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Node.js: Trends & Use Cases in The World of Web Development

A decade has gone by since the development of Node.js framework, an open-source platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for building network applications. It is a JavaScript runtime, a way to use JavaScript like you can PHP on the server-side.

Before its development, web applications were written in a client/server model where the client would request resources from the server and the server would respond with the resources, after which the server would close the connection.

Responding to millions of requests coming in at the same time proved to be a challenge for servers.

As a result, requests to servers would be delayed till all other requests were responded to, which wasn’t nice.

This is where Threads came into the picture and allowed a way to run thousands or at least hundreds of requests at once. This multi-threaded system proved to be efficient for CPU intensive applications.

But, it had a downside.

In scenarios where there were lots of requests, starting up new threads consumed a whole lot of memory and system resources. The more the threads, the more the cost. Multiple threaded systems proved to be a costly affair!

This is where Node.js jumped into the picture.

Simply put, instead of requiring a new thread or process for every single request, it delegates all requests to other system workers that allow everything to happen parallel except your code.

Today, multiple companies across the globe rely on the Node.js framework to build various applications. Netflix is unarguably one of the biggest examples of a high-profile company that uses the Node.js platform.

Some of the other biggies in the industry that leverage Node.js to build their primary applications include LinkedIn, Trello, Walmart, Uber, eBay, PayPal, and NASA. Other industry giants such as Google, Amazon, GitHub, and Mozilla have also embraced the technology as part of their operations.

Popular Companies That Use The Node.js Framework

Trends and popular use cases of Node.js

  • Event-based, real-time applications
    Event-based, real-time applications that have non-blocking I/O, such as gaming apps, chat apps, video conference apps, and others require constantly updated data. Due to the asynchronous, non-blocking, single-threaded nature of Node.js framework, synchronization happens fast, which makes it the most suitable choice of technology for these apps.

    PayPal is a leading example that switched to Node.js from Java and noticed a significant decrease in response time.
  • Microservices solutions
    The lightweight mechanism of Node.js makes it a great choice for developing microservices solutions. The technology makes it easier to lay the groundwork for further growth. It does so by allowing to break the application logic into smaller modules. It further allows to add more microservices on top of the existing ones.

    As a result, the Node.js framework promises better performance and speed of application.
  • Modern applications
    The Node.js framework is quite rich with a countless number of libraries available in the NPM registry and new ones being published constantly. Stats indicate that 97 % of modern web applications consist of NPM modules. With such a vast variety of free tools the technology offers, it is an indisputable choice for building modern web applications.
  • System dashboards
    Node.js can be leveraged to collect detailed real-time data about website traffic, especially website visitors. If your business model relies on user statistics and insights, you can use the technology to make system dashboards.

Applications that process data from IoT and SPAs

Since the Node.js framework implements microservices and real-time capabilities, companies prefer developing IoT apps using the platform. It is an appropriate choice of technology for applications that process data from IoT devices (Internet of Things) and Single Page Applications (SPAs) which are very common now.

There are specific cases where Node.js performs the best.

Server-side web applications are the most appropriate use case where the technology proves to be no less than a match made in heaven.

If you’re looking to create web applications on the server-side, Node.js promises the best environment to pick for server-side web applications, provided you’re not trying to perform relational operations or CPU intensive computation.

The bottom line

Node.js, the server-side platform, has become a stand-alone name in the industry. Its open and welcoming community of code packages follows the sharing-is-caring approach, which makes the work of developers a lot simpler.

Although it is not perfect, it keeps evolving and that is what makes it a popular choice among coders in today’s diverse and dynamic world of web development.

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