Node.js Web App Development: Advantages & Disadvantages

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JavaScript is a popularly used programming language and one of the most popular software development tools. Originally developed as a web frontend development tool, it has evolved into a prominent cross-platform mobile development tool that acts as a groundwork for various platforms, including Apache Cordova/PhoneGap, React Native, NativeScript, and Appcelerator Titanium. 

However, the landscape of JavaScript does not end here. The usage of JavaScript for server-side programming has recently attracted a lot of attention. Node.js app development was one of the tools that signaled this revolution in web development. 

Based on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine, Node.js is not a library or a framework. It is a runtime environment. First introduced in 2009 by Ryan Dahl, Node.js was recognized as one of the most exciting pieces of software in the universe of JavaScript. Further, sponsored by Joyent is an open-source project, Node.js became a cloud computing platform and hosted solutions. Several other technologies, including the Ruby on Rails framework, were invested by the company. Joyent even became one of the first companies to utilize Node.js for its mobile backend application. Later, similar technology was adopted by some prominent companies of the current time, such as eBay, Walmart, Uber, Netflix, etc. 

The interest in this technology peaked in 2017, as per Google Trends, and remains high. Also, developers have been recently adopting server-side JavaScript with Node.js for developing applications and software. 

Source: Google Trends

Apart from its increasing popularity, Node.js app development has some of its significant advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore! 

Benefits Of Node.js

There are various advantages to using Node.js. Using this specific type of server-side programming will make it easier to create a wide range of online apps. This system has several features that make programming easier. Here are some of the most significant advantages of Node.js.

Scalable: Node.js offers seamless scaling of applications. One can scale applications in both horizontal and vertical ways. A developer can add various other resources to the single node while vertically scaling the applications. It, therefore, makes Node.js a better option rather than using a server like JavaScript.

Single Programming Language: When it comes to creating server-side apps, Node.js allows you to use JavaScript. Since Node.js is the most widely used programming language, it will enable the developer to accomplish things on the front end and the back end using the same JavaScript language. Moreover, every browser supports JavaScript. So, while designing web applications with Node.js, you create applications that work in web browsers.

Easy Learning Curve: Node.js provides easy learning time for your backend applications. It eases learning and would not let you spend too much time getting up to speed. Node.js makes software development efficient and offers a more familiar working environment.  

Powerful Performance: Node.js provides exceptional performance, but it’s crucial to understand how this is accomplished. It reads JavaScript code using Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. The importance of this engine stems from the fact that it compiles JavaScript directly into machine code. Furthermore, because non-blocking I/O operations support the runtime environment, the code execution speed is significantly improved.

Drawbacks Of Node.js

Like anything else, there are portions of Node.js that function brilliantly, but there are also aspects of it that you should be aware of that aren’t so fantastic. These are concerns with Node.js that you should be aware of before deciding whether or not to use it.

API Instability: Most Node.js developers have to cope with the API changing frequently and the lack of stability that comes with those changes. Several new APIs lack backward compatibility, which means you’ll have to put in more effort than you’d want. Node.js’ API and its updates need to be more consistent, or else this approach will quickly become obsolete.

Asynchronous Model: The key to making programs scalable is to use an asynchronous programming model. This strategy is more challenging to master than linear blocking I/O programming. Anything more difficult also necessitates a greater time commitment. Aside from being more challenging, Node.js has a clumsy feel associated with it. Programmers will rely on nested calls, which makes Node.js a little harder to use.

No Library Support: JavaScript, in comparison to other programming languages, lacks a comprehensive library system. Things like ORM, database operations, and XML parsing end up using the common library to accomplish their goals. When utilizing Node.js, developers have a harder time than usual accomplishing all of these programming jobs and more. Notably, Node.js is built on JavaScript. Consequently, any flaws in JavaScript are equally flaws in Node.js. The library system exemplifies these issues with Node.js.

The Bottom Line

The truth is that Node.js app development offers more benefits than drawbacks. Also, the disadvantages all look to be entirely fixable. Since Node.js uses JavaScript, it’s a suitable choice for backend development because coders are already familiar with it. Furthermore, Node.js is being used by more enterprises, which makes it a perfect framework for backend programmers to employ.

Want to create your business website by leveraging Node.js advantages? Get connected with developers at ForceBolt and create a scalable website and application from the front to the backend.


Abhishek Singh

Full Stack Technical Lead

A highly motivated Senior Full Stack Developer who is self-driven and actively looks for ways to contribute to the team. He possesses rich expertise and deep knowledge about a good software development process that includes documentation, testing, documentation, and collaboration. With solid communications and reasoning skills, he delivers high performance and quality in his projects. He is always open to assist other teams in understanding project requirements so that collaboration can happen in the best possible ways in an environment conducive to the business.

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