The Pros and Cons of Node.js Web Application Development

by TOPS Infosolutions July 11, 2018
Node.js Web Application

JavaScript- the most popular scripting programming languages, serves as a cross-platform mobile app development tool for the platforms such as Apache Cordova, React Native, Appcerlerator, Titanium and many more. With the model of concurrency and no concept of the thread, JavaScript differentiated itself as the best than other dynamic languages. However, Node.js can be credited for the JavaScript’s popularity as it helped JavaScript for the server-side implementations which reduced a lot of complexities of using two different languages at both the ends.

The event-driven architecture of Node.js came into existence in 2009 and utilizes basic modules written in JavaScript.  Node.js enables developers to run JavaScript on the web servers but it is different from other commonly used JavaScript frameworks. It interprets the JavaScript code through Google’s V8 JavaScript engine and provides speed and efficiency in the development environment.

Let’s go through the benefits and drawbacks of Node.js:

The Pros:

  • Supports the same language both on client and server side:

As Node.js supports JavaScript, it enables the developers to use preferred and same programming language on both front-end and back-end to create the best web 2.0 applications. This means, Node.js web application requires less code compared to other languages for front-end and back-end. Node.js supports reusability of code between front-end and back-end which can speed up the development process. Thus, the company can avoid hiring the separate developers for backend as well as front-end and can cut-off much of the overhead cost.

  • Offers high performance

Node.js executes JavaScript code via Google’s V8 JavaScript engine which compiles the JavaScript code into machine code at execution by implementing Just-In-Time compiler. V8 translates JavaScript code into a machine code instead of using an interpreter which makes it faster and easier to implement the code in an effective manner. Moreover, run-time environment increases the code execution speed significantly by supporting non-blocking I/O operations.

  • Active Community

The Node.js community is very large and active who works towards the constant improvements on Node.js.  Due to the support of JavaScript programmers and their contribution towards the community, you can get access to a ton of ready and easy solutions and codes in NPM. The community is evolving and contributing great towards the further development and improvement to provide the best and reliable solutions.

  • Simultaneous Request Handling

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.

  • The advantage of caching

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.

  • Easy to learn

Since the coding in JavaScript is easy, developers can have a good grasp of it. As JavaScript is supported by each web browser and server, it becomes easier for the business to deploy node.js web application effectively.  Once the developers are mastered with the basics of object-oriented programming, they are good enough to start with it.  JavaScript as a programming language increases the programmer productivity, code reusability and consumes less time to work with it. Moreover, there are many interactive tutorials available on GitHub which makes the learning experience more pleasant.

  • Facilitates real-time application development

Node.js is widely used by JavaScript developers for developing real-time and multi-user applications like chat apps, games and headless browsers like chat bots, voice user interface applications like Alexa etc. Node.js possesses an event-driven architecture which accepts large requests by using minimal resources and time. It further uses a web socket protocol which handles multi-user function, and speed up bidirectional communication, preventing the overhead of HTTP for web development.

Six Powerful Web Applications You Can Build with Node.js

The Cons:

  • Unstable API

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.

  • Doesn’t have a standard library

JavaScript doesn’t possess the robust library system when compared with other programming languages. Hence, the users need to take the support of common libraries for performing various tasks such as image processing, object-relational mapping, handling database operations, XML parsing and much more. Ultimately, it becomes difficult to accomplish common programming tasks while using Node.js.

  • Not suitable for heavy computing apps

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…

Despite the shortcomings, Node.js offers a good number of features to write a variety of server-side and networking applications and real-time Web APIs in JavaScript. Today, most of the business organizations look to opt for Node.js to drive the positive results.

Want to develop your next project in Node.js? Talk to our expert Node.js Developer to know how we can help you to deliver the scalable solution.


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