Node.js features , uses , advantages and disadvantages

Node is the server which can execute JavaScript , It is an open source , cross platform to make the real time network applications , It offers asynchronous & event driven I/O APIs , When it runs single threaded event based loop , all the executions become non-blocking .


Node does not deal with PHP , .NET or JAVA , It is not a framework , It is a server such as Apache , IIS , TOM etc , It executes JavaScript in the server side , JavaScript without the browser is Node.js , Node itself is not made in JavaScript completely , But its wrappers are made in C and it just executes JavaScript .

Although there are drawbacks of using Node.js , Many features of it will help in creating a wide range of networking and server-side applications in JavaScript , Node.js is the most common & widely used server side framework for small , large and any sized web app & web application development .

JavaScript is more popular than the other client-side programming languages, As a cross-platform run-time environment , Node.js enables the developers to run JavaScript on the web servers , But Node.js is different from the other commonly used JavaScript frameworks , It interprets the JavaScript code through Google’s V8 JavaScript engine .



Node.js advantages

You can use a Single Programming Language , Node.js enables the developers to write the server-side applications in JavaScript , So , the developers can use the run-time environment to write the front-end & back-end of the web application in JavaScript , without using any server-side programming language .

As JavaScript is supported by each the web browser & the server , it becomes easier for the businesses to deploy their web applications more effectively , Node.js is easy to learn , So , The basic Java programmer will find it easy to upgrade to it , It uses JavaScript as a programming language which increase programmer productivity & code reusability .

The synchronization process is better & quicker , The asynchronous event-driven IO assists concurrent request handling , The community is very active & vibrant with several codes shared by GitHub, etc , Node is not multi-threaded , It runs in a single thread with callback concept , It’s not for JavaScript beginners as it is very low level .

As it’s a single threaded program , It offers many options for having a good grip over run-time executions such as call-back methods & event loops , Node package modules (npm) has already increased in size & It is still growing , Streaming big files is possible with Node.js .

Node.js is open source , so it is free to use & you can extend it as per your need , There is no need to pay for license & There are many open source modules supported by Node.js , Event-driven architecture of node.js is appropriate for the real-time applications , especially the chat applications & the games .

You can scale your Node.js application by using two ways the Horizontal Scaling & Vertical Scaling , that helps you to improve your application performance , In Horizontal scaling you can add more nodes to your existing system and in Vertical scaling you can add more resources to a single node .

Node.js is easy to scale , The developers have the option to scale the Node.js applications by using two ways which are the Horizontal Scaling & Vertical Scaling , that helps the developers to improve their application performance .

The developers can add extra nodes to their existing system in Horizontal scaling & They can add more resources to a single node in Vertical scaling , These options make Node.js more scalable than the other JavaScript frameworks available in the market .

Node.js delivers improved performance , It executes JavaScript code through Google’s V8 JavaScript engine , The engine compiles the code written in JavaScript into the machine code directly , So , This code is executed in a faster & efficient way , The run-time environment increases the code execution speed by supporting non-blocking I/O operations .

Node.js is highly extensible , It is based on JavaScript that can be executed on the client side as well as the server side , Its open source nature makes it easier for the programmers to customize & extend Node.js , It supports exchange of data between the web server & the client by using JSON that is consumed by JavaScript easily , This makes it light weight as compared to the other frameworks .

Node.js offers a wide community of developers around the world , They are active in development of new modules or the packages to support different types of applications development , PayPal reported 2 times increase in developer productivity after using node.js .

Node.js supports caching of modules , Each time a module is requested for the first time , It is cached in the application memory , The application can load the cached modules quickly without requiring the module code to be re-executed , The caching feature enables the application to load the web pages & respond to the user requests more quickly .

When you use Node.js , you can develop Restful services API easily , Despite being lightweight , Node.js offers some built-in APIs that help you to create different types of Servers like HTTP Server , DNS Server , TCP Server etc. and Node.js helps the developers to take advantage of many commonly used tools .

Node.js supports unit testing out of box , The developers can test the source code of Node.js application by using Jasmin & JavaScript unit testing frameworks , They specify & install the project dependencies more efficiently by taking advantage of the robust package manager like npm , They have option to use grunt as an efficient task runner for the project .

Node.js can facilitate the Real-Time Application Development , It is used by JavaScript developers for building the real-time & multi-user applications such as the games & chats , The run-time environment uses web-sockets simplify & speedup bidirectional communication between the web server & the client , As the web-sockets run on TCP , the overhead on HTTP remain unchanged .

Node.js disadvantages

Node.js is isn’t consistent , It does not support the relational databases , Using it is difficult for the programmers for high intensive computational tasks , It is important to use the callback end up every time with the bulk of nested callbacks .

Many programmers complain that Node.js API ( Application Programming Interface ) keeps changing at frequent intervals , The new API comes with a number of backwards-incompatible changes , So , it is important for the programmers to make the changes to the existing code base to make it compatible with the latest version of Node.js API .

The asynchronous programming approach is important if we want to enhance Node.js scalability  , The developers have the split opinion on this as this approach is quite complex than the linear blocking I/O programming and it makes the code messy .

JavaScript does not have a strong standard library , unlike the other modern programming languages , The users do not have any option to avail popular libraries for the image processing , The object-relational mapping (ORM) , database operations and XML parsing .

Many developers find the available JavaScript to be unstable & inadequate , So , the developers find it difficult to accomplish popular programming tasks while using Node.js , If Node.js executes long running task , It does not support very high computational intensive tasks , It will queue all the incoming requests to wait for execution , It follows JavaScript event loop that is single threaded .

Node.js at present , isn’t supportive to both multi-threaded programmings , So , It is unsuitable for large and complicated web applications , It doesn’t support multi-threaded programming , Node is good for executing synchronous and CPU intensive tasks .

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