• Technology
  • by Daniel Marczydło
  • 07/10/2019

5 reasons to build your backend using Node.js

Quality backend development is literally the backbone of every successful software project. When choosing a backend technology, it pays to bet on battle-tested one like Node.js. After all, backend development handles everything that happens behind-the-scenes of web applications, including managing user connections, linking the app to a database, and powering…

Concise Software - 5 reasons to build your backend using Node.js

Quality backend development is literally the backbone of every successful software project. When choosing a backend technology, it pays to bet on battle-tested one like Node.js. After all, backend development handles everything that happens behind-the-scenes of web applications, including managing user connections, linking the app to a database, and powering the app’s many other functionalities.

Node.js is a run-time application environment that allows writing backend code in JavaScript. The technology offers a unique I/O model that performs very well in demanding, real-time situations that put significant stress on servers.

By allowing developers to use JavaScript on the application’s frontend and backend, it offers new opportunities for cutting costs and reaching new efficiencies. Companies like LinkedIn and PayPal moved their backend development to Node.js. Uber, Netflix, and Trello used Node.js right from the start.

Here’s why building application backend with Node.js is a good idea.

Why Node.js for the backend?

Node.js is a great backend technology for several reasons:

One code base thanks to fullstack JavaScript

By implementing Node.js as the server technology, your team will be using the same language on both the frontend and backend side of your application. As you can imagine, this accelerates the development process – your team becomes more cross-functional and efficient. That leads to lower development costs.

Accessible technology

JavaScript is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. This means that your application’s codebase will be easier to understand for developers joining your project or substituting those who take holiday leave. The fact that JavaScript is so popular also makes it easy for business owners to source talented JavaScript developers. The generated recruitment costs will be lower than when hiring engineers who specialize in less widespread technologies.

Reusable code

Another perk of using Node.js as your backend technology is that it enables development teams to share and reuse the code between the frontend and backend parts of your application. This is another factor that speeds up the development process.

Scalability

One of the key benefits Node.js brings to projects is scalability. Development teams can easily scale applications in both horizontal and vertical directions using Node.js. All it takes to expand an app horizontally is adding new nodes to the existing system. Moreover, developers can also add extra resources to single nodes while scaling the application vertically. That’s how Node.js becomes the highly scalable backend technology.

Active community

Node.js is surrounded by a lively community of developers who are happy to share their expertise. They have created an amazing knowledge base for technology. Just have a look at StackOverflow, and you’ll see that the number of questions about Node.js is steadily increasing. The Node.js community is constantly growing too.

The rich ecosystem of tools

Node.js is available free of charge. Since it’s an open-source technology, Node.js also gets to benefit from the passion software developers put into expanding its capabilities. As a result, businesses like yours get to benefit from a massive number and variety of battle-tested tools. In fact, Node.js’ package ecosystem, npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world!

High performance

Node.js is known for its excellent performance, even when facing considerable amounts of data to process at the same time. The technology interprets the JavaScript code with the help of Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. The engine complies the JavaScript code into the machine code directly, making it both easier and faster to implement code. Another feature of Node.js is that it accelerates code execution, this run-time environment supports non-blocking I/O operations.

What is Node.js used for?

Now that you know what advantages Node.js brings to software development projects, it’s time to consider its potential use cases. Here’s a list of possible solutions where companies are leveraging this technology, especially on the backend.

Real-time applications (RTAs)

Real-time applications are digital products we all use every day: project management tools, collaborative services, audio/video conferencing programs, and many others. Google Docs or Slack are RTAs – and like all other real-time apps, they require heavy input/output operations. Node.js has proven to be an excellent technology here, offering event API and WebSockets (not to mention its event-driven character). Thanks to Node.js, companies can ensure that data is updated instantly in these apps.

The most typical RTA use case is a chat application. Node.js offers excellent support for this type of solution that needs to handle high traffic and data flow. Also, chat apps need to be lightweight and fast. The Node.js WebSockets help to manage the message flow within a chat room.

Single-page applications (SPAs)

A single-page application means that developers place the entire app on one page. This type of application is widespread among solutions such as drawing/text tools, social networking, email, and many other websites. Node.js is a great match for SPAs thanks to the asynchronous data flow it provides on the backend, that enables smooth data updates. As a result, users don’t have to refresh the page every time they want to get new data. Node.js boosts the development of SPAs thanks to the reusability of structures and approaches on both the frontend and backend.

Data streaming apps

Another common use case of Node.js is streaming applications like Netflix. The strength of Node.js in this type of application is its ability to process data while it’s being uploaded. For example, applications can transmit parts of the content and keep the connection open to download other components. And we’re not only talking about apps that handle video or audio data – Node.js works for other formats for input/output in real-time too.

REST APIs

Application programming interfaces (APIs) that are based on representational state transfer (REST) are essential to any enterprise software development project. REST APIs are becoming more popular because of the strong trend for microservices design patterns. Node.js includes the Express.js framework in its ecosystem that allows developers to build fast and lightweight REST APIs.

Monitoring dashboards

Another common use case of Node.js is a system or application dashboards that display data in real-time. For example, you can create a dashboard that tracks visitors to your website, visualizes their interactions with particular features in real-time, and gathers real-time statistics.

IoT and hardware programming

The hardware we’re talking about here are robots, the Internet of Things (IoT), and embedded devices. Node.js is a popular backend technology among IoT solutions because it allows the processing of many requests at the same time, sent by a great number of peripheral devices. The JavaScript run-time environment works as an interlayer between databases and devices. The asynchronous, event-driven architecture of Node.js allows incredibly fast data flow.

Key takeaway

Node.js is taking the web development scene by storm, and its popularity is constantly on the rise. Companies looking to launch products or services that require high data-processing capacities choose Node.js because it’s fast, lightweight, and provides them with a scalable architecture.

If you’re looking for Node.js experts for your project, look no further. We have been implementing solutions based on this versatile technology for a long time, supplying clients from various industries with applications that drive business growth.

Get in touch with our consultants at success@concisesoftware.com – let’s work on something amazing together!

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