Node.js – The go to Technology for Product Companies and Enterprises

21 / Jul / 2017 by Varun Shakya 0 comments

Product companies and enterprises both alike are in a race to develop products faster. A lot of companies are leveraging new-age digital technologies to improve time to market and shorten their release cycles. While some companies are automating delivery pipeline, some other are following Agile frameworks. For companies, succeeding at frontend isn’t the only goal. While these companies are ensuring that the user experience is not compromised through design discovery, usability testing, intuitive navigation and user-friendly multi-screen adaptations, they also need to ensure high performance through robust backend operations that serve requests seamlessly even during the peak times.

There are multiple backend technologies that companies have been using to build a product such as Grails, Node.js, Spring, Java, and others. Node.js is quickly gaining traction among product owners and CTOs. This is mainly because of multiple advantages and community support that Node.js brings on the table.

LinkedIn, Groupon, PayPal, Uber, Trello and Netflix and many other global companies have tested and embraced Node.js. According to a survey by The Node.js Foundation, “98% of Fortune 500 companies use Node.JS regularly”. Built on Javascript’s V8 engine, Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment that helps product companies to build products with an emphasis on concurrency, speed, and intensive data exchange.

Node is created to meet specific demands of modern web-connected applications that perpetually gather data from different sources, pushing it to many clients in real-time. The platform helps developers to reuse codes and promote collaboration between the developer community. Joining hands with a Node.js development company that has experience in multiple frameworks can help you significantly improve your time to market and gain on the competition.

6 benefits that make Node.js incredibly sought after technology

Outlined below are some of the highlights and advantages which make Node.JS popular among companies and enterprises

1. JavaScript Everywhere

Node has become universal. Node.js consulting companies ensure that product companies leverage Node to break the silos between teams. It allows developers to use JavaScript for the backend, which traditionally was restricted to only front end scripting. Node unifies the data format (JSON) and language, effectively reducing development overhead (smaller team-size). A good example is PayPal which not only enhanced productivity but took half the number of resources to build an application and all in less time. As any Node product engineering expert would tell you, there are numerous benefits of using JavaScript across the stack. By allowing JavaScript on both the client and the server side, Node.js makes the life of development team easy. They do not have to do extra work whenever there’s a need to move a business logic written in Java from the server to the browser.

2. The Node Package Manager

Apart from the unification of server and backend scripting, Node.js also benefits the product companies from its Node Module (or package) Manager, referred as NPM, which is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world. According to Module Counts, 550+ modules (reusable code-bits) are added to the package manager every day. Companies can get an access to these packages and reusable components using NPM CLI tool. It is available to anyone who installs Node.js, Express.js, Connect, Socket.io, Mongo.js, Redis, and CoffeeScript are some of the most commonly accessed and shared packages on the NPM. We would also like to share contributions to NPM modules by our MEAN experts. 

According to most MEAN stack development companies, the modular design capability is perhaps the biggest advantage for companies seeking rapid prototyping and validation of their ideas. Startups scant on development resources can easily bank on NPM, bypassing the need to reinvent the wheel. Node.js helps developers quickly create applications for all screen sizes, leverage APIs, and microservices, and modernize their legacy systems. As a result, businesses are shifting their applications built on PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Python to Node.

3. Speed and Efficiency

Node enables companies to develop network applications that can deal with parallel connections with higher throughput. Moreover, Node uses V8 engine that compiles JS directly into native machine code. This approach has proved beneficial to multiple companies using Node.js. PayPal, for example, has recorded a 35% decline in response time and Linkedin reduced the number of servers from 30 to 3 after shifting to Node.

4. Concurrent Request Handling

This is where a Node.js development company and product company needs to have a better understanding of concurrency, parallelism, and how operating systems handle applications’ I/O (input/output).  Node.js is built to handle multiple concurrent connections in the ‘event loop’ by operating on a single ‘thread,’ performing I/O in an ‘asynchronous’ ‘non-blocking’ manner.

We would like to take a little deep dive into this and simplify it. Applications broadly perform two kinds of operations:

- CPU intensive operations 

Examples: Image processing, scientific computation, big-data analysis

- I/O based operations

Examples: Accessing printer, projector, camera and other devices, Reading/writing to Hard Disk or Network Sockets

Contrary to perception, a lot of applications do not need a lot of numeric or logic based computations. In other words, applications do not have to consume the CPU, all the time. Most of the times, they only have to write to a file system, pass (or poll) a network request, and perform similar non-CPU intensive operations. Still, conventionally, the way programs were written, they used to keep CPU engaged. This is what has been fixed in Node.js.

This is the reason Node.JS becomes more suitable for the development of data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices. Most product companies involve Node.js development agencies to build products such as:

  • Video and text chat engines
  • Data streaming apps
  • Real-time tracking apps
  • Online games
  • Social Networking sites
  • E-commerce sites
  • Marketplaces
  • Interactive apps
  • Collaboration tools
  • financial dashboards for stock traders  

On the other hand, use of Node.js for CPU-intensive operations (such as image/video processing) is not as simple. You need the right partner to help you with your needs.

5. Node js for IoT

According to a The Node js Foundation survey report, Node.js as a ‘universal language’ is gaining acceptance for IoT development. A striking 96 per cent of IoT respondents have affirmed JavaScript/Node.JS as their preferred platform for the development of applications for the connected devices. The report also highlights the emergence of MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node js) as a default for the development of real-time, social networking and interactive gaming applications. However, it is always advisable to leverage full-stack MEAN with a focus on taking proper Node.js consulting so to help you utilize the entire stack more effectively.

