Why Node.js is Great for Backend Development?

Backend development with Node.js is not a new concept and its being used to implement many digital products online. It comes with many benefits, making it suitable for building enterprise and business to customer applications.

In this article, we will learn about JavaScript, Node.js, what Node.js is used for, how it is different from others, and why it is better than others.

1. Introduction

As you might have heard about JavaScript, it is one of the most preferred and commonly used backend technology.

JavaScript has shown a significant rise in its usage, since it speeds up the development, making it more time and cost-effective by unifying the codebase.

Node.js is a JavaScript framework and a runtime environment that runs JavaScript code outside the web browser.

JavaSript is a programming language that drastically changed web development and has been in use by IT specialists worldwide since 1995.

Even though JavaSript has been around for a longtime and has great frameworks and libraries, but it never had any backend platforms for hosting application, that could compete with other languages.

Currently, we have Node.js that can solve this issue. Many startups and enterprise-level projects use Node.js for various reasons, which we are going to cover later in the article.

The research shows that developers use Node.js for their application’s backend and other tasks to enhance their performance.

2. What is Node.js used for?

Node.js belongs to the software category that allows developers to code applications and simultaneously run them.

The principal characteristics of Node.js are:

  • It is a server framework.
  • It is open-source.
  • It is suitable for different platforms.

Node.js server processes are executed in the order below:

  1. A task is assigned to a server.
  2. The file system receives the task from the server.
  3. The system awaits the request.
  4. The request is made to the system, and a file is processed and sent to the user.

3. Main competitors of Node.js in backend development

3.1. PHP

It is widely used by programmers for backend development, suitable for mid-sized projects, and can be used for large projects.

Unlike in Node.js, the PHP architecture depends on events making real-time connections challenging to achieve.

3.2. Python

Python is easy to learn and therefore popular among aspiring new programmers. It is best for mid-sized and large software projects.

Compared to Node.js in terms of performance, Python does not do well although it is great for building projects that are fast, productive, and with good outcomes.

3.3. Ruby

It is best suited for both small and mid-sized projects. It comes with good documentation and also has a vast community of developers supporting it.

It has dropped its market share and popularity among the community in recent years, translating to fewer updates and implementations, which is not the case when compared with Node.js.

3.4. Java

It is a programming language that comes with numerous frameworks hence high in demand. It is suitable for large enterprise projects that do complex and complicated computations and data processing.

The comparison in terms of development time between Node.js and Java is that, Node.js is easier to learn than Java, leading to faster development when using Node.js as opposed to Java.

3.5. .NET

It is a robust Microsoft framework with a wide range of languages suitable for back-end and front-end development. It is most effective for both small and mid-sized projects. It is free, multi-platform and supports services, websites, and desktop application development.

In .NET, a developer can write synchronous or asynchronous codes, depending on their preference.

In Node.js, the developer has to use asynchronous code – meaning – Node.js cares about maximizing CPU efficiency by eliminating thread context switching.

4. Node.js frameworks

Some tasks are still challenging to perform with Node.js, and thus, many frameworks have been developed to ease the work.

The popular Node.js frameworks are as follows:

  • Nest.js – It is an advanced Node.js framework used for the backend which is suitable for building enterprise-level projects. It has a wide range of libraries that implements Typescript, Model-View-Presenter (MVP), and combined principles of Object-Oriented-Programming (OOP), Function-Point (FP), and Functional-Reactive-Programming (FRP).
  • Express.js – It is a quick, minimally designed, and with a robust collection of HTTP helpers. It is preferred by the developers who do not have a lengthy and costly process of development. It is also best for the development of APIs, mobile and web applications.
  • Socket.io – Its user-friendliness makes it easy to use on multiple devices. It focuses on bi-directional real-time connections. It also supports reconnectionbinary, and multiplexing.
  • Meteor.js – This provides real-time features, dynamic imports, integration between front-end and back-end, and protection from hidden APIs.
  • Koa.js – This uses asynchronous functions, eases the error handling process, and enhances the application’s performance.
  • Loopback.io – It allows the developer to build an API fast, as it provides numerous features that simplify the working process. It supports ad-hoc queries and storage services. It supports various REST services and many common known databases.
  • Feathers.io – It allows the writing of real-time web applications and REST APIs with very little effort.

Among the above-listed frameworks, a developer can find the best Node.js framework that suits their project’s requirements and will yield better results.

5. Why Node.js is good for the backend?

In web development, the backend of any application is the most crucial part. Thus, developers pay attention to it and utilize the best solutions and technology to work correctly.

  • Node.js works well with a real-time handling large amount of information. Node.js enables the collection and visualization of data to be presented as dashboards.

Note that, HTTP requests and responses are large streams of data.

  • Node.js backend development is concise, as it provides many features that can be impossible to have with any event-based environments.
  • Node.js is fast as it stores its data in native JSON.
  • It is supported by a large community of developers that are constantly work on improving it. It performs high-level data streaming. It is also suitable for developing software for different platforms regardless of the underlying operating system.
  • Node.js handles simultaneous tasks, since it is non-blocking and supports async functions. They help speed up the server activities because the processes are usually handled in a single thread instead of queuing.
  • Applications developed in Node.js can be scaled and offers relatively higher performance.
  • Node.js is easy to learn. the number of developers who use Node.js is growing significantly, reducing development costs when hiring them.

6. Conclusion

The article focused more on the technical aspects of Node.js backend development and the comparisons of Node.js with other languages and frameworks.

It also helped discover many essential details in Node.js development that can assist the developer build their next market-winning product.

Happy coding!