This extensive package registry for open-source libraries and modules offers a wide range of pre-built solutions that are easy to integrate with existing Node.js applications. Members of the Node.js community, together with an abundance of frameworks and open-source libraries, make it so popular.
Node is well-suited for building a microservices environment, where an application is divided into smaller independent parts (services) that communicate with each other. It’s probably the best choice for building logging in microservices and microservices-based applications.
How to create a Node app: a step-by-step introduction
Most of the front-end JS functionality, like objects, functions, and methods, is available in Node. Besides, a vast ecosystem of frameworks and libraries offering ready-made solutions and functionality accelerates Node.js development. However, some peculiarities of Node.js may seem unusual even for experienced JS developers, so let’s also check the specificity of Node and some of its pitfalls.
Setting up Node.js
You can download and install Node.js from the official website. You will have free access to the Node.js runtime and npm after the installation.
Initialize a new project
While Node.js excels in handling asynchronous operations, many developers can fall into the trap of writing blocking code that hinders performance. Avoid long-running or CPU-intensive tasks that can block the event loop and impact the app’s responsiveness.
The architecture of event-driven programming relies heavily on callback and event listeners. Careless management of these can lead to memory leaks, where unused resources are not properly released. Be mindful of cleaning up event listeners and ensuring efficient memory usage to avoid performance degradation.
Asynchronous code often involves nested callbacks, leading to callback hell or the pyramid of doom. Consider using suitable approaches like Promises, async/await, or libraries like async.js or Bluebird to manage asynchronous control flow and avoid overly complex and unreadable code. When working with Promises or async/await, be cautious of unhandled promise rejections.
Node, like any server-side technology, requires additional attention to security. Take precautions to prevent common vulnerabilities, validate user input, enforce secure communication, and implement access controls.
Node.js app development
App development on Node.js offers a wide range of frameworks, libraries, and practices tailored to different types of applications. And most of them are best suited for specific situations. Here are some examples:
- Express.js: a minimal and flexible web application framework with robust touring and middleware capabilities;
- Koa.js: a lightweight framework known for its simplicity, built-in modules, and easiness of use;
- Nest.js: a scalable and opinionated framework that follows Angular’s architectural patterns, ideal for developing large-scale enterprise-level solutions.
- Socket.io: Node.js-based framework enables bidirectional communication between the server and clients, making it suitable for building real-time apps, such as chatting apps, collaboration tools, and real-time dashboards;
- Sails.js: a full-featured MVC framework with built-in support for real-time functionality, making it a great choice for software requiring real-time updates;
Back-end API services:
- Restigy: a lightweight framework specifically designed for building fast and scalable RESTful APIs;
- Fastify: a high-performance web framework is known for its efficiency, making it ideal for building APIs and microservices.
Single-page applications (SPAs):
- Next.js: a robust framework for server-rendered React applications, providing benefits for complex single-page applications such as server-side tendering, automatic code splitting, and simplified deployment;
- Nuxt.js: a framework similar to the previous one but designed explicitly for Vue.js applications, offering SPA-focused features.
More about Node.js architecture
Node.js is also compatible with IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse and supports simple code editors like Sublime Text and Notepad++. Another thing to add about the Node.js structure is its CommonJS module system, allowing developers to organize their code into modules and share functionality across different application parts.
In addition, Node JS is supported by a document-based model database (objects like JSON), unlike traditional SQL databases that implement relational models. It is convenient to use, as it can be hosted anywhere on cloud-based hosting providers and web servers like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.
Use cases for Node.js technology
PayPal, one of the most popular payment systems, relies on Node.js for the server side of their application and APIs. Previously, PayPal used Java as the primary language; however, they switched to Node.js for several reasons: rapid development that requires almost twice fewer people, written in third fewer lines of code, and constructed with almost 40% fewer files.
LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, also leverages Node.js for their back-end operations. Node.js aids LinkedIn in handling real-time updates, messaging, and notifications, enabling seamless collaboration and smooth communication. The non-blocking I/O and event-driven architecture provide the scalability and performance needs for enterprise-size LinkedIn’s scale.
