What is Node.js?
Read about the Best Security Practices For Node.js Web Applications
Why to use Node.js?
In the conventional approach to building web servers, the server creates a new thread of execution or even forks a new process for each incoming request or link to handle the request and submit a response. This makes perfect sense in theory, but in reality, it adds a significant amount of overhead.
Even though spawning threads uses less memory and CPU than forking processes, it can still be inefficient. When a device is heavily loaded, it can waste valuable cycles on thread scheduling and context switching, which adds latency and limits scalability and throughput.
It is on the other hand, takes a different approach.
Most competitive architectures that scale with threads, such as Apache HTTP Server, the various Java application servers, IIS and ASP.NET, and Ruby on Rails, need less memory to manage more connections than Node’s approach to scaling with callback functions.
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Features of Node.js
The following are some of the main features that make it the software architect’s first choice.
1. Asynchronous and Event-Driven: The Node.js library’s APIs are all asynchronous, or non-blocking. It basically means that a Node.js-based server never waits for data from an API. After calling an API, the server moves on to the next one, and a notification system in it is called Events assists the server in receiving a response from the previous API request.
3. Single-Threaded but Highly Scalable: It uses a single-threaded model of event looping, making it highly scalable. In contrast to conventional servers, which generate small threads to handle requests, the event mechanism allows the server to react in a non-blocking manner and makes it highly scalable.
When compared to conventional servers like Apache HTTP Server, Node.js uses a single-threaded programme that can handle a much greater number of requests.
4. No Buffering: No data is ever buffered in its programme. The data is output in chunks by these applications.
Companies using Node.js
Companies like eBay, General Electric, GoDaddy, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, Wikipins, Yahoo!, and Yammer use the language.
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Where to Use Node.js?
- I/O bound Applications
- Applications involving Data Streaming
- Data-Intensive Real-time Applications (DIRT)
- JSON APIs based Applications
- Single Page Applications
NPM: The Node Package Manager
When talking about Node.js, one feature that should not be overlooked is built-in support for package management through NPM, a tool that comes installed with any of its installations by default. NPM modules are similar to Ruby Gems in that they are a set of publicly accessible, interchangeable components that can be installed easily through an online repository and have version and dependency management.
The NPM registry is the largest software registry in the world, with over 1.2 million packages of free, reusable Node.js code. It’s worth noting that most NPM packages (basically directories or NPM registry objects containing a programme listed in a package.json file) have several modules (programmes that you load with require statements). It’s quick to mix up the two words, but they have different meanings in this sense and shouldn’t be used interchangeably.
Some of the widely used NPM modules are:
- Express: Express.js (or simply Express) is a Sinatra-inspired Node.js web development platform that is the de-facto standard for the majority of its applications today.
- Hapi: It is a configuration-centric framework for developing web and services applications that is very flexible and easy to use.
- Connect: It is a Node.js HTTP server application that provides a series of high-performance “plugins” known as middleware. It also acts as the basis for Express.
- socket.io and sockjs: They are server-side components of the two most common WebSockets components available today.
- pug (formerly Jade): A popular templating engine based on HAML and included by default in Express.js.
- MongoDB and MongoJs: MongoDB wrappers for Node.js that provide an API for MongoDB object databases.
- forever: Perhaps the most widely used utility for ensuring that a node script runs indefinitely. In the event of an unforeseen failure, it keeps your Node.js process running in development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Node. js can be used in both the frontend and backend of applications and websites thereby helping the developers to start working on their application or product quickly.
File system I/O, networking (DNS, HTTP, TCP, TLS/SSL, or UDP), binary data (buffers), cryptographic features, data streams, and other key functions are all supported by modules. Modules in it use an API designed to make writing server applications easier.
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By Ranjul Arumadi