If you're an entrepreneur or a startup, it's critical to make sound technical decisions to ensure long term scalability of the business. We have all heard of the phrase ‘A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush.’
The bottom line is that if you're trying to break into the competitive mobile app, or web app product and/or service market, you don't want to make a mistake that will cost you in the long term.
Choosing the right Backend server environment for your product is one such decision.
In our years of practice as a leading mobile app and web development company, we have identified node.js as one of the most versatile backend environments.
Hence, in many cases.
Node.js is our champion for a backend server environment.
Node.js is one of the most reliable and simple frameworks for a variety of purposes.
Why Cliffex recommends Node.js?
After developing 100+ Websites, 50+ Mobile Apps, and being in business since 2014, we believe that we have an ample amount of experience to guide and advise you in your quest for your dream project.
Node.js is easy to get started and can be used for prototyping and agile development but it can also be used for building super fast and highly scalable services.
It's used in production by growing startups and unicorns such as PayPal, Uber, Netflix, Walmart, and so on.
This points to the fact that Node.js gives great flexibility supporting nascent requirements of a growing startup and colossal user requests of a unicorn.
For Instance, PayPal rebuilt one of their Java and spring-based applications using node and it found that the node application was built twice as fast with fewer people in 33% fewer lines of code and 40% fewer files.
More importantly, they doubled the number of requests served per second while decreasing the average response time by 35%.
Hence, Node is an excellent choice for building highly scalable services and is especially important for small teams, such as startups.
There's one more benefit that Node has, and it's one that Cliffex likes.
Node.js offers technical testing and debugging capabilities thanks to its vast ecosystem of third-party packages. Mocha, Jest, Lab and Code, Jasmine, and AVA are some of the automated testing tools/frameworks available for Node.js applications which you can use to ensure that your users have a bug-free experience.
So, What is node.js?
To understand Node.js, let us first understand what is “.js”
It's used to render websites and web applications more dynamic and interactive, and it's often used in conjunction with HTML and CSS.
Since then, it's been used as the foundation for a slew of platforms, including React Native, NativeScript, Apache Cordova/PhoneGap, Appcelerator Titanium, Angular, React, Vue, Ember, Svelte, Node, and many more.
Hence, impressed by the speed alone, Node.js was designed on the V8 engine as a run-time environment which is an open-source and server-side platform to extract the whole bag of benefits out of it.
Watch here, Ryan Dahl introducing node.js:
Let's look at the core features and why you can use node.js for your potential web applications without getting too far into the programmer's mindset.
Who uses Node.js and why?
You may recognize some of these megacorps’ names, but you have no idea how much node.js has helped them with their web applications.
I'm going to mention the five most well-known businesses and how they've changed since switching to Node.js:
Surely, you have a Netflix account and spend your weekends watching movies on it, but this famous online video streaming web application did not rise to the top by accident; it was not always so good in previous years, and it used to have a convoluted process after receiving several requests and had such a bad result.
Later, they switched to Node.js, which resulted in a 70% reduction in loading time, a massive improvement in efficiency, and other visible benefits.
It is one of the top companies that provide taxi cab, bike rides, bicycle sharing, food delivery, and other transportation services to its customers, with over 93 million monthly active users worldwide.
The company's issues included low production and an inability to scale up functionality.
Then they decided to move to Node.js.
Because of the open-source environment, they were able to quickly process a large volume of data and make frequent technological advancements.
eBay is a multibillion-dollar corporation that operates in more than 180 nations. It is an online marketplace and shopping website where individuals and companies from all over the world buy and sell a wide range of products and services.
The company's issues before transitioning to node.js were that it couldn't manage large amounts of data due to a lack of intensity, and the system couldn't show enough information on the website.
The advantages they gained from switching to node.js are game-changing.
The website became more user-friendly, with the ability to manage large amounts of data as well as live connections, and the ability to include a variety of resources that can view all of the information on a single page.
Before moving to node.js for their web application, Twitter, which is one of the top 10 social networking sites with over 353 million monthly users worldwide, had a number of issues, including an unoptimized database, sluggish loading speed, weak cache maintenance, and overall poor efficiency.
The Twitter company then opted to use the lightweight and fast Node.js, resulting in a user-friendly website with a well-optimized database, as well as a reduction in total page loading time and improved reliability.
Finally, but certainly not least.
LinkedIn is one of the leading companies which provides a gateway between recruiters and job seekers through its web application and mobile app. LinkedIn's Backend for mobile app creation was moved from Ruby on Rails to Node.js, resulting in a 20x faster and lighter app.
The key features that set Node.js apart
Node.js is a platform-independent programming language. Developers using Node.js, for example, can create a desktop application that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Node.js is also useful for more than just mobile, desktop, and web development.
The advantages of Node.js are commonly used in the development of cloud and IoT solutions.
Based on Google V8 Engine
V8 is written in C++ and is updated regularly. It's lightweight and compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, and a variety of other operating systems.
And because of this, node.js is the most dependable piece of technology to work with now and in the future.
Asynchronous Event-driven Request Management and Non-blocking Input /Output
Since Node.js applications are asynchronous by nature, all requests are handled by a single thread.
When a request arrives, it is handled by a single thread, which means that if we need to access a database, the thread does not have to wait for the database to return the results.
The thread will be used to represent another client while the database executes our query.
The database sends a message to an event queue when it prepares the response.
This queue is continuously monitored in the background by Node.js and when it finds an event in this queue it will take it out and process it.
It allowed Node.js to respond to requests quickly and efficiently.
Synchronous execution ensures the code is executed in sequential order on the backend. As a result, each request creates a thread block, requiring other requests to wait for it to complete.
And as explained in the Node.js website, almost no Node.js function performs I/O directly, the operation never comes to a halt. Since nothing blocks, Node.js is an excellent choice for building scalable systems.
Node.js has spawned an ecosystem of over a million packages, all of which are recorded and versioned in the NPM repository and can be enabled using the NPM command line or a third-party tool like Yarn.
Since you have access to the world's largest ecosystem of open source libraries, you can find a free open source library for almost any feature or building block you want to add to your application, allowing you to concentrate on the heart of your application rather than building these building blocks from scratch.
Furthermore, since Node.js is used by such a large number of developers who have at least 5 years of experience and at least 20 million websites use Node.js with mega-companies such as Amazon, PayPal, eBay, Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and many more, there is support for everyone, making node.js future proof.
Companies' testimonials and recommendations:
Node.js is used by these leading tech companies and some other companies such as NASA and many more, to emphasize speed, intensive reports, and concurrency.
Popularity of Node.js:
According to Google Trends, interest in this technology peaked in 2017 and is still strong.
Selecting the appropriate programming language or backend system for your web application will relieve you of a great deal of stress and hassle.
Giving you enough time and energy to pursue other projects, build resources and relationships, and concentrate on the challenges that a startup faces.
That is why we advise using node.js as it would be ideal for the creation of your new web application.
P.S. Feel free to comment on what other frameworks you use and trust for your web application development processes.
Hope this detailed article has given you a clear picture of how useful Node.js is.