What Is Node.js and Why You Should Use It
Introduction of Node.js
Node.js event-driven, non-blocking I/O model makes it lightweight and efficient, thus well suited for data-intensive applications running on distributed devices.
A Node is a single-threaded, event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that works on a single thread.
Some people think that node.js is a framework, then the answer is no.
It is an environment, and the back-end frameworks run within it. Popular ones include Express.js (or simply Express) for HTTP servers and Socket.IO for WebSocket servers.
How Node.js works
If node.js doesn’t use threads how does it handle concurrent requests in parallel?
Answer: It is totally wrong sentence when you say it does not use threads, node js uses threads but in a smart way. It uses a single thread to handle all HTTP requests and multiple threads in the thread pool (in libuv) to handle any blocking operation
Libuv: A library for handling asynchronous I/O.
What is meant by Event I/O Model?
Answer: The correct term is non-blocking I/O. As the Node.js official site says, it almost never blocks. When a requesting node goes to the server it never queues the request. It takes the request and starts executing if it is a blocking operation it is sent to the working thread area and as soon as the code execution is over a callback is registered for the same it triggers the same callback is and goes to the event queue and is processed by the event and then loops and creates a response and sends to the respective client.
Why do we use Node.js?
Node.js is primarily used for non-blocking, event-driven servers, due to its single-threaded nature. It’s used for traditional web sites and back-end API services, but was designed with real-time, push-based architectures in mind.
We use Node to develop backend services such as APIs and web applications.
Applications like Chat apps, E-commerce apps, Streaming apps, etc. are designed to be data-intensive, highly scalable, and real-time using Node.js.
Node.js is used in many different applications. Let’s look at some common scenarios where Node.js is a good fit:
Real-time chats — Node.js is well-suited to handling real-time communication because of its single-threaded asynchronous nature. It’s a popular choice for constructing chatbots since it’s easy to grow. Additional chat capabilities, such as multi-person chat and push alerts, are very straightforward to implement using Node.js.
Internet of Things — IoT applications often include numerous sensors since they deliver little pieces of data that can accumulate into a significant number of requests. Because it can handle these concurrent requests rapidly, Node.js is a suitable choice.
Streaming data — Netflix and other streaming services use Node.js. This is primarily due to Node.js’s lightweight and quick nature, as well as the fact that it includes a native streaming API. Users can pipe requests to each other over these streams, resulting in data being sent directly to its final destination.
SPAs (single-page applications) — The entire program is loaded on a single page in SPAs. This usually signifies that a few requests for certain components are being made in the background. The event loop in Node.js comes to the rescue here, as it handles requests in a non-blocking manner.
Features of Node.js
Node.js has grown rapidly over the years. Following are some of its features:
Easy to Use — Getting started with Node.js is pretty easy. It is a good option for beginners. It’s very easy to get started with lots of tutorials and a huge community.
Scalable – It allows applications to scale to a very large scale. Single-threaded Node.js can handle a large number of simultaneous connections with high throughput.
Speed — Non-blocking thread execution makes Node.js even faster and more efficient.
Packages — There are many open-source packages for Node.js that can make your job easier. There are over a million packages in the npm ecosystem.
Robust backend — Node.js is written in C and C++, which makes it faster and adds features like networking support.
Multi-platform — Cross-platform support allows you to build SaaS websites, desktop apps, and even mobile apps, all using Node.js.
Is Node.js a frontend or a backend framework?
Node.js is sometimes misunderstood by developers as a backend framework that is only used to construct servers. This is not the case: Node.js may be used on both the frontend and backend of a website.
The event-driven, non-blocking nature of Node.js frameworks is one of the reasons it is a popular choice for developers designing a flexible and scalable backend. Frontend developers, on the other hand, will notice these advantages of Node.js in their own work just as clearly.
Let’s look at why Node.js is suitable for both backend and frontend development:
Large crowds - A thriving Internet-based local area affects the pace of an effective progress cycle. When you stumble upon an issue, there’s a good chance someone has now tackled it and shared the arrangement on Stack Overflow. Node.js uses this local scope, which is dynamic and designed with respect to the well-known runtime and its bundles.