Node JS Web Application Development: Pros and Cons

Software development

Developers regard it as one of the most efficient cross-platforms JavaScript environments that can help you build robust and effective REST APIs, mobile applications, and web applications. Ruby on Rails is known for its simple but opinionated language and the availability of gems – Rails’ own ecosystem of custom packages. Ruby itself is an intuitive and beginner-friendly language with a supportive and dedicated community that contributes code to RubyGems. Rails was created for rapid development and prototyping, though it’s successfully used by such brands as GitHub, Twitter, and Airbnb, proving its wide range of use cases.

One of the tools that indicated this shift in web development was Node.js. One of the uses for Babel and other code-rewriting tools is to deal with this issue. Developers can still write their code with the latest JavaScript or TypeScript features, then use Babel to rewrite their code so that it runs on the old browser. This way, frontend JavaScript programmers can adopt the new features at the cost of a more complex build toolchain and the risk of bugs being introduced by the code-rewriting process. The elephant in the room is that often JavaScript developers are unable to use the latest features. Frontend JavaScript developers are limited by the deployed web browsers and the large number of old browsers in use on machines whose OS hasn’t been updated for years.

Setting up a Node development environment

Threads add complexity to the application server as well as server overhead. The Node.js architecture consists of asynchronous functions managed by an event loop triggering callback functions, rather than using threads and blocking I/O. This architecture has claimed performance benefits that seem to offer many benefits, including the ability to do more work with less hardware.

node.js web development

The http object encapsulates the HTTP protocol, and its http.createServer method creates a whole web server, listening on the port specified in the listen method. In this case, regardless of the URL, it returns a simple text/plainthat is theHello World response. The network layer of Node.js is low level while being simple to use. For example, the HTTP modules allow you to write an HTTP server using a few lines of code. This is powerful, but it puts you, the programmer, very close to the protocol requests and makes you implement precisely those HTTP headers that you should return in request responses.

We’ll cover as many aspects as we can of developing, refining, testing, and deploying Node.js applications. The bottom line is that Node.js excels at event-driven I/O throughput. Whether a Node.js program can excel at computational programs depends on your ingenuity in working around some limitations in the JavaScript language. A big problem with computational programming is that it prevents the event loop from executing and, as we will see in the next section, that can make Node.js look like a poor candidate for anything. The key observation was that Node.js, running an interpreted JIT-compiled high-level language, was about as fast as Nginx, built of highly optimized C code, while running similar tasks. That presentation was in May 2010, and Node.js has improved hugely since then, as shown in Chris Bailey’s talk that we referenced earlier.

⊕ Seamless JSON support

Setting up a Node development environment Now that you know what Express is for, we’ll show you how to set up and test a Node/Express development environment on Windows, Linux , and macOS. Whatever common operating system you are using, this article should give you what you need to be able to start developing Express apps. Express/Node introduction In this first Express article we answer the questions “What is Node?” and “What is Express?” and give you an overview of what makes the Express web framework special.

It has a built-in admin panel to easily update and maintain your databases and templates to accelerate your work. As we know, Node.js is a runtime environment that executes JavaScript on the server side. Being a frontend programming language, JavaScript uses a single thread to process tasks quickly. Threading is not required for it to work, because tasks in JavaScript are lightweight and take little CPU. Node.js is an open-source runtime environment, based on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine and written in JavaScript and C/C++. It’s used for server-side operations, bringing JavaScript programming to the backend to run applications on Linux, Windows, and OS X.

node.js web development

The result fits agile project management methods since each microservice can be easily managed by a small team that collaborates at the boundary of their individual API. With giants making it a foundation of their online presence, the future of this popular JavaScript framework is bright. According to research, its downloads crossed the astounding 1-billion-mark back in 2018.


As mentioned above, the development of Node.js was supported by Joyent. However, it wasn’t until recently that the wide adoption of server-side JavaScript with Node.js started. The technology was first introduced back in 2009 by Ryan Dahl at the annual European JSConf and was immediately recognized as “the most exciting single piece of software in the current JavaScript universe”. In this section, we’ve learned that as the JavaScript language changes, the Node.js platform has kept up with those changes. An improved syntax for class declarations, making object inheritance and getter/setter functions very natural. This is an equally silly way to calculate Fibonacci numbers, but by using process.nextTick, the event loop has an opportunity to execute.

If your software is running on a single-threaded platform, the entire server would be blocked and unresponsive. If instead your application is running on a thread-based server platform, a thread-context switch is required to satisfy any other requests that arrive. The greater the number of outstanding connections to the server, the greater the number of thread-context switches.

  • For developing command-line tools used in software development, or communicating with service infrastructure.
  • The generated Express application has a package.json file which includes a start script to run node ./bin/www.
  • This variety helps many companies focus on their front-end and back-end web developers who have sound knowledge in JavaScript.
  • Node.js enables to quickly develop an MVP – a piece of software with just enough features so that the product can go to the market and satisfy the first customers.
  • There’s not a lot of technologies that can compete with Node.js’ popularity or market demand.

