One of the stepping stones to any web app development project is adopting a robust backend technology. Node.js has evolved as leading backend technology over the years because of its high flexibility and open-source nature.
- 66.8% of developers rated Node.js as the most loved tool in Stackoverflow Developer Survey Report 2020.
- 85% of Node.js developers use it for web app development, and the other 43% use it for enterprise-grade applications.
- 51.4% of developers regarded Node.js as the most-used tool earlier in 2020.
- Node.js is used by at least 20 million websites as it reduces development costs by 58%.
- Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Mozilla, Github, eBay, AliExpress, and other big players are relying on Node.js.
Node.js was written by Ryan Dahl in 2009. He criticized the limited possibilities of Apache HTTP Server and the most common way of creating code. Ryan said that the right way to handle several concurrent connections was to have a single-thread, an event loop, and non-blocking I/Os. Keeping all these factors in mind Node.js has been developed.
And now, Node.js has become the first choice when it comes to developing web apps. NASA revealed that Node.js made migrating data from legacy databases to a cloud database effortless. Twitter reported a 30% faster launch time and quick loading on slower connections after employing Node.js. And Netflix migrated their backend from Java to Node.js which resulted in a decrease in startup time from 40 minutes to 60 seconds.
In this blog, we’ll explore Node.js architecture and walk you through use cases which will help you understand how it can add value to your projects.
Node.js Use Cases
Node.js is suited best for applications where a continuous connection should be maintained between the browser and the server.
- Real-time Apps For Different Online Activities
Real-time apps usually include features like live chats, social media integration, ad servers, gamification, stock exchange features, etc. Node.js fits all the requirements in this ecosystem. Some of the examples of real-time apps that can be built with Node.js are VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) apps, online gaming apps, instant messaging apps, ecommerce transactions like a stock exchange, document sharing app, and video conference apps.
- IoT Device Apps
Node.js has become one of the preferred solutions for enterprises and organizations seeking to build their private and public IoT systems. The main advantage of using Node.js is that it acquires less memory and requires fewer resources on the server-end. Node.js can process multiple concurrent requests and events emitted by thousands of devices on the network.
- Complex Single-page Applications (SPAs)
Node.js offers the ability to combine dynamic content and code features along with static file delivery of the SPA. The advantages of Node.js have been leveraged by such famous SPAs as Netflix and LinkedIn.
- Real-time Collaboration Tools
Node.js’s asynchronous and event-based architecture is a great fit for collaboration apps.
- Real-time Chats
Node.js provides everything needed for building real-time chats of any complexity. It makes it easy to implement server-side events and push notifications.
- Streaming Apps
Thanks to its native Stream API, Node.js is excellent for the development of streaming apps.
Node.js is great for creating microservices and easy-to-use APIs. PayPal has used Node.js to power its microservices architecture since 2013.
Software architecture is defined as the software infrastructure within which application components providing user functionality can be specified, deployed, and executed.
What kind of architecture does Node.js support? Node.js leverages the “Single Threaded Event Loop” architecture to take care of multiple concurrent clients.
The event loop allows Node.js to perform non-blocking I/O operations by offloading operations to the system kernel. Kernels are multi-threaded which means they can handle multiple operations executing in the background. When one of the operations completes, the kernel tells Node.js so that the appropriate callback may be added to the poll queue to be executed.
When Node.js starts, it initializes the event loop, processes the provided input script, then begins processing the event loop. Each phase has a FIFO queue of callbacks to execute. When the queue has been exhausted or the callback limit is reached, the event loop will move to the next phase, and so on.
Phases of the event loop include:
- timers: this phase executes callbacks scheduled by setTimeout() and setInterval().
- pending callbacks: executes I/O callbacks deferred to the next loop iteration.
- idle, prepare: only used internally.
- poll: retrieve new I/O events; execute I/O related callbacks (almost all with the exception of close callbacks, the ones scheduled by timers, and setImmediate()); node will block here when appropriate.
- check: setImmediate() callbacks are invoked here.
- close callbacks: some close callbacks, e.g. socket.on(‘close’, …).
Between each run of the event loop, Node.js checks if it is waiting for any asynchronous I/O or timers.
Node.js is an event-based platform which means that everything that happens in Node.js is the reaction to an event. The event loop is called the heart of Node.js. It indefinitely receives requests & processes them, and then returns the responses to corresponding clients.
Advantages of Using Node.js In Your Project
Big companies like LinkedIn, Uber, and even NASA adopted Node.js.
Why? Because the benefits of NodeJS are unmatched.
- Easy Scalability
One of the major reasons why developers and businesses are adopting Node.js is because of its benefit of scaling. Scalability gives your application room to grow. Node’s scalability is achieved by the load balancing and the capability to handle a huge number of concurrent connections.
- Reduced Costs
With Node.js, the same programming language can be used on both the frontend & backend. It can save a lot of time and costs of recruiting several developers.
- Fast-to-market Development
Node.js has an extensive package management library, with thousands of open-source options that can be added to your app project immediately which can reduce your time to market and programming budget.
- Handles the Requests Simultaneously
The system can effectively handle concurrent requests. The incoming requests get lined up and are executed quickly and systematically.
- Efficient Caching
Node.js has a powerful ability to cache data.
- Big Community
An active community means a lot of support and feedback. Node.js is blessed to have a large community of programmers who keep on contributing towards its further improvement. Also, there are several community forums for Node.js such as Reddit, Nodebb, Dev.to, Github, and Stackoverflow.
- Node.js Also Inherited the Main JS Advantages
Node.js offers fast performance and data processing; highly reusable code; the code is easy to learn, write, read, and maintain; huge resource library.
Node.js has become incredibly popular for both web and mobile application development. It is great for building apps with heavy client-side rendering and frequent shuffling of data from a client to a server.
The knowledge of the technology and its architecture is fundamental when it comes to software development. If you don’t want to waste your time and resources, you can rely on a professional team of developers. Our Node.js experts can answer all your questions.