What Is Node.js? Its Usage, Working Model, Benefits and Examples
No matter which business they serve, you are most likely to spot Node.js as the core runtime environment for most popular applications like Netflix, Uber, Linked In, Aliexpress and eBay. All the aforesaid names are giants in their own respective segments and have no similarity except node.js being used to enhance the performance of these applications.
Millions of developers across the world are relying on this runtime environment with their ongoing and upcoming projects. What fascinates big businesses and web app developers about node.js? The article uncovers everything one needs to know about node.js from application to use-cases, specialties and usage prohibitions. Make it through the end of this article to know why you absolutely need to consider node.js and how you can use it to succeed with your web application.
What is Node.js?
Working Model of Node.js
Node.js runs on Chrome’s V8 engine where event-based web applications are stored in an asynchronous form. Node.js follows a “single-threaded event loop”.
So how does it manage real-time simultaneous requests?
Multi-threaded request response is an event-loop slower and unable to handle a huge sum of concurrent requests at the same time. Request processing takes time with multi-threaded request responses. On the contrary, node.js supports a single-threaded event loop model and a specific library called ‘Libuv’ – that supports this mechanism and is called an event loop.
Unlink the traditional multi-threaded request-response technique, node.js is based on a single-threaded event loop that prevents the system RAM from crashing with the new thread every time the new request is made. Single thread enables handling thousands of concurrent requests in an event loop.
Node Package Manager (NPM)
Node Package Manager aka npm is the package library in the Node.js environment. As the name has it, the package library contains millions of downloadable libraries each used under a specific use-case. Being an open-source mechanism, these libraries are free of cost with their registry, these libraries are growing rapidly with the increasing strength of the node.js community.
Node.js developers worldwide are using npm to share or borrow packages for app development. Get your hands on the entire list of packaged modules on npm websites.
Top NPM module
Mentioned below are some of the popular npm modules of the recent dates:
-> Express npm
-> Koa npm
-> NEST npm
-> Sails – npm
-> Loopback – npm
-> Hapi – npm
-> Socket – npm
These npm modules are efficient enough to provide higher performance, reduce time consumption, best routing, efficient testing, and debugging coverage.
Node.js 11.0 – the latest version of node.js is packed with a lot of commendable features and uses native nodes for more stability while using the apps with various OS versions. More error codes and interval times have enhanced the app’s performance and testing.
What is Node.js used for?
As said above, no matter which business you serve, node.js is your best bet in making high-performance real-time applications – with no latency issues and the best compatibility with the databases. Here are some application use cases for which node.js is the best:
-> Developing e-commerce portals
-> Single-page MVPs
-> Social Media Applications
-> Video conferencing apps
-> IoT Applications
-> Video Streaming Apps
-> Data-Centric Apps like Hotel Aggregators
-> Taxi Booking Apps like Uber
Developing e-commerce backends
There are various potent frameworks like React Native and Angular.js to build the front-end of e-commerce portals, BUT, what about the backend? Node.js is the best runtime technology to build backends for e-commerce portals or on-demand grocery delivery apps. If you are planning for an e-commerce web application, node.js is your best bet for back-end programming.
Because of its in-built capabilities, node.js is the perfect choice for developing single-page applications, single-page responsive applications, and mailing solutions. Node.js is the best bet for building single-page messaging web applications packed with robust data security. The asynchronous data flow makes it the best utility for making single-page applications.
Node.js is packed with extensive functionalities used to build AI chatbots or real-time chat applications. Chatbots are an elixir for business in 2021 as they reduce human efforts in customer assistance by 70%. Plus the real-time chatting apps that need speed and security can be made using node.js in its back-end programing.
Social Media Applications
The worldwide popular forum – Linkedin has been re-built on node.js. Node.js has an essential combination of nodes for the backend development of social media and communication forums like LinkedIn. The prime requirements of the social media web applications is data security, scalability and authentication – all three can be achieved through Node.js.
Video conferencing apps
You can easily build video conferencing apps with the help of node.js. Set an example by building some robust full-stack video chat applications facilitating conferences and friends’ family calls. Node.js can be used to create a robust connection between client-side and server-side communication. With node.js one can guarantee real-time and low latency applications for uninterrupted communication.
If you want to do something unique and advanced, IoT is the talk of the town. Node.js is here to support the companies that are diving into IoT to build customized solutions. Because of its capability of handling concurring requests efficiently, this is the best choice for building IoT solutions. Also, the noteworthy fact is that node.js is built on event-driven architecture and asynchronous processing of I/O operations on IoT networks.
Netflix – the highest-grossing streaming application in the world is relying on node.js to serve its clients present in 190 countries. The customer pool of this popular video streaming application is 120 million approx which makes it a perfect use-case or a successful case of node.js applicability. Node.js is certainly ahead of its counterparts because of its high-speed processing, lightweight, security aspects, storage and uploads. The tech stack is been hired by various advanced and feature-centric fashion stores and massive data streaming videos.
Taxi Booking Apps like Uber
Node.js is the most preferred solution for enterprise-level applications that give on-demand taxi booking services. Because of its connectivity, low latency, and security aspects, node.js is the best option to build taxi booking applications like Uber.
How Popular is Node.js?
