Introduction to Node.js
When it performs an I/O operation, like reading from the network, accessing a database or the file system. Instead of blocking the thread and wasting CPU cycles waiting, Node.js will resume the operations when the response comes back. This allows it to handle thousands of concurrent connections with a single server without introducing the burden of managing thread concurrency, which could be a significant source of bugs.
What is Node.js used for?
Node.js is primarily used for non-blocking, event-driven servers, due to its single-threaded nature. For traditional web sites and back-end API services, They designed with real-time, push-based architectures in mind.
An Example Node.js Application
The most common example:
Hello World of Node.js is a web server: https://glitch.com/embed/#!/embed/nodejs-dev-0001-01?path=server.js&previewSize=30&attributionHidden=true&sidebarCollapsed=true
This code first includes the Node.js
It has a fantastic standard library, including first-class support for networking.
createServer() method of
http creates a new HTTP server and returns it.
They set server to listen on the specified port and host name. When the server is ready, the callback function is called, in this case informing us that the server is running.
Those 2 objects are essential to handle the HTTP call.
- The first provides the request details. In this simple example, this is not used, but you could access the request headers and request data.
- The second is used to return data to the caller.
In this case with:
res.statusCode = 200
we set the statusCode property to 200, to indicate a successful response.
We set the Content-Type header:
and we close the response, adding the content as an argument to
The Benefits of Node.js
With such a vast variety of free tools accessible in a few clicks, there is a huge potential for the use of it. At the same time, open source software enjoys growing popularity as it allows you to build new solutions reducing the overall costs of development and time to market.
Robust technology stack
- better efficiency and overall developer productivity
- code sharing and reuse
- speed and performance
- easy knowledge sharing within a team
- a huge number of free tools
Scalable technology for microservices
Since it’s a lightweight technology tool, using Node.js for microservices architecture is a great choice. Martin Fowler and James Lewis described it as “an approach to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API.”
Accordingly, breaking the application logic into smaller modules, microservices, instead of creating a single, large monolithic core, you enable better flexibility and lay the groundwork for further growth. As a result, it is much easier to add more microservices on top of the existing ones than to integrate additional features with the basic app functionality.
Monolithic architecture vs microservice architecture in a nutshell
It is the technology of choice when building and deploying microservices solutions, according to Node.js User Survey Report 2017. About half of the respondents are using microservice-related technologies (namely, Docker, the leading software containerization platform) to build Node.js web apps:
Percentage of developers using Docker containerization with Node.js
More recent findings show that microservice-related technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes experienced growth in usage in 2018, as this architectural style gets only more popular. With each microservice communicating with the database directly through streams, such architecture allows for better performance and speed of application. A match made in heaven is supported by two frameworks widely used for microservice architecture. The Express framework lists IBM and Uber among its users.
As an example of live implementation, Walmart’s shift to microservices architecture with Node.js resulted in the following immediate benefits:
- Overnight 20 percent conversion growth in general and 98 percent mobile conversion growth
- One hundred percent uptime on Black Friday (handling over 500 million page views)
- Saving up to 40 percent on hardware and 20-50 percent on overall operations
Fast-processing and event-based model
Node.js is fast; it is not a myth. There a couple of reasons for it showing such results:
- Non-blocking Input/Output and asynchronous request handling made it capable of processing requests without any delays. In the context of backend, synchronous processing assumes that code is executed in a sequence. Thus, each request blocks a thread, making other requests wait for it to finish. Asynchronous processing allows processing request without blocking (non-blocking I/O) the thread. So after processing a request, it can push out a callback and continue serving requests. That helps it make the most of single threading, resulting in short response time and concurrent processing.
Strong corporate support
To clarify, Joyent supported the development of Node.js. In 2015, the Node.js Foundation was created to “enable widespread adoption and help accelerate the development of Node.js.” IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, Fidelity, and SAP became the founding members of the organization.
The list of organizations using it in production is constantly growing. It currently includes almost three hundred well-known companies, such as PayPal, Medium, Trello, Uber, and Zendesk.
Very few open source projects have ever enjoyed such strong support from the world’s leading companies. And that foretells it has outstanding potential.
Seamless JSON support
Where Node.js Shouldn’t Be Used
SHOULD NOT USE NODE.JS IN SERVER-SIDE WEB APPLICATION W/ A RELATIONAL DB BEHIND
Comparing Node.js with Express.js against Ruby on Rails. For example, there used to be a clean decision in favor of the latter when it came to accessing relational databases like PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Relational DB tools for it were still in their early stages. On the other hand, Rails automatically provides data access setup right out of the box together with DB schema migrations support tools and other Gems (pun intended). Rails and its peer frameworks have mature and proven Active Record or Data Mapper data access layer implementations.
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