Node JS is an open source software system, which has been created for the purposes of writing highly scaled internet applications, mainly of web servers. Programs are written in the JavaScript language, they use the model of events and asynchronous operations for the minimal processor usage and maximum effectiveness.

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages for the frontend development. Node.JS is an environment, in which is possible to run JavaScript on server and by that it expands its usage in back-end development. Node.js uses e. g. PayPal for its app, which use more than 200 million active users or Uber for its mobile app.

Active community

Community of developers in Node.js is a very active group, which contributes to permanent improvement of Node.js. Thanks to the cooperation of JavaScript programmers and their input within community, you have access to many finished solutions, parts of the code on GitHub and many other options. Although it is on relatively low level of development, the community has been dramatically expanding and the members are actively trying to offer other the best and most reliable solution.

Advantages of Node.js

  • It is easy to learn. JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages for front-end development, therefore almost every front-end developer masters this language. It is much simpler for them to switch on Node.js in back-end.
  • Liberty in building application. Ruby on Rails as Framework brings clear rules and procedures, how to develop software in an exact way. In contrast, Node.js gives developers much bigger space to do things on their own. It does not promote any opinion, so you can start building anything from scratch.
  • Complex usage of JavaScript. Before the Node.js creation was possible to use JavaScript only for the front-end development. For server page programming was necessary to use different programming language. Therefore, in practice, it was necessary to hire different developers for front-end and back-end. Now, it is possible to built-up the whole app on JavaScript, thanks to which is the web app development simpler and more effective.
  • Active community.
  • Simultaneous request processing. Node.js offers nonblocking IO system, which allows processing of higher number of requests at the same time. That way, the system makes the simultaneous processing much easier than with the Ruby or Python. Incoming requests are queued and quickly sequentially executed. Thanks to that, app needs less RAM, reaches maximal scalability and as a result it has bigger efficiency.

Disadvantages of Node.js

  • Unstable API. One of the biggest disadvantages of Node.js is, that it is not consistent. API often changes and the changes are not backward compatible. If these kind of changes happen, programmers are forced to change the existing originally functional code, so it would be compatible with the latest version of API Node.js.
  • More time is spent by development. The reality, that Node.js does not promote own opinion, can be even disadvantage for some developers. E. g. Ruby on Rails offers a lot of guidelines from clear installation and guides you the way it solves problems. In contrast, Node.js forces the programmer to write everything from the beginning. It can lead to lower productivity, but if a group of skilled programmers cooperates, who internally developed good processes for the development and maintenance of the code, effectivity is not a problem.
  • Inappropriate for the computationally demanding apps. Node.js does not support processing in more threads. It can operate way complicated apps than Ruby on Rails, but it is not suitable for long-running calculations. Computationally demanding processes block the incoming requests, which can lead to lowering the efficiency.
  • Tool immaturity. Even if the core of Node.js is stable, many packages in npm (preinstalled administrator of packages, which organizes installation and Node.js program management of third parties) has still low quality or inadequate documentation. Many tools weren’t revised and the npm structure does searching of the reliable packages hard.

Node.js is suitable to use in cases, when we are dealing with app, which runs in the real time and must process high number of quick short messages. On the other hand, it is not suitable to use Node.js for computationally demanding applications.