Unleashing the Power of Node.js: A Modern Developer's Swiss Army Knife

In this insight publication, we discuss the nuances of using a tool that enables the use of the JavaScript programming language beyond the browser.

Mykola (Nick) Hrytsaienko
September 25, 2023

Node.js is a runtime environment for executing JavaScript without using a browser. It allows the programming language, traditionally intended for the client-side of software (frontend), to be used for the server-side of an application (backend).

We used Node.js for the server-side of the mobile application RoomRenderAI, which was developed at the request of Triforce Construction (read more about it in our case study). With Node.js, the software interacts with artificial intelligence that processes user requests.

Node.js has many interesting features and important advantages that are actively used by developers for digital transformation of business. That's why skills in working with this tool often become an important factor when searching for new employees.

Node.js is well-suited for creating web libraries or frameworks, so it is actively used for this purpose as well.

JavaScript on the server-side. Node.js allows the use of a popular programming language for creating the backend part of the software. This significantly simplifies the application development process and allows frontend developers to become full-stack specialists relatively easily.

Asynchronous input and output. Reading files, database requests, and other operations performed using Node.js do not block each other. This allows the use of this tool for applications with a relatively high load and multiple requests to the server.

High performance. Node.js uses V8, a powerful engine developed by Google, to compile the JavaScript programming language into machine code. It is also used in Google Chrome, the most popular browser in the world.

Node Package Manager (NPM). Based on Node.js, one of the largest open-source library ecosystems has been created, which is used for both frontend and backend. Much of the functionality required by the software is already implemented based on them, which speeds up and reduces the cost of development.

Event-driven programming. This working principle, used in Node.js, allows the server to respond to any events and asynchronous requests from users or other applications as prescribed in the code.

Express.js framework for Node.js. These two technologies are often identified with each other, although this is a mistake. Node.js is an environment for executing JavaScript on the server, while Express.js is a special overlay (framework) for quickly writing the server part of the application, including simple routing and middleware.

Node.js can be used without restrictions on macOS, Windows, and Linux, making it a universal tool for developers who prefer different platforms. However, despite all its advantages, it is important to understand that Node.js is not the only correct solution for all applications.

Node.js uses a single-threaded task execution principle, so it is not the best choice for software with intensive computational tasks. That is why we often use other technologies to create the server part of applications (read more about this in our case studies).

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