Quick Facts about Nodejs
Did you know Node JS is the primary backend language for eBay and AliExpress too? In 2018 there were 23 million developers in the world, and we are still counting. Let’s dive in and understand more about how Node.js is worth your time, resources, and investment in your upcoming project. We have covered a few compelling use cases to explain various applications of Node.js.
Did you know that Node.js is used regularly by 98% of Fortune 500 companies, according to the Node.js Foundation? Reasons? Lightweight, fast, and scalable. Node.js is also performant and efficient in handling multiple requests at the same time. It’s more time and cost-efficient than other tech stacks to handle the traffic of your application.
The list can go on and on…
What’s NodeJSfor a layman?
In one sentence: Node.js shines in real-time web applications employing push technology over web sockets. What is so revolutionary about that? Well, after over 20 years of stateless-web based on the stateless request-response paradigm, we finally have web applications with real-time, two-way connections, where both the client and server can initiate communication, allowing them to exchange data freely. This is in stark contrast to the typical web response paradigm, where the client always initiates communication. Additionally, it’s all based on the open web stack (HTML, CSS, and JS) running over the standard port 80.
One might argue that we’ve had this for years in the form of Flash and Java Applets — but in reality, those were just sandboxed environments using the web as a transport protocol to be delivered to the client. Plus, they were run in isolation and often operated over non-standard ports, which may have required extra permissions and such.
With all of its advantages, Node.js now plays a critical role in the technology stack of many high-profile companies who depend on its unique benefits. The Node.js Foundation has consolidated all the best thinking around why enterprises should consider Node.js in a short presentation that can be found on the Node.js Foundation’s Case Studies page.
Why is it different from other technologies?
What it really means is that Node.js is not a silver-lining new platform that will dominate the web development world. Instead, it’s a platform that fills a particular need. And understanding this is absolutely essential. You definitely don’t want to use Node.js for CPU-intensive operations; in fact, using it for heavy computation will annul nearly all of its advantages. Where Node really shines is in building fast, scalable network applications, as it’s capable of handling a huge number of simultaneous connections with high throughput, which equates to high scalability.
How it works under-the-hood is pretty interesting. Compared to traditional web-serving techniques where each connection (request) spawns a new thread, taking up system RAM and eventually maxing-out at the amount of RAM available, Node.js operates on a single-thread, using non-blocking I/O calls, allowing it to support tens of thousands of concurrent connections held in the event loop.
Unlike the traditional web-serving technique, where each request creates a new thread cramping up the system RAM, Node.js operates on a single thread. This enables it to support thousands of concurrent connection handling event loops.
NPM: Node Package Manager
While we are trying to understand the basics of Node.js, we definitely don’t want to miss out on its built-in support for package management using npm. A popular package library — npm is the most prized possession of the Node.js community. It contains millions of downloadable libraries according to the specific requirement. These massive libraries are absolutely free of cost with its registry. With each passing day, these libraries are getting bigger rapidly, making the Node.js community stronger.
npm is indeed the world’s largest software registry. Yes, that’s right!
Open-source developers from every continent use npm to share or borrow packages, and many enterprises utilize them for their private developments too. Find the entire list of packaged modules on the npm website
The latest Node’s version 11.0 has some remarkable features.
Are you ready?
Node.js 11.0 uses native Node, making it even more stable. More error codes and interval time has enhanced better performance and improvised diagnosis. This has made the geeky life of the developers more delightful by deploying extraordinary experiences for users.
Use Node.js to build...
Beat your competition with Node.js based business solutions. Let me fire some quickies for you:
- Backend for Social Media Networking
- Single-page Application
- Chat Application
- Data Streaming
- IoT Application
So let’s just jump into the best use cases used by many industries & get a more reliable idea of Node’s positioning.
Backend for Social Media Networking
Many renowned names such as LinkedIn and Medium are rebuilt on Node.js. There is an essential combination of nodes to build a backend for a social media networking site. Node.js provides blazing-fast routing with its V8 engine along with secure authentication. Scalability is one of the most significant factors which enriches a social media network.
Single-page Application (SPA) Development
Just like single page websites, Node.js can build a single-page app, where the look and feel are similar to a desktop application. Due to its versatile options, Node.js is a good fit for building social networking platforms, dynamic websites, and mailing solutions. What’s more, the asynchronous data flow quality on the backend in Node.js makes it the best bet for SPA development.
Node.js offers exclusive advanced functionalities for real-time chatbots and chat applications. The key features such as multi-user applications, intensive data, heavy traffic, across all devices are very popular in chatbots. Node.js hits the sweet spot, for it runs across different devices and covers all paradigms in chat and chatbot apps. Node.js makes it super easy to execute push notifications and server-side event loops popularly used in IMs and real-time apps.
Giants like Netflix welcomed Node.js to serve 190 countries and 100+ million hours of streaming across 120 million users and counting. Node.js has a definite edge on this as the processing files at a super-fast speed, and feather-light encodes and uploads. This has been encashed upon by many online fashion e-stores and applications with massive data streaming videos.
IoT Application Development
IoT has drastically become popular over the recent decade and ever since then Node.js is one of the most preferred solutions for organizations looking to build public and private IoT solution systems. The very core advantage of Node.js is its brilliant ability to process seamlessly concurrent requests with thousands of events released by billions of devices on its network. Thanks to Node.js event-driven server architecture and asynchronous processing relevant heavy I/O operations on IoT networks. Furthermore, Node.js operates on writable and readable channels and streams, which is why it is the most suitable platform for IoT app development.
Some popular Node.js Case Studies
The one thing that’s common between Netflix, LinkedIn, and Uber is: all of them had a robust tech team to make critical and crucial analysis before they made the switch to Node.js. So let’s understand this more closely:
With over 130 million subscribers and one billion hours of weekly data streaming, Netflix was looking for a scalable solution that could enable it to handle multiple requests simultaneously.
Enters Node.js! The team chose the technology so they could use the same language in the backend and frontend. They also built a SPA that significantly decreased its start-up time. This resulted in an overall reduction of the start-up time– from 40 min to under 60 seconds.
Back in 2016, LinkedIn had around 63 million members out of which 59% interacted with their mobile app. To handle the increase in users, LinkedIn picked Node.js that enabled it to boost their performance by 20x times in some cases. What’s more, they were able to reduce servers from 30 to 3, lower memory overhead, and draw their focus on application development instead of troubleshooting.
Uber is one of those first 3 companies who dived into Node.js in the full production stage. It required a high-speed and scalable application but at the same time a cross-platform tech solution that could manage a colossal amount of requests. They needed a tech solution that could match multiple riders to their drivers in fractions of seconds.
The undisputed leader of the industry found it right to pick Node.js to get the job done right. Node.js has become the most preferred tech for web application development or switching from current tech to Node.js.
This technology is both an effective solution for startups to speed up and simplify development, and a sophisticated ecosystem utilized by leading enterprises.
We have built many applications using Nodejs mainly — a social media platform, an on-demand cabs platform, an online realtime test platform, an online live event streaming platform, virtual tuitions platform for teachers and parents.
This is a part of our Tech Thursdays where we explain major technology frameworks in the software development community.