What is Node.js?

One of the technologies that our company uses for projects is Node.js. In this article we want to go deeper into Node.js and explain to you why it is not a framework. If you google information about Node.js, you will find a lot of articles where authors call Node.JS as a framework. But it is not correct.
The Node.js is a run-time environment. This is a correct description of the technology. But what does it mean?
The Node.js environment includes everything for you to run a JavaScript program. Before Node.js, you could only run JavaScript in the browser.
Node was born in 2009 thanks to Ryan Dahl. Prior to that, servers had a one-thread-per-connection approach, and Dahl came up with an event-driven system. That is, it reacts to action or inaction and allocates a resource for it. The main goal of Node is to build scalable network servers.
Now with JavaScript you can build much more than only websites.
If we compare JS with some other scripting languages, we can say it has the same capability as a Python, for example. Sounds good, right?
Browser JavaScript and Node.js run in the V8 runtime. This engine takes your JS code and converts it to faster machine code. Machine code is low-level code that a computer can run without having to interpret it first.

Let’s check Node.js definition on the official website:

  • Node.js® is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine.
  • Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient.
  • Node.js’ package ecosystem, npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world.

How does it work?

What it actually means is that Node.js is a tool that meets a clear need. And it is really important to recognize. You certainly don't want to use Node.js for CPU-intensive operations; in reality, using Node.js for heavy processing would eliminate virtually any of its advantages. Where Node really shines is in the phase of developing fast scalable network applications, since it is capable of managing a large amount of high throughput simultaneous connections, which is equal to high scalability.
It's pretty cool how it operates under the hood. Node.js uses a single thread, using a non-blocking I / O call, to accommodate tens of thousands of concurring connections kept on the event loop, as opposed to the normal web server strategies where any link (request) extends a new thread, takes up RAM systems, and ultimately maxes it out to the amount of RAM available.

What is the advantage of Node?

It's easier to scale with Node. When thousands of users connect to the server at the same time, Node works asynchronously, it sets priorities and allocates resources more intelligently. Java, for example, allocates a separate thread for each connection.

Are some of the big companies using Node?

Here are the list:

  • Walmart
  • E-bay
  • Microsoft
  • LinkedIn
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Yammer
  • Netflix
  • Uber

Node is handy for creating APIs - handy libraries like Loopback already exist.

In this language, you can write cross-platform applications - in a bundle of mobile + desktop, Node helps to achieve synchronization. For example, when you write a message from your phone, it immediately appears on your laptop and on the web.

Node is the home of the entire Internet of Things (IoT). Thermostats, fitness trackers - all of this can be programmed through Node. And if you are worried that interest in the Node.js is lost, then this is completely wrong. Interest in Node is growing rapidly and already surpasses Ruby and Objective-C in this indicator.

Node.js can also be used with Express.js to generate classic server-side web applications. This request-response model, though, in which Node.js is bringing rendered HTML is not the most common use case, as far as possible.

Before to start work with Node.js you should remember that it was created not to solve the compute scaling problem, but to solve the I/O scaling problem. And it does it perfectly. So, don't forget about it in the future.

Our custom software development team has more than 5 years experience working with Node.js. We already launched several projects with it and all our clients were satisfied with the results. If you want to build your project with that technology, our Node.js developers are always glad to help: implement your idea or give some advice. All you need is to send us a message.)

by Ragneda
on 5 October 2020

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