Generally speaking, developers use Node.js to achieve two purposes: to create utilities like Grunt and Yeoman that assist with build automation, and to build web servers (or web applications). Node.js is based on a module system which incorporates discrete units of functionality and programs can call on specific modules without impacting other modules.
For most companies, it has proven a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for building numerous different types of software, including microservice architecture, streaming apps, SaaS, data-processing tools, and more.
Node.js is a very popular runtime environment and has been used by many companies to build apps that need to handle concurrent requests and intensive client-side rendering.
Here are some of the main benefits:
Node.js is particularly suitable for data-intensive applications that are built on distributed systems because of its speed and scalability. By operating on a single thread and leveraging non-blocking calls and event queuing, Node.js can handle a large number of concurrent connections.
Because of its event-driven architecture and asynchronous non-blocking input/output processing, Node.js can be used to develop highly-scalable apps. Node.js uses Google’s V8 engine, which offers a very high level of speed and performance, to compile code.
Developers have access to the Node Package Manager (npm), a library of modules that allow for streamlined application development. Because the Node.js community is so active, there are literally hundreds of thousands of packages that can be used, which can dramatically cut down on development time.
Node.js enables full-stack development in one language, which can be very cost-effective in the long-term. Because Node.js is extensible, it’s also easy to extend functionality in existing apps.
Node.js is a popular solution. Hundreds of well-known companies use it to power their software infrastructures. What’s more, learning how to use Node.js is relatively straightforward, and programmers can take advantage of a number of tools to streamline and speed up the development process.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the biggest companies currently leveraging Node.js:
Prior to shifting to Node.js from Ruby on Rails, Groupon has significant problems with deployment speed. In 2013, Groupon engineer Sean McCullough said, “To change one color throughout the entire Groupon.com webpage, that was estimated to take three months to do.” Despite some initial hiccups, Groupon’s entire platform is now built on Node.js. It can serve much higher levels of traffic with a lower page load time.
GoDaddy’s Senior Software Engineer, Stephen Commisso, said that by utilizing microservices and Node.js, it’s possible to cut down on resource consumption by 90%. Since fully moving over to Node.js in 2013, Godaddy has found it much easier to build, test, and deploy applications. During one of its SuperBowl ads, the company was able to handle 100,000 requests per second without any downtime.
By unifying two previously-disparate parts of its coding team, PayPal has become much more agile in dealing with user needs and complaints as they relate to all aspects of its tech stack.
Walmart relies on Node.js to power its distributed microservices architecture. Node.js enables Walmart to deal with large amounts of traffic, especially on buying holidays like Black Friday. In the past, user experience had been detrimentally affected by its legacy system.
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