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Why Node.JS is Popular in Real Time Applications?

Web design technology has advanced light-years in recent times, reaching completely new and unthinkable tops, and causing radical changes in the web development world. One of these revolutionary technologies is Node.JS, which has deservedly earned a site among the most respected and popular technologies in web development. Node.JS made the impossible possible: that JavaScript could compete with PHP in the same field: back-end development.

why Node-js

But what is Node.JS?

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that works using the JavaScript V8 engine (it was designed for Chrome). It was created by Ryan Dahl in 2009. It is written in open source under the BSD license. It allows building web servers and network tools using JavaScript and a set of modules. Among its main advantages, Node.JS uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, which makes it lighter and more efficient than its rivals.

It is important to clarify that Node.js IS NOT a JavaScript framework, but it is true that many of its basic modules are in JS. Node.JS is a distributed and multi-platform development project very similar to Ruby on Rails, Spring Framework, and ASP.NET.

Finally, we have web applications with real-time bidirectional connections in which both the server and the client can initiate communication, unlike the traditional paradigm where only the client starts sending data. This makes Node.JS very suitable for the construction of Real-Time Applications (RTA). This fact has also been confirmed by most of the developers working in the overseas and software development companies.

What are Real-Time Applications (RTA)?

An RTA is a program that works within a period of time that the user perceives as immediate or current. The latency must be less than a value predefined by the developer or the user, usually measured in seconds. The use of RTA in other applications is called Real-Time Computing.

Some examples of RTA are:

  1. Video conferencing applications
  2. VoIP calls
  3. Online games or network game applications
  4. Instant messaging (IM) apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.
  5. Some e-commerce transactions, such as securities brokerage
  6. Other chat applications
  7. Community storage systems that require continuous updating of the data

However, there is still a big question:

What are the reasons why Node.JS is the most popular option in building RTA?

Let’s explore them:

  • Fast and scalable: Node.JS uses the V8 engine of JavaScript, which allows us to run JS quickly when compiling into native machine code. In addition, when using an event-based architecture, everything that runs on Node, including all operations and calls, is an asynchronous callback series. This allows Node.JS to execute everything in a single thread with an event loop, unlike other web systems where a new thread is generated for each request. This makes Node.JS quite light, fast and scalable.
  • Share and reuse: if you have any problems, the Node Package Manager (NPM), with its repository of more than 50,000 packages, can help you find a solution. It is the ideal place for you to upload your codes and help other members of the community.
  • Transmissions in Node.JS: Since Node is event-driven, limited I/O tasks are extremely fast and efficient. Streams are UNIX pipes that facilitate the reading of the data sent and channel it to its destination.
  • Synchronization of data between the client and the server: Node.JS only uses JavaScript to write back-end and front-end code, unlike other technologies, which require the use of another language to write backend code such as C# or Java. This makes the transfer of client-server data much faster by doing everything on the same language.
  • Different modules: it is very important to be able to guarantee the availability of file system I/O, binary network data, data flow, and other functions. Node.JS modules use an API designed to simplify the writing of server applications.
  • High performance: thanks to Node.JS, PayPal has been able to double the number of requests per second and reduce the response time by 35%. Another company benefited from using Node.JS was LinkedIn, the main social network of the planet, which moved its servers from Ruby to Node.JS, managing to reduce the number of servers from 30 to 3 and increase the speed up to 20 times.
  • It is JavaScript for all sides: one of the main reasons for the Node popularity is that it uses JavaScript as its main language to write web applications. And as we all obviously know, the vast majority of developers knows well JavaScript or have used it at some point, which makes it easy to learn how to use Node.JS.

Conclusion 

Without a doubt, there are very solid reasons that justify the rise of Node.JS. It is one of the best options available today for web development, and still has ample room for improvement. Undoubtedly, it is very likely that this trend continues to gain ground at the expense of more obsolete alternatives, so we recommend everyone to adapt to the new times.

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