The ride-sharing platform incorporates Node.js in its technology stack. Node.js is widely used for real-time data processing and dispatch systems. The Node’s structure allows Uber to handle a massive number of concurrent requests, update ride statuses in real time, and optimize driver allocation and tracking.
Netflix, one of the renowned streaming platforms, employs Node.js for various purposes. Previously, C++ was used as a leading programming language for back-end development; however, now, the company has decided to switch to Node in order to increase the performance of the platform by leveraging the module structure of Node.js. It allows the company to process a high volume of concurrent connections, deliver personalized content, and provide real-time updates for millions of users.
A popular project management and collaboration tool is built using Node.js. You can even try integrating their official Node-based APIs by yourself; check the official website.
The United States space agency employs Node.js mainly for data-intensive applications and real-time monitoring systems. Node.js allows NASA to process and analyze vast arrays of data collected from space missions, as well as deliver real-time updates and alerts.
How to hire Node.js developers
Hiring a top-notch talent pool for an IT project has long been challenging for most companies. Whether a startup or an experienced tech business, most face specific issues when hiring Node JS developers.
If you intend to hire Node.js developers for dynamic app development, you might not find the right Node.js developer onsite. You may stick to the idea of hiring a freelance Node.js programmer, but there will be no guarantees of code quality and dedication. Here are a couple of essentials to pay attention to before hiring a Node.js developer.
Make a list of essential Node.js interview questions that you are going to ask your candidates:
- Try looking into expertise first: experience in years and projects.
- Observe the response time and communication manners.
- Discover how flexible the candidates are.
- Pay attention to their pricing and transparency, as well as their soft skills.
Hire our Node.js developers
With immense expertise in Node.js development, ELITEX Node.js developers for hire can create a product of any complexity for you. With collective knowledge of international projects, we focus on boosting the growth of each and every client by finding an approach tailored to their business goals.
Are you looking for tech experts who will become more than just a vendor? Contact ELITEX.
Node.js is a widely used technology in modern web development for a multitude of purposes. It serves as a robust base for building scalable and high-performance applications, particularly those requiring real-time updates, data-intensive operations, and handling a large number of concurrent requests. Node is commonly employed in the development of web and mobile apps, APIs and microservices, real-time collaboration tools and social media, streaming platforms, and even in areas like IoT and machine learning.
The event-driven, non-blocking I/O architecture efficiently handles asynchronous operations, enabling the creation of responsive and interactive applications. Its extensive ecosystem of modules, a vast array of frameworks, and the possibility to find a standard library for almost any purpose make Node.js a go-to choice for modern application development.
What is Node.js?
What is Node.js used for?
Node is used for developing server-side applications, mainly classic web applications requiring real-time interactions, data-intensive operations, and handling a large number of concurrent connections. Although it is not that popular in these spheres, it can also be used for developing mobile apps, machine learning, blockchain apps, IoT, etc.
Is Node.js a programming language?
Well, it is not a programming language strictly. Node.js is a runtime environment allowing developers to use JS code outside the browser.
Does Node.js require high development skills?
What is Node.js good for in mobile development?
Node is beneficial in mobile development for building backend services and APIs that support mobile applications.
What is the Node.js framework?
Node.js itself isn’t a “traditional framework,” but it has one of the largest ecosystems of useful frameworks like Express, Koa, Nest, Next, and others, compared to other most popular programming languages.
Does Node.js support database integrations?
Yes, Node.js supports database integrations. Node.js libraries like Mongoose and Sequelize facilitate connections to various databases.
Does Node.js have built-in support for unit testing?
Unfortunately, Node.js doesn’t have built-in support tools for testing. However, you can use testing frameworks and libraries like Mocha, Jest, and Jasmine.
What are some of the most popular Node.js libraries and frameworks?
The most popular frameworks with ready-made solutions and functionality for building web applications involve Express, Next, Socket, Passport, Sequelize, and Axios.
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