Why Node.js is Great for Backend Development?

There is no denying that every business wants to provide a seamless experience to its users through its app. And this can be achieved by making the backend of the app strong. Node.js is the one that’s becoming the first choice of businesses for developing scalable mobile and web applications. The USA alone has over 41,000 websites created using Node js. Moreover, the technology has been adopted by several renowned companies like Amazon, Linkedin, PayPal, Netflix, and Reddit for backend development. 

Node.js for Backend Development

The Node.js users survey report also stated that most respondents mentioned Node.js as a fast, easy, and powerful tech stack. In addition, many respondents said that this technology had positively impacted their business through increased developer productivity & satisfaction and reduced development cost. Well, that’s a pretty good bet for a runtime environment. But why is Node.js great for backend development? In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind the Node.js popularity for backend development. 

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment used to build fast and highly scalable network applications. It runs on the V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. What’s more, Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, making the framework lightweight and fast. Furthermore, applications built on Node.js are based on single-threaded event loop architecture in order to handle multiple connections simultaneously. 

Most developers use this framework for its speed, scalability, and thriving community. Moreover, it lets a JavaScript developer work on both the frontend and backend reducing the cost of hiring developers. This is how this technology is gaining businesses’ attention for their app development requirements.

Use Cases of Node.js

The majority of renowned players in this digital world are using Node.js for backend development. A few of them are:

  1. Paypal: PayPal uses Node.js to develop user-facing content and managed to reduce the average response time by 35% for the same page.
  2. Netflix: The video streaming app has reduced the startup time by 70% after using Node.js.
  3. LinkedIn: ​​Linkedin has experienced improved performance, i.e., up to 20 times faster than its predecessor app (developed in Ruby on Rails) after moving to Node.js. 
  4. Uber: The first company that used Node.js to its fullest to create its app to boost processing speed, ease error checking, and adopt continuous development.
  5. Trello: The collaborative online tool Trello has used Node.js to build its backend to utilize Node.js’ capability of handling several open connections concurrently. 
  6. Walmart: It uses Node.js to build the user interface of the app. The framework is also used as an orchestration layer to create APIs for Walmart’s several applications.

Why is Node.js good for backend development?

The back-end of any application is the most crucial part that helps make an application work excellently. Node.js, being a server-side JavaScript runtime environment, is undoubtedly the best solution for building the backend of applications. So what are the reasons, which make it the best tech stack to choose for backend development? Let’s take a look:

  1. Works well with real-time applications 

The asynchronous, non-blocking, and single-threaded features of this framework also make synchronization possible at a faster speed. Thus, it makes this framework ideal for event-based and real-time application development like online gaming, chats, video conferencing applications, etc. PayPal is one example that has decreased the response time by 35% after migrating its application to Node.js. It has also improved productivity by reusing the code on the frontend and backend by creating a new level of abstraction. 

  1. Provides Scalability to Microservices & Serverless Architecture

Node.js is flexible and lightweight, making it the best option for serverless and microservice-based applications. While using Node.js for Microservices, you can break application logic into small modules and deploy them separately. It adds flexibility to the architecture, and hence adding more microservices to the existing ones becomes easy without compromising the performance. Besides, serverless applications are also stateless and lightweight, making Node.js integration with serverless architecture easy.

  1. Single-page applications

Node.js is an ideal option for building single-page applications. As we all know, SPAs are applications, which have one page that loads once, and then dynamic data is rendered on the same page to provide a seamless user experience with low loading time. This is why Node.js is used most for SPAs, as it goes well with all javascript frameworks like React and Angular. On top of that, the asynchronous nature of Node.js makes the transition of content seamless and smooth. Hence it is an ideal tech stack for SPAs. Moreover, using one language for the frontend and backend makes the development process fast and also helps in reducing the development cost. Netflix, for example, is the one that has also used Node.js for its single-page app and decreased the loading time by 70%

  1. Rich Ecosystem

Node.js has an open-source package manager named NPM, consisting of several tools and packages that help developers build web applications smoothly. It acts as a Node.js marketplace where developers can find solutions for app development needs. More than 1.3 million packages are available in the NPM main registry, multiplying every day, making Node.js one of the rich ecosystems. For example, suppose you want to add authentication, you can use a package named passport. If you need to build an API, you have express, koa, and hapi packages to make it possible. Developers can use any available packages or tools from the NPM registry as per their ease and app requirements. 

  1. Enable Data Streaming

It’s challenging to treat HTTP0 requests and responses as complete data objects through web frameworks. Here, Node.js proves its competency through its I/O model, which makes data streaming simple by allowing users to transcode videos simultaneously while they are getting uploaded. As a result, it saves a lot of time during the process that can be utilized for further development.

Wrapping Up

As we mentioned in the blog, there are plenty of reasons to vouch for the efficiency of Node.js for backend development. It can be used to create single-page apps, develop APIs, create dashboards, and deploy proxy. After all, this Javascript runtime offers an excellent user experience with its great community, single thread event-driven model, and smooth development process. Furthermore, this technology is growing at a full pace, and there is no sign of slowing it down anytime soon. So, we could say that Node.js is the best choice for building the backend of varieties of products. But make sure that the tool or programming language you choose for the app development must meet your business requirement.

Hardik Shah

Hardik Shah works as a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading custom software development company. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_.
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Lukasz Bownik
Lukasz Bownik
2 years ago

Kind of one sided opinion. What are Node’s weaknesses?

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