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Volume of Work
Node.js is mostly used to create the back-end. We are experts in creating
- interactive web applications,
- systems based on microservers,
- SPA (Single Page Applications), including those optimized for SEO (SSR - Server Side Rendering),
- microservices cooperating with IoT devices.
Our dev team has experience in creating solutions based on Node.js in fields such as:
- business and corporate solutions
- transport and logistics
The Advantages of Node.js
One programming language
Short learning curve
What exactly is Node.js?
It is worth emphasizing that the technology can be run on various operating systems, such as Linux / Unix, macOS, or Windows.
Node.js has several features that distinguish it from other technologies. The most important are presented below.
Unified language for both the client and the server
A characteristic feature is the implementation of the same language on both the client-side and the server-side of the same application. The code in which the client app is written (i.e. in this case usually the browser) is the same language used to implement the app on the server. Using the same programming language on both sides of the connection precludes much of the duplication of logic usually required in many cross-platform environments.
npm (Node Packaged Module) is a package manager for Node.js used to install Node’s many extensions. Node.js is expanding very dynamically – currently npm catalogs over 250 000 packages, with no end in sight.
Node.js is single-threaded, signifying a departure from the currently popular concurrency model. The Node.js architecture is based on a single-threaded event loop and non-blocking input and output operations that make maximum use of a single processor. As a result, Node.js developers have stopped worrying about the possibility of a completely blocked processor, and the servers became faster and more efficient.
The most useful npm modules
npm is one of the most important parts of Node.js. It is a special tool to manage modules. The module ecosystem is open to everyone to publish their own module in it.
The most known and most used npm modules are:
- Express.js - one of the most used frameworks to create web applications
- Hapi.js - a very easy-to-use framework used to create web and service applications
- Connect.js - Extensible HTTP server backbone providing a collection of high-performance plugins known as middleware
- Meteor.js - a framework for quickly creating prototypes and writing cross-platform code that runs on Android, iOS, and Web
- Nest.js - a framework for building efficient and scalable server-side applications
- Socket.io - a library to create applications that ensure real-time communication between the client and the server.
The history of its creation
Node.js is a relatively new technology as it is only 11 years old. It was created in 2009 by Ryan Dahl, and its first version only supported macOS and Linux. Dahl initially developed and maintained the technology himself, but soon received support from Joyent, which became the official sponsor of Node.js.
The idea for Node.js was born due to the limitations of the then most popular web server, Apache HTTP Server. Dahl criticized the server's ability to handle multiple connections (10,000 or more) simultaneously. He noted that when one code is blocked or an alleged stack of multiple executions occurs, the server creates problems that can only be solved with sequential code. Dahl wanted to create a technology that would significantly improve the work of a web server.
In June 2011, thanks to Joyent’s collaboration with Microsoft, a new native version of Node.js supporting Windows was created. A year later, Dahl resigned from work on the further development of Node.js, and his place was taken by the creator of npm, Isaac Schlueter. In 2014, Fedor Indutny launched io.js, which is a compatible Node.js platform. In 2019, the nonprofit Node.js and io.js joined forces to create the OpenJS Foundation.
Some examples of companies whose applications were written using Node.js
The advantages of technology
Ease of learning
One programming language
Node.js contains a caching module responsible for loading web pages quickly. Every time an application module receives a request, it is immediately cached in the application's internal memory. This process gives users quick access to web pages.
Thanks to Node.js, developers can use platforms such as Electron or NW.js, which enable building cross-platform web applications in real-time. There is no need to waste time writing separate codes for different systems. What is more, developers have access to more common tools to write and debug code.
The disadvantages of Node.js
Despite many Node.js advantages, it is not a perfect solution for every project. Below are presented the most crucial disadvantages of this technology.
Loss of performance on large computations
Node.js is not the best choice for projects that require high CPU power. The processor power depends, among other things, on the number and complexity of calculations. The more complicated the calculations, the more power the processor uses to solve it. Due to the blocking of incoming requests by computation, the performance of the technology drops significantly. For this reason, Node.js is not suitable for computationally intensive solutions.
Frequent code changes due to API changes
The most common errors reported by technology users are frequent API changes that are usually backwards incompatible. Changing the API requires the developer to ensure that the access code is in sync with the latest version of the API.
While the core Node.js modules are fairly stable and mature, there are many poor quality or poorly documented tools in the npm registry. In addition, the package manager itself does not have the appropriate structure to offer tools based on their rating or quality. As a result, the developer must determine the best solutions to meet its needs. While the core technology of Node.js is of high quality, many of its community-developed tools are not adequately tested or documented. In addition, some tools do not meet the requirements of sufficiently high quality.
How does Node.js work?
Because of operating on one thread and using a non-blocking input/output model, Node.js supports handling several thousand simultaneous connections stored in the event loop. Data is transferred without continuing to query. All asynchronous tasks are performed by the event loop, which provides a high level of response and thus contributes to increased speed.
Where is it worth using Node.js?
Node.js is used in many projects and fields. Below are listed and described the most popular solutions and industries using this technology.
Thanks to its specificity and structure Node.js supports a huge number of simultaneous connections. This operation in real-time plays a significant role when choosing the technology for IoT systems. In addition, the technology allows easy integration with various controllers such as Arduino, used very often in building digital devices that create IoT systems. It should be emphasized that many packages have been created that enable faster and more effective integration of technology with devices in the field of IoT.
Node.js offers the advanced features necessary to create chats of any complexity. With Node.js it is possible to create group chats for real-time conversations based on the IM or IRC (Internet Relay Chat) instant messaging model. The technology works very well with the WebSockets protocol that enables fast two-way exchange of messages between the client and the server over one open connection. The process of building a chat with the use of technology is very simple and consists in installing an appropriate library, e.g. socket.io on the server and client-side.
Node.js is great for creating single-page applications (SPAs)that appear very similar to desktop applications. Due to its versatile capabilities, Node.js is perfect for building social platforms, dynamic websites, and mailing solutions. The event loop helps manage multiple concurrent client requests, ensuring seamless data updates. In addition, Node.js works very well with data-driven SPA packages. What is more, the technology is written in the same language as the most popular frameworks used to build SPAs, such as Ember, Meteor, React, and Angular. Developers can use the same data structures, modular approaches, and the same language on both the server and client-side. This results in faster SPA development and easier maintenance.
The technology is used to create applications that use streaming data. Node.js provides the ability to transfer some executable code to the local computer while keeping the connection open for new requests. Streaming allows users to both send requests to each other and directly to the destination. No wonder that technology is used by the largest streaming services such as Netflix.
This technology is very often used to create online games. Node.js is very easy to integrate with HTML5, which is often used to build games. In addition, the technology has many frameworks such as Express.js and Socket.io, which provide the ability to build browser games such as Ancient Beast or PaintWar.
If you want to find out more about Node.js or need support in your project - write to us via the contact form.