Benefits and Disadvantages of NodeJS Web Application Development

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages that initially gained prominence as a frontend development tool. It has since served as one of the most sought-after cross-platform mobile development tools providing basic technology for several platforms such as Apache Cordova / PhoneGap, React Native and NativeScript. 


The applications of JavaScript are manifold and has recently found support for server-side solutions as well, with NodeJS being one of the leading platforms.


 A runtime environment based on Chrome’s V8 engine, NodeJS was first introduced in 2009 by Ryan Dahl at the annual European JSConf and was immediately hailed as the most exciting piece of software in the JavaScript universe. 


NodeJS initially started off as an open-source project and found support from Joyent that provided necessary sponsorship (and is known to have invested in other notable technologies such as Ruby on Rails) along with hosting services for Twitter and LinkedIn. 


LinkedIn in fact was one of the first enterprises to use NodeJS to build the backend architecture for its mobile application and was later used by eminent names such as Walmart, Netflix and Uber among others. 


One of the primary reasons for the popularity of NodeJS is its efficiency in building real-time network applications. NodeJS gives developers access to event driven I/O APIs and can run JavaScript code directly through Google’s V8 engine.


While NodeJS web application has received wide acclaim, developers have also shared reasons for dissatisfaction with this platform. 


Advantages of NodeJS


NodeJS has long been seen as a viable solution to develop scalable applications with influential features such as load balancing, a non-blocking event loop mechanism and utilization of fewer resources while maximizing output. It also supports addition of extra resources to single nodes for vertical scaling of web applications, one of the most important NodeJS benefits.  


Stellar Performance

The active community of NodeJS developers provide uncomplicated solutions. JavaScript has NPM, which offers several web development tools, and is a primary reason for its popular among market leaders like Trello, Microsoft, Medium, Uber and PayPal.  


Versatile Tech Stack

Developers who use NodeJS for backend solutions are empowered by the advantages of full-stack JavaScript development that offer free tools and enables code sharing and reuse. The code reuse feature helps build abstractions by combining the frontend and backend into specific modules.


Disadvantages of NodeJS

CPU Task Failure 

One of the most understated drawbacks is the inability of the platform to perform heavy computations. Although capable of executing code on a single thread, developers constantly face difficulties with CPU bound tasks. The main reason for this is that the platform first processes heavy requests and then moves to others which causes a delay in the event loop. 


Unreliable APIs

Another important setback that developers face when building NodeJS web applications is the frequent changes to APIs that render it unstable. This makes it imperative to ensure a consistent change of code to match the latest version. 


Less Than Ideal Tools 

There are several tools in the NPM registry that are of very poor quality. To make matters worse, the structure of the registry is less than ideal as they are not graded as per quality or their output. It is believed that one of the main reasons for this is the open-source nature of NodeJS that does not have any standardized quality measures in place. 


While highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of NodeJS, it is also important to mention the contributions that this platform has made to many apps. It is important to keep in mind that this is still a platform in its nascent stages and is bound to improve over the years, providing succor to many developers.

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