The Advantages of Using Node.js: Caching, Scalability, and a Rich Ecosystem | Hacker Noon

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@olgagalikOlga Galik

I’ve always been fascinated with technology and am happy to share Uptech’s experience with the IT community.

Node.js has been around for years, but it wasn’t until 2017 that it started to gain traction with developers. The ability to build server-side applications in JavaScript proves to be an attractive idea amongst developers. Today, Node.js is used by renowned companies like LinkedIn, Paypal, and Netflix. 

Advantages of using Node.js

Node.js has more than 300 million downloads at the moment of writing, and there’s an active group of contributors driving the popular server-side runtime environment. If you’re wondering why it’s so popular with developers, here’s a list of advantages of using Node.js

Node.js offers Easy Scalability

Developing a server-side application can be tricky, particularly when it has to be scalable. Node.js uses a single thread to handle non-blocking I/O calls, which means that it’ll take fewer resources for the application to accept concurrent connections compared to traditional approaches. 

With Node.js, you’ll have no problems scaling the application horizontally across multiple servers or vertically to increase its performance on a single server.

Simple and popular JavaScript language

JavaScript’s history stretches back to 1995, when it was created by a Netscape programmer. More than two decades later, it became a prevalent scripting language for frontend web development. 

Picking up the basics of Javascript is also fairly simple. It doesn’t take much to understand the fundamental concepts, such as how the DOM works in the runtime environment. 

Node.js is used as a Single Programming Language

With front-end applications developed with JavaScript, you don’t need to pick up a different language when using Node.js for the backend. If you’re building the entire application on your own, you’ll have a tough time learning and switching between different languages.

Rich ecosystem

One of the benefits of using Node.js is its rich ecosystem. Building backend applications has never been easier with npm, a Node.js package installer that also doubles up as the marketplace.

More than 836,000 open source libraries are available, which offers developers everything they need to build in the Node.js environment. It is also the reason why JavaScript, the language for Node.js wins the battle of popularity. 

Easy to Learn

Learning JavaScript is easy, given the numerous tutorials and courses available. It becomes a natural progression for JS developers to work with Node.js on the backend. 

If you’re an IT graduate, chances are, you’ve picked up JavaScript during your college days. Most IT professionals already have a good foundation to start with Node.js.

The Advantage of Caching

Node.js can be optimized with caching services. Without a cache, the server application will have to execute the entire code and retrieve information from the database each time it processes a request.

A cache is a memory that stores the information during tun time. By using a cache, the server application returns the information from memory instead of executing the code to process subsequent requests. 

There are various ways of caching in Node.js, and they all lead to a better experience for the end-users. 

Offers the Freedom to Develop Apps

You’re not constrained to building back-end applications when you’re using Node.js. It can be coupled with frameworks like Electron and NW.js, which enable you to build cross-platform applications.

The notion of not having to learn native programming languages like C# and Objective C is why developers are choosing Node.js for development. Furthermore, you can use existing tools from Google Chrome Developer to test out the codes. 

Getting Support for Commonly Used Tools

With Node.js, you have access to numerous tools that aid development and good support from the community. Have problems with real-time event communication using Socket.io? Raise it up in forums like StackOverflow, and you’ll receive help from your peers.

As Node.js is used by technological giants, the community that supports the environment will continue to grow. 

Node.js is Highly Extensible

There’s more dynamics to Node.js than a typical backend application for simple websites. Node.js is highly extensible with its support of JSON format. Developers can use built-in API to use JSON for communication with other apps, clients, and servers on the network.

Summary

Node.js has opened up endless possibilities for server-side development using Javascript. The flexibility and rich ecosystem of the Node.js environment mean that it’ll attract more developers in the near future. Do consider building with Node.js if you need to develop a highly scalable server application.

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