The Benefits of Using Node.js for Your Custom Application Development

Node.js is a software platform built on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. It utilizes an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model and a single-threaded event loop which enables high throughput and application scalability.

Node’s utilization of the JavaScript language gives web developers the ability to code in the same programming language on the front-end and back-end of applications.

Node applications are often coupled with MongoDB and Express.js which also utilize JavaScript. MongoDB is a document-based NoSQL database and Express.js helps manage the middleware of a Node application.

Some of the benefits to using Node for your next custom application development project include:

  • Easy to install and run locally
  • Inexpensive to test/deploy using services like Heroku (Pay per resources)
  • Highly scalable due to asynchronous, event-driven processing
  • Unified programming language and data type (JavaScript and JSON)

There are many other benefits to consider, but you can quickly see that the use of Node can possibly save you time and money in addition to providing an efficient and scalable solution.

The major difference between Node and other server-side technologies is Node’s use of a single thread and asynchronous architecture. Many other server-side technologies are multi-threaded and synchronous, meaning that threads can be blocked while waiting for replies from the database.

Each request creates a new thread from a limited pool based on system RAM usage. Node’s asynchronous design allows it to handle a large number of concurrent connections with high throughput on a single-thread, which makes it highly scalable.

Node is not meant as a replacement for other technology stacks, but it can provide scalability and increased performance to applications which fit its purpose.

Some examples of application types which can benefit from using Node are REST APIs, Chat applications and Real-Time Tracking applications (Brokerage trading dashboards, real-time user statistics, etc.)

Node’s homepage describes it as “lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.” The applications above fit that description well and can take advantage of Node’s features.

In Conclusion:

Node’s asynchronous architecture and utilization of the JavaScript language make it extremely attractive to web developers. It is not an industry-blanketing replacement as a server-side technology, but it can and should be used to fill particular needs.

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