Node.js is popular for various reasons but the prime reason is its capability to build a web app structure for any type of business you want to serve. Not to go anywhere else, you can see some successful examples of node.js execution in the apps you are using daily like Netflix, LinkedIn, Reddit, eBay, Tumblr, and Paypal.
While Netflix is a video streaming application, Amazon and eBay are e-commerce portals, LinkedIn is an online job forum and PayPal is a worldwide renowned payment and money transfer application – what resembles in all the web-based applications is the absolute implementation and execution of noe.js technology.
Amazon claimed that node.js was chosen for its futuristic features. Node.js has become the most preferred choice of large and medium scale companies plus the app developers due to its highly flexible and supportive community.
Successful Use-Case Examples of Node.js
Node.js has the biggest community that helps developers build strong and feature-integrated web applications to serve varied business purposes. Let’s analyze why giants like Netflix, Linked In, and Uber chose node.js to re-built their ecosystems.
Paying heed to its growing demand and list of subscribers, Netflix desperately needed a scalable solution that promotes low latency, storage, and HD video streaming. Also with the capability of handling concurring event requests, node.js became the best bet for Netflix planning to sustain and grow exponentially in the market.
Netflix trusted node.js for programming front-end and back-end with the same language. They also built a SPA that substantially reduced the start-up time from 40 mins to 60 seconds.
LinkedIn has a huge community of users more than half of which interacted with their smartphones. To cater to a massive shift from desktops to smartphone generation, LinkedIn chose Node.js as the new technology to boost their performance and serve its constantly increasing customer pool. With node.js at work, Linkedin now needs to employ only 3 servers instead of 30 servers that were traditionally employed – reducing memory overhead and diverting their attention to app capabilities instead.
The one that risks it wins it – Uber trusted node.js at its full production stage. The brand was in the run to make a highly scalable, personalized and secure interactive ecosystem that supports instant bookings. The aim for a cross-platform solution brought them to make a highly flexible and feasible web app that will cater to millions without any interruptions – they chose node.js.
Whether it’s a new web application or a re-vamp of the established online business, node.js is constantly winning hearts with its capabilities, support and flexibilities.
When to avoid node.js?
Despite the flexibility, support and robust web app development environment, are there any cases where node.js shouldn’t be used? Every technology, database and framework has its own advantages and limitations and therefore the counterparts are surviving in the market. The through here arises is that where and why you need to look for other options instead of node.js?
Here are some instances when you might want to reconsider your choices:
1. Web Applications with Relational Database on Backend
Though node.js is the best technology for developing server-side web applications, you might want to re-think your priorities in case the web application has heavy CPU computations – it will ultimately block the responsiveness of node.js. Although the Relational DB tool by node.js is still in progress, it will be a wise choice to choose other environments for performing relational operations.
2. Heavy server-side processing
No web app developer will suggest node.js for heavy server-side processing. Because of its event-driven nature, single-threaded request, and non-blocking I/O node model, it might block the incoming requests if the threads are busy with previous computations.
Since node.js is single-threaded there is a strong probability that it will not work for your web application if it deals with heavy server-side computations. If the server is responsible for that much processing it will get blocked eventually.
3. Incomplete Tech-Stack
Node.js has made its mark in the web app development community by serving such big businesses with uninterrupted and seamless app masterpieces. It is still holding a position as the most talented web app development environment giving npm modules and huge UI libraries. Still, some app developers have reported the technology to have limitations and bugs with no proper documentation, poor quality, incomplete modules, and lack of proficient applicability. Well, what you need here is experienced node.js app developers who are confident with node.js and its functionality.
Why do You Need Node.js for your next big project? Its Irresistible Benefits
1. Scalable Environment
The very first attraction is scalability – while you can add more resources to the current nodes (vertical scaling), you can also add notes to the existing system (horizontal scaling). Apart from being stable, it is super easy to work with the technology as it does not require heavy developmental processing, testing is easy and the time to develop the app is less using node.js modules. This is one of the best technologies for startups who want to start with a bang in their respective segments.
2. Extensive Community
Node.js is a collective foundation by affluent leading enterprises like Microsoft, IBM, Fidelity, and SAP – this ever-evolving technology is still open to possibilities with many insightful minds stretching on eliminating any pitfalls that the technology possesses currently. Moreover, node.js is supported by Github that makes it possible to develop applications fast and easily with the support of the framework.
3. Increases development speed and reduce time
Node.js technology gives incredible support to web app developers resulting in enhanced performance and reduced development time. Due to its extensive modules, libraries, and APIs support, one can come up with a robust multi-OS application that can dedicatedly serve any business purpose.
4. Feature Rich Environment
Node.js comes packed with a lot of features that can be used to make varied applications within the decided time. Npm alone has 836000 libraries with 10,000 or more publishing adding on every week. Also over 475000 packages and registries are available with the add-on of 11000 new tools weekly.
5. Commendable Performance
6. Develop Cross-Platform Apps
Node.js is most loved by professional mobile app developers when it comes to building cross-platform applications. With tech-stack like Electron and NW.js, ‘you can come up with cross-platform applications to fulfill the demands of a wider audience pool. Node.js is a highly preferred choice for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and IoT solutions.
7. Single Programming Language
8. Full-Stack App Development
Node.js has won many hearts when it comes to developing business web applications. If you are planning to start your own online business, get in touch with the best node.js Web development Company to establish a strong foot in the market with high-performing, secure, scalable, and extensive web applications.