What is Node.js?
How Node.js works?
What makes this technology so powerful, lightweight and efficient, is its unique I/O model that excels in many scalable and real-time situations demanded from the servers. Let's find out how this model works.
"Every I/O operation in Node.js is asynchronous..."
As for the Web3Techs reports, the usage of Node.js in web applications development historically grew and at the moment it looks like this.
And maybe this popularity is the reason that, according Github Annual Octoverse Report 2017, Node.js is the 8th most discussed technology on their website.
According to Mark Hinkle, executive director of the Node.js Foundation, a branch of The Linux Foundation, "With more than 8 million Node.js instances online, three in four users are planning to increase their use of Node.js in the next 12 months."
Why? Because, "the application platform helped improve developer satisfaction and productivity, and benefited from cost savings and increased application performance." On the business side, Node.js is expanding its markets.
Hinkle continued: "It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization and IoT solutions." In addition, "Node.js use is beginning to rise in the Ops/DevOps sector and mobile as well."
On top of that, he said, "the use of Node.js expands well beyond containers and cloud-native apps to touch development with databases, front-end framework/libraries, load balancing, message systems and more."
Besides using Node.js for backend and frontend separately, at the same time, this technology happened to have a lot of applications of desktop, mobile app development, also for security reasons, and to the surprise of some of you, even in IoT.
Node.js and Desktop Apps
Famous desktop apps like WhatsApp and Messenger are written in Node.js with the help of node-webkit. While, one of the most famous team collaboration tool - Slack desktop application was written also in Node but with the help of Electron.
NOde.js in IoT
Now Node.js is being adopted in IoT use cases, as well. It is becoming really popular for many IoT companies and situations as it is easy to use and rarely breaks. Node.js is used in IoT projects for both the device and the server.
Hosting Services Supporting Node.js
To the happiness of many developers and IT professionals, Node.js is supported by the biggest and best hosting services in the industry like AWS, Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Joyent, etc. Below you can find just some of the most popular services that support Node.js.
AWS - Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) allows you to deploy a high-availability Node.js web application using the AWS Elastic Beanstalk service. This is a container system that makes it extremely easy to push packaged applications to AWS as Platform as a Service (PaaS). You have full control over the server on which your Node.js application runs, and indeed you can also run multiple applications on the server without incurring any additional costs.
Initially only supporting Ruby on Rails, Heroku has since added support for a wide range of languages and environments including Perl, Python, PHP, Java and of course Node.js. Owned by Salesforce.com, Heroku also offers seamless integration with a host of third-party services and supports deployment across multiple regions. It is very easy to get started with Heroku even for the beginners. This hosting service has great support documentation available for free and an extensive list of plugins and services that can be added instantly.
Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s cloud-based platform that lets developers rapidly build, deploy, and manage powerful websites and web apps. This is a reliable platform with great flexibility and high-availability across multiple regions. With support for both Windows and Linux machines, you are able to monitor all of your Node.js applications hosted on Azure in real-time, with automatic scalability supported. This means it is super-easy to scale your Node.js app up or down here, and enable autoscaling - meaning letting Azure to scale in accordance with the traffic.
You can find more examples of Node.js supporting hosting services in another Simply blog-post here.
companies that use Node
Node.js helped many popular companies to build various fully-functional applications like Netflix, Walmart, Uber, Paypal, etc. Netflix, the world's leading Internet television network with over 117 million users, is one of those top companies that trusted his servers to Node.js. The technology helped to reduce its application startup time by 70%. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, re-developed its mobile app to provide more advanced features on the client side. The three core sides of Node.js that made it a good fit for Uber were asynchronous I/O requests handling, quick iterations and the active open source community. So, in another blog post we have put together 8 top companies that trusted Node and tried to understand the reasons that make the industry leaders like Netflix, Walmart, Uber, etc. choose this technology.
Node.js is talked as much as it is loved among the professionals because maybe this love is mutual? Who knows! ;)