The normal application server model uses blocking I/O to retrieve data, and it uses threads for concurrency. That causes a churn between threads as the application server starts and stops the threads to handle requests. Each suspended thread (typically waiting on an I/O operation to finish) consumes a full stack trace of memory, increasing memory consumption overhead.

With the callback or Promise approach, the result is not returned as the result of the function call, but is provided to a callback function that will be called later. The order of execution is not one line after another, as it is in synchronous programming languages. Instead, the order of execution is determined by the order of the callback function execution. A concrete result of healing that rift is the rapid adoption of new ECMAScript language features. The V8 engine is adopting those new features quickly to advance the state of web development. The Node.js team, in turn, is adopting those features as quickly as they show up in V8, meaning that Promises and async functions are quickly becoming a reality for Node.js programmers.

Is node JS and JavaScript the same?

Instead of query being a blocking function call, it is asynchronous and does not block the execution thread. Just because that complexity is hidden within Spring and Java EE does not mean that there is no complexity and overhead. By converting blocking function calls into asynchronous code execution, you can configure the systems so that it issues an event when the blocking request is satisfied. Npm will create the new Express app in a sub folder of your current location, displaying build progress on the console. On completion, the tool will display the commands you need to enter to install the Node dependencies and start the app.

We’ll outline the main features and show you some of the main building blocks of an Express application (although at this point you won’t yet have a development environment in which to test it). VS Code will start the server in a new terminal and hit the breakpoint we set. From there you can inspect variables, create watches, and step through your code.

node.js web development

You should use the Current release if you need a feature that is not present in the LTS version. If you’d like to learn how to deploy your web application, check out the Deploying Applications to Azure tutorials where we show how to run your website in Azure. Open the file app.js and hover over the Node.js global object __dirname. Even more interesting, you can get full IntelliSense against the Node.js framework.

She has 10 years of experience with technical and billing support, search engine optimization, and spearheading projects to enhance company culture. Fully Managed Hosting More than just servers, we keep your hosting secure and updated. Database Hosting Redundant servers and data replication to keep critical databases online. Server Clusters Multi-server configurations for maximum uptime & performance. Thanks for sharing the informative article on Node.js and its Advantages and disadvantages. Now , in 2022 I have a priblem with deploying Nodejs App on AWS EC2.

The script works well when I run it in the console.But when I use systemd and create a ” .service ” file I have errors. Recently, Node.js has been actively used in enterprise-level software. While there is still a lot of arguing about this, many large companies and global organizations, such as Capital One and NASA, have already adopted Node.js. And the enterprise Node.js ecosystem continues to mature with such tools as IBM API Connect, Triton by Joyent, N|Solid by NodeSource, Red Hat OpenShift, Trace by RisingStack and others. There’s not a lot of technologies that can compete with Node.js’ popularity or market demand. However, if we look at the alternatives for server-side programming, we see at least three more shining stars in the sky.

Thanks to Google investing heavily in its engine, V8 demonstrates performance improvements every year, and Node.js extracts the whole bag of benefits out of it. Despite a common belief, as a full stack developer you are in no way limited to the traditional MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js) stack. The rest of the technologies within this stack are optional and may be replaced with some other tools providing similar functionality (read about Node.js frameworks in our separate article).

With Node.js, you can share anything easily, which will result in increasing speed for other development activities. For example, many Node.js developers use NPM to share things while working on a joint project. In addition, NPM also enables them to maintain and deploy code easily. The V8 engine used in Node.js implementation was originally developed for the Chrome browser. Written in C++, Chrome’s V8 is used to compile functions written in JavaScript into machine code, and it does the job at an impressive speed.

There’s a whole field of expertise around reducing costs and the environmental impact of running web server facilities, to which that rough guideline doesn’t do justice. The goal is fairly obvious—fewer servers, lower costs, and a reduced environmental impact through utilizing more efficient software. Are an example of such a strategy, and obviously many programmers find them difficult to use. There’s the tendency to create frameworks such as java.util.concurrent to tame the complexity of threaded concurrency, but some might argue that papering over complexity does not make things simpler.

Θ Immature tooling and dependency management

Marketed as a tool for perfectionists with deadlines, it’s created to make applications as fast as possible and in the most structured, secure, and easy to understand way. Django, along with Python, is also considered to have a milder learning curve. While working with Node.js will require extensive knowledge of JavaScript, Django is a “batteries included” technology.

To explain a little further, eslint src/js is a command that we could enter in our terminal/command line to run eslint on JavaScript files contained in the src/js directory inside our app directory. Including the above inside our app’s package.json file provides a shortcut for this command — lint. The following steps show how you can use npm to download a package, save it into the project dependencies, and then require it in a Node application. For example, in app.js we require the ./routes/index module, which exports an Express.Router class. If you bring up IntelliSense on index, you can see the shape of the Router class. Our focus in this book is real-world considerations of developing and deploying Node.js applications.

Over time, in-browser JavaScript engines became incredibly powerful, letting us write ever-more complex browser-side applications. With Node.js, we may finally be able to implement applications with the same programming language on the client and server by having JavaScript at both ends of the web, in the browser and server. Node JS is an open-source JavaScript run-time environment that aids in server-side programming.

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