Let’s go through the benefits and drawbacks of Node.js:
As Node.js works on non-blocking I/O model, it is the best for handling the large volume of requests from the web and other networks. Node.js web application can perform an asynchronous task to the event loop (a single threaded loop), along with the call back function and then continue to execute the rest of the program. After completing asynchronous operations, event loop returns to the task to execute call back. Incoming requests are queued up and executed sequentially in a fast manner achieving high scalability levels.
Caching is a technique to improve the performance of any application, be it desktop, mobile or web. The open source run environment of Node.js supports caching of individual modules. Modules get cached in the node.js web application memory whenever there is any module request for the first time. This caching feature enables the application to load the web pages and respond to the user requests quickly, without requiring the module code to be re-executed.
One of the key problems that developers encounter in Node.js is that API keeps on changing at some intervals and the new API of Echma script adds significant new syntax for writing complex applications including classes and modules. Thus, programmers are bound to modify the existing code base to match the compatibility with the latest version of Node.js API.
As Node.js doesn’t support multi-threaded programming, it is usually not recommended for performing long-running calculations. Heavy computations queue up the incoming requests which can lead to a decrease in performance. The whole process increases the time required by a node.js web application to respond to the users’ request and makes it difficult to use the runtime environment for the computational intensive task.
Wrapping it up…
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A brief history….
Ryan Dahl is the creator of Node.js; He thought of this language after facing glitches in file upload progress bar on Flicker. The Browser lacked the capability to know how many files had been uploaded. During that time, Apache HTTP Server was unable to handle concurrent connections (up to 10,000 and more) and with sequential programming, the code either blocked the entire process or resulted in multiple execution stacks in case of simultaneous connections. Thus, he looked for the easy ways to get the things done faster. Node.js came into existence and major perks included were – reduced time-to-market, dynamic Node.js web applications, high agility, support for the development of highly functional mobile apps to name a few.
Benefits of using Node.js for Web Application Development
Node.js uses asynchronous architecture to perform I/O operations which is the best for handling the large volume of requests from web and other networks. Before Node.js, I/O operations were performed synchronously or were multi-threaded which means threads can be blocked while waiting for the replies from the database and also consumed much of the memory. But, with Node.js, applications can perform an asynchronous task to the event loop (a single threaded loop), along with the call back function and then continue to execute the rest of the program. After completing asynchronous operations, event loop returns to the task to execute call back. Moreover, Reading/writing to the network connection, reading/writing to the filesystem, and reading /writing to the database is executed very fast.
As Node.js is an open source technology, it has the code repository of the best tools and modules that developers can use within their project. By default, it comes with every Node.js installation and includes more than 350,000 packages for creating effective web solutions. Using these packages, it becomes easy for the Node.js developers to easily update, share and reuse important codes without much effort. Moreover, it is also easy to work on the core applications without knowing what’s around it and built-in modules will take care of the rest. Anyone can take advantage of module ecosystem and can even publish their module which will be listed in npm repository.
Node.js possess the capabilities of data streaming which transfers a large amount of data such as audio files, videos, photographs etc. by breaking the data into manageable chunks. This chunk of data occupies less memory; so, they are less likely to slow down the device. This saves much of the time and enables the user to carry out different operations.
Node.js possesses an event-driven architecture which accepts large requests by using minimal resources and time; hence, it is ideal for developing real-time application especially chat apps, games and headless browsers like chat bots, Alexa etc. It has some plug-ins that implements a web-socket protocol. This enables two-way communication channels between client and server which means a server can push data as easily as a client can. Hence, the performance of the applications doesn’t degrade even if there is a sudden surge in the traffic. Generally, real-time apps are equipped with high-volume of data continuously and chances of getting app crashed are almost high. But Node.js refrains your app getting crashed.
Brands are already using it
“35% decrease in the average response time for the same page. This resulted in the pages being served 200ms faster”
The reason they wanted to use Node.js was to handle 100% business availability even with the huge load.
Uber – a peer-to-peer ride sharing and taxi services platform always wished for a transportation that is reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone. According to Uber, “Node.js is the best for writing system that has all their state in memory”.
They found 3 core strengths in Node.js i.e:
Taking into account these considerations, Node.js has set the standards for web app development and is definitely the go-to technology for start-ups and enterprises. If you are looking to develop next enterprise app; then Node.js is definitely worth a try.