6. Node.JS also enables microservice based architecture

A lot of product companies are now bidding farewell to monoliths. They are leveraging microservices so that they can easily reuse components and improve fault isolation. Moreover, microservices unlike the traditional monolithic development, make the development faster. Owing to its multiple advantages, Node.JS becomes the best option out there for multiple companies to build small services.

Here are couple of good success stories of Netflix and Go Daddy about how they leveraged Node.JS for microservices

  • Netflix ran a large monolithic application in 2013 that had 40 minutes long startup times. They identified Node.JS as a solution to move the website to single page application. They were able to reduce the startup time drastically with the help of proper Node.js consulting. Currently, Netflix is able to perform distributed resource scheduling for use cases such as real-time anomaly detection, machine learning orchestration, and Node.JS based microservices according to their recent blog post.
  • GoDaddy mainly used. Net for some time till 2013 when they finally realized that Node js is the future for any Agile company. .Net didn’t have a great community support and they were experiencing multiple problems with product engineering. During SuperBowl, GoDaddy was able to handle 10.000 requests / second leveraging Node.js and a cluster of 12 servers. The company also was able to implement Continuous Integration transitioning to microservices.  

Apart from the technical benefits of Node js, there are other advantages that Node.js brings on the table and you can find more about this through in-depth Node.js consulting.  It can be challenging for development and operations teams in enterprises to handle the influx created by Node ecosystem. The teams are often overburdened finding the cause of performance degradations and outages. You will need a Node consulting and development partner who can help you implement right processes and tools to simplify the work for those who are in charge of your applications’ availability and performance.

Apart from the benefits of Node.js, we would also like to highlight various frameworks of Node.js. Here is a list of 10 popular Node.js frameworks you shouldn’t miss out! 

  • Hapi.js

Quite recent in the Node.js frameworks marketplace, Hapi is ideal for building APIs and other web and mobile applications. Many Node.js development companies suggest Hapi to their customers. With a robust plugin system in place and features such as input validation, error handling and configuration based functionality, Hapi.js is increasingly being adopted by organizations looking for agility.

  • Socket.io

If you are building real-time web apps, chat apps, or any real-time communication app, you may want to use Socket.io server framework. It is essentially a JavaScript library which allows which allows event-driven, bi-directional communication between client and the server, asynchronous input/ output (I/O) processing, and more. It is compatible with all devices, Operating systems and web browsers.

  • Express.js

It is a flexible, lightweight framework that is built over node.js, acting as a wrapper around Node.js APIs to extend its functionalities. Best suited for developing the web and mobile applications and APIs, a number of features such as templates engine, database integration and multiple routing capabilities are responsible for its quick adoption for web app developments. The framework is not opinionated, allowing the use of any third party database to define models, use any authentication scheme, or define the project directory as per requirement.

  • Mojito

It is a model-view controller (MVC) framework that is based on Yahoo! Cocktails. Mojito acts like a Node module and can be used for developing high-performance applications-web or mobile based, with HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.  It offers features such as integrated unit testing, easy data fetching, and library among others.

  • Meteor

It is a full stack framework which is ideal for creating complex web applications faster. Perfect for developing real-time applications, it is an open source MVC framework. Developers can write client as well as server sides applications in JavaScript with Meteor framework. It has inbuilt pre written modules that simplify writing application codes.

  • Derby

Developers frequently use Derby for developing real-time applications leveraging Racer, Derby’s powerful data synchronization engine, and its MVC framework. It is an ideal choice for single page applications as Racer makes it very fast, both on a browser as well as on a server. It is a full stack framework that runs on top of node.js, along with MongoDB and Redis. It also offers features such as an algorithm for conflict resolution and real-time editing within an application.

  • Mean.js

MEAN is a full-stack JS framework that leverages MongoDB, AngularJS, Node.js and Express.js. With a host of dynamic features, MEAN stack helps to keep applications structured by eliminating unnecessary grunt work. MEAN also offers a strong community and corporate support. Companies looking to quickly develop applications without going through the hassles of experimentation of checking compatibility of different tech stacks should opt for MEAN stack. Developers can cut down on time required for setup and configuration of the tech stacks and also reduce complexity as JavaScript is the universal language used from frontend to backend.

  • Sails.js

Built on top of Node.js, it is widely used for building custom, enterprise-grade Node.js apps. It not only leverages MVC pattern of frameworks but also provides support in terms of data-driven APIs with a service oriented architecture. Sails are compatible with any frontend and it is also database agnostic as it provides a simple data access layer that just works no matter the database in use.

  • Koa.js

The team behind Express has designed Koa framework which has a smaller yet more robust foundation for web apps and APIs. Koa is widely recognized as an expressive HTTP middleware framework that eliminates callbacks and increases error-handling effectively. Though it doesn’t bundle a middleware, it does provide some really amazing suite of methods that make writing servers really swift and hassle free.

  • Total.js

It is one of the latest Node.js frameworks that supports an MVC architecture. It is compatible with frameworks like Polymer, Angular.js, Backbone, etc. It is asynchronous, supports array, RESTful routing, web sockets and media streaming among others.

Companies put in a lot of efforts to launch products faster and stay ahead in the game. More and more companies want to leverage a tech stack that is robust, scalable and provides a great community support. Frameworks are a lot of help to development teams. The new frameworks are designed for speed, simplicity and scalability. One of the reasons why Node frameworks are so popular is because they provide a built in high-level structure and developers can concentrate on scaling their project instead of defining basic codes. Node.js frameworks ecosystem is evolving every day and is shaping the future of application development. Decision makers that are considering Node.js and want to leverage multiple new frameworks should certainly consult a Node.js development company and bring the value from these frameworks. Node.js frameworks are a sure fire way to build applications faster and stay ahead of the competition. Get on to Node and excel at product engineering!

If you have any questions on Node.JS benefits or frameworks, feel free to post us in the comment below or contact us.

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