Top Reasons to use Node.js for Web Application Development

Top Reasons to use Node.js for Web Application Development

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Top Reasons to use Node.js for Web Application Development

Node.js is an open source, cross platform to make real time network applications. Node.js is designed to build scalable network applications. According to nodejs.org, it uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient. It’s package ecosystem is the largest collection of open source libraries in the world. Node.js is not a framework, it’s a server that runs in a single thread with a callback concept. Node.js uses JavaScript, which is easy to learn and understand.

2017 Node.js User Survey Report

JavaScript has proven to be a leader among popular programming languages. According to the 2017 Node.js User Survey Report, Node.js has about 7 million users and an annual growth rate at 100%. In the chart below, you can see that Node.js is expected to show a 71% increase in use over the next 12 months, which is the highest percentage compared to other programming languages. The image below represents the results found from 64,000 developers who took the annual survey in January 2017. 5 Mistakes Developers Should Avoid When Building Custom Web Applications

Future Use of Web Application Development Languages

Future Use of Node.js Web Application Development Languages

The winning popularity of Node.js could be due to its ease of use from a development standpoint. The versatility to make front-end, back-end, clip and everything in between, the agility of getting the program up and running, or the performance of this language which can complete a variety of tasks could all be a contribution to the popularity of this programming language. Node.js gives developers the freedom of doing it their way because with Node.js you can start building everything from scratch or on-the-fly. It can generate dynamic page content, meaning the content on the page can be changing or lively rather than unchanged or constant.

Reasons to Use Node.js for Web Application Development

Front-end and back-end web applications can be developed in Node.js. The full stack ability that Node.js offers eliminates the process of hiring a separate developer for back-end and for front-end. This can contribute to the ease of adding, modifying, or deleting data in your database through the program by keeping front-end and back-end programming consistent.

Node.js uses asynchronous programming which is a parallel programming where a unit of work runs separately from the main application thread and notifies the calling thread of its completion, failure or process. This idea could eliminate the waiting and continue with the next request. Asynchronous programming can provide an improved application performance and responsiveness. The asynchronous event driven IO helps with concurrent request handling. It allows numerous requests concurrently, in which incoming requests are executed successively in a fast manner.  An example of Node.js code results can be discovered below:

example of Node.js code results

This example shows the code and the result of the code using Node.js. Node.js uses built in modules that can be used without further installation or developers could choose to create their own modules and include them easily in their application. Modules that Node.js includes are HTTP modules, which are built-in modules that allow Node.js to transfer data over the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). You can view this feature in the above image on the top line of the code section. The “createServer ()” method can create an HTTP server and the function will be executed when someone tries to access the computer on port 8080. An 8080 port is a convenient place to host a secondary or alternate web server.

Node.js is completely event driven and majority of the code runs on callbacks, which helps the app to not sleep or pause but to be available for other requests. This non-blocking code approach allows Node.js to start reading a file, assign a callback to it, and proceed to the next line. This aspect of Node.js could be defined as a top reason to use Node.js for developing web apps. Other development platforms will start reading a file and cannot do anything else until it finishes reading that file. An example showing this provided by Paul Shan at Void Canvas can be found below:

Paul Shan at Void Canvas

As you can see above, in php line #3, it starts reading the file and cannot do anything else until the file has finished up. In line #3 of Node it starts reading the file and assigns a callback to it, then proceeds to the next line. This aspect of Node.js allows fast processing of necessary statements because Node.js can move on to reading other files before the file that it is working on has finished reading.

Node.js has an active community with lots of code shared throughout the internet. There are a number of resource websites that can be used to discover or share code that will help in the development process. An example of forums that can be used to communicate and discover information through other Node.js developers are Github and Stackoverflow. These two forums allow users to receive instant interactions and real-time notifications with other developers, as well as provide a wide array of plugins which would be a great starting point for new developers to learn a codebase. The community interaction can save developers time because extensive code for both front-end and back-end can be reused through sharing. As a developer, there are many resources that can be used to obtain source code.

Recap

Top reasons to use Node.js for web application development can be found above. Node.js is a free, open source platform to make network applications. It has proven to be a leader of programming languages and is continuing to grow in popularity. Node.js offers full stack ability of front-end and back-end development on one platform, which eliminates the need to hire two separate developers for front-end and back-end code. Node.js uses asynchronous programming that provides improved application performance and responsiveness by helping with concurrent request handling. Node.js includes built in modules, as well as a vibrant community of resources that can be utilized as tools for achieving web application development. One could consider the top reasons of using Node.js to develop web applications when starting a web application project.

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