Why Node.JS is Awesome

Developed by Ryan Dahl, Node.JS, the trendiest and most demanded tool in web development is one of the most loved server side platform development programming languages used by developers worldwide.

The programming language is built atop Google Chrome V8 engine and ECMAscript. This means most of the syntax used therein has incredible similarities with front end Javascript including objects, functions and methods. It is open source, is written in JS, and makes a great choice for real time applications.

1) Ideal for real-time applications

The programming language comes with certain features that make it ideal for creating real time applications, especially for chats and gaming. The language is also just perfect for data-intensive real time applications. Did you know what big applications like Paypal, LinkedIn, eBay are all built using Node.js. The functions in the language are designed to be non-blocking, making this feature one of the major differences between Node.js and PHP. Most of the functions in PHP block until completion.

2) Solves all database queries

Developers do not have to worry about modulating the syntax differences when uniting new NoSQL databases like CouchDB and MongoDB (they have Javascript framework) with Node.js. They blend well with real time apps and can make it run without any data conversion or mismatch problems, thanks to the JSON stored data format. On the other hand, if you were using the Ruby on Rails platform, you may need to convert.

3) Coding is easy for developers

Developers find it easier working on this open source platform because it lets them write JS for both client side and server side. This makes easier transfer of data. Any changes in data residing on the server will be instantly reflected, automatically and with no time loss. This lets them develop quick, scalable network apps. A web app framework known as Meteor supports both the client and server side codebase.

4) It’s fast and real quick

Another thing that really stands in the favour of this language is that it lets you create quick, robust network applications, enabling you to make parallel connections with increased throughput. Developers can work quickly too but they must be very careful while writing the codes to ensure development is on track. LinkedIn can be used as an example for that as well.

The company used Ruby on rails before it switched to Node.js, and this has allowed them to reduce their number of servers from 30 to 3. It has also allowed them to create applications that function 20x faster. Paypal also benefited a great deal from switching to the language; they were able to handle double the requests.

5) Dynamic and very strong NPM

NPM stands for Node Package Manager, and there are more than 60,000 modules in it. Node.js being an open source technology, developers enjoy a shared repository of dynamic tools and modules. The number of modules in NPM is far superior to the ones in the RoR platform, giving the technology an edge, by making it extremely fast and robust, with a perfect dependency management.

6) It serves as proxy server

The framework can function as a proxy to a number of services that possess different response times. The same can be done for collecting data from diverse sources. Node.js functions as Proxy especially if there is a server side application dealing with data collection, saving video and images, and similar activities, and the company involved doesn’t have the infrastructure to manage a proxy.

7) It can go with data streaming

HTTP request and response are considered two separate events in web platforms, but they are in reality, data streams. Node.js helps you use this feature to its fullest capacity, letting you process files at the same time they are uploaded. This keeps the overall processing time down, especially when data comes in streams. This would be the case for audio recording and real time video as well.

8) Easy to modify your application

It is easy to modify an application made using small modules, as you can make changes and delete what’s not required, without affecting the entire code-base. This lets you manage and maintain even complex apps.

9) Can handle large number of requests

Node.js applications have a Single Threaded Event Loop Model to deal with multiple concurrent clients. It also makes it easier for the technology to manage a large number of requests. Other web technologies like ASP.NET, JSP, Spring MVC, HTML, jQuery, Ajax, etc follow Multithreaded Request-Response architecture.

10) Get rid of inter-silo dependencies

Web development functioning can be made smooth by combining the front end and back end teams together into a single unit for smooth functioning, thereby getting rid of inter-silo dependencies. You can also refactor your code so you don’t have to bother with the necessity of having circular dependencies, because that can turn it into a really messy affair. And you come up with cleaner codes, making it helpful for you not only for you, but also for anyone else maintaining these codes in the future.

11) Choosing this language enhances your productivity

The entire efficiency level of your web development goes several notches higher when you choose Node.js as it bridges the gap between frontend and backend development. This can help finish the task quicker than anticipated, and you need to have only the minimum number of developers on your team.

Closing thoughts

Ever since its initial release in 2009, Node.js has come a long way, and it is one of the most popular open source cross-platform environment in which developers make apps, even real time. It is robust, super speedy (you can use, reuse & share codes between backend and frontend to speed development process), helps you build scalable application, with an ever growing NPM.

Developers of all skills levels can use this technology, and since there is this possibility of using JS on both backend and frontend, they can explore plenty of new avenues in web development. And it comes with plenty of APIs, just perfect for backend development, for example, the support for file systems, http requests, streams, child processes, etc.

Interesting Articles:
Reasons why Node JS is so great
Node JS Helpfull tips for Developers by NodeSource

Picture Source: Flickr.com/ Nima / Hopkins

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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