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Advantages and Disadvantages of Node.JS

Advantages and Disadvantages of Node.JS

You watch Netflix

You spend hours on the LinkedIn

And Trello, Uber, Medium, Paypal.

Did you know that they all use Node.js in production?

The success of these portals is a perfect example of a highly successful resource when it comes to server side requirements. And it is capable of executing JS code through Google’s V8 Javascript engine. While all these companies use, Node.js, an open source runtime server side environment, there are some disadvantages to it. Of course, the advantages are galore, but it is important to keep some of the negative aspects in mind, so you are aware of the limitations when you use this web tool.

Node.js comes as part of the package from Javascript, and it is obvious that JS is one of the most popular client side programming languages around. It is also the perfect choice when you are developing an app that should work on a number of platforms. Let’s go a bit deeper into this tool before checking out the pros and cons.

Node.js is not a framework so it doesn’t deal with PHP, JAVA or .Net. Rather, it deals with servers like Apache, TOM, IIS and the like. The main function of the tool is to execute JS in the server side. Hence, JS minus the browser is Node.js, though Node is not entirely made in JS. Only the wrappers are made in C.

Of all the frameworks and client side programming languages in the market, Javascript is undoubtedly one of the best, hence it is the most commonly and widely used server side choice for all kinds of apps – small, big, large. It is through Node.js that developers can run JS on the web servers successfully. The feature that makes this tool different from other JS frameworks is that it works a bit differently – it interprets the code through Google’s V8 Javascript engine.

The advantages:

1) Need to use only a single programming language

Developers like the fact that they can write both front end and back end of the web applications with this runtime environment. They don’t have to use a separate server side programming language.

2) It’s faster

As the tool uses JS in the backend, you can execute the codes really quickly. And the additional advantage of it running through Google’s V8 engine, also makes it really fast, because it can compile JS directly into the machine code.

3) Enjoying the benefits of NPM

NPM or Node package Manager has a number of standalone tools and modules that you can download and use. It lets you manage the dependancies of the project’s tools. Node.js shares this with a shared repository of NPM, and the number of modules in it has increased considerably.

4) Ideal solution for real-time web apps

If your task is to produce real-time web app, complete with games and chat options included in it, you can reliably turn to event-driven architecture of Node.js. Synchronisation process is a breeze as both server-side and client-side are written in JS. It’s done with the help of a web socket protocol. Node is just perfect for chat apps. Of course, there are other options like Ruby and Python, because they also have the best technology, but nothing can beat the performance of the event-driven tool.

5) Easy deployment of web applications

Due to the support of server and the web browser, businesses and organisations will find it easier to deploy web apps with Node.js. It is also an easy language, so programmers who are in the basic level of Java, and would like to upgrade, can easily do so. The reason that Java is the programming language also adds to the benefit because it can improve programmer productivity through code reusability. However, it is not suitable for beginners at the very basic level.

6) Single-threaded program

Being a single-threaded program, the tool offers many options like call-back methods and event loops to handle multiple concurrent clients. This can help remove the wait time in the server’s processes.

The disadvantages

1) API Interface is not stable

A notorious factor of Node.js is its unstable API interface. It keeps changing and that makes the developers struggle to change the accessible code bases to make sure it matches with the latest API version. In certain cases, you may have to encounter backwards-incompatible APIs.

2) The library is nothing good to write home about

The programming language fails to have a well-stacked library when compared to other programming language in its genre. So when you have to execute tasks like ORM or Object-Relational Mapping, handling database operations, image processing you have to rely on the common library.

3) Not good for heavy computation

Node.js has turned out to be a poor platform in terms of heavy computation, as it is a CPU intensive operation. And you might annul all the advantages you enjoyed with the language earlier due to the heavy computation issue.

4) Not good with relational databases

Developers point out that using with Node.js with relational databases is not an easy task. The tools are still hugely underdeveloped, when compared to its competitors in the market. So if your operations include relational databases, you may have to go for other options like Rails, AS.NET MVC or Django.

5) Being an Asynchronous Programming Model

Being an asynchronous programming model, you can make apps that scale really well. However, many developers find the programming model difficult to use, especially the developers who are more familiar with linear blocking I/O programming.

Closing Thoughts

Thus, we have made it clear that Node.js, as a Javascript runtime environment is the ideal solution for building scalable and highly performing web applications. High-level speed is achieved through its asynchronous, non-blocking, programming model. Both the client and the server can successfully use the same language because you have Javascript on the server side.

Just until a few years ago, highly concurrent programs were built only by experienced programmers, but now any web developer with JS skills can create scalable applications with ease. With the advent of Node.js, the entire idea of how a server should work has been changed. And you can easily write code for handling thousands of connections on a single server.

Interesting Articles:
Please check this article for understanding advantages of Nodejs
Pros and cons of Nodejs

Pictures: Flickr.com/ Luis Felipe/ Vaping360


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The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at www.Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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