Node.js Framework: The Rising Star In Web Application Development



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 20, 2021

A Node.js framework, a cross-platform open-source runtime environment based on JavaScript, is pushing the boundaries of web applications development. It is considered a rising star in the web apps arena and is expected to scale to great heights in the near future. Both big and small enterprises have leveraged the technology and built applications which are being used globally. 

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But what makes Node.js so popular that everyone wants to use it? Let’s find out why it is gaining momentum with each second in the field of web application development. 

Features of Node.js Framework

Node.js comes with a long list of features. Some of them include:

1. Use of JavaScript

The popularity of Node.js can be attributed to the fact that it uses JavaScript as its primary scripting language, which is used in building and managing applications. Since JavaScript is familiar to a majority of web developers due to its popularity, the transition to Node.js from any other technology will be smooth. 

2. Extremely Fast

Node.js is extremely fast. Powered by Google’s Chrome V8 Engine, it is known for its capability to compile and execute JS at high speed. Node.js has a magical event loop, which unlike traditional looping, consumes less memory and is easy to execute. Therefore, reading/writing to files, networks, and databases are executed very fast in Node.js. Through these features, developers can create highly scalable network applications which can handle a large number of concurrent connections.

3. Easy Modification and Maintenance

With Node.js, multiple smaller applications are built, rather than a single application. Therefore, developers find it easy to make changes and add or remove functionalities, as it doesn’t require in-depth changes in the code base. Comparatively, general applications tend to become rigid and less adaptive over time as new tasks are assigned, and as any changes require large coding alterations.

4. Host It Almost Anywhere

As Node.js has grown substantially over the past few years, leading cloud-based hosting service providers are now supporting applications built on Node. These include market leaders such as Google, Heroku, Amazon AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and many others.

5. One Language for all Layers

Another advantage of using Node.js is its re-use of language. Unlike other languages which require developers to write code in a different language when it comes to the server side, Node.js uses only the JavaScript for both the client and server side. Therefore, developers need to know only JavaScript to interact with all the layers. Moreover, this can be re-used for future communications as well.

Use Cases of Node.js Framework

Above we discussed the features of Node.js, but where should you use the technology to gain maximum results? Here are some of the use cases where Node.js might prove to be perfect for your next project, and some instances where it might not.

Good Use Cases

  • Environments which require high speed and scalability

Node.js is quite similar to many other applications, such as Spring Framework, ASP.Net, and Ruby on Rails. But, if you have a high number of requests, these applications may falter in terms of speed. When it comes to situations where the requirement is for something faster and scalable, give Node.js a try. It excels at processing numerous requests at fast speeds with low response time, making it a perfect fit for applications which require loads of processing at the client-side of the application. 

In use cases where your application needs to process high volumes of I/O requests, Node.js holds prime importance. If the primary task is to shuffle data around, then Node.js will be considerably faster. However, if you require intensive CPU processing, then efficiency might not be that high.

  • Real-Time Applications

Node.js has proven to be the right choice for applications whose main function is to process bulk short messages in minimal time with low or negligible latency. Such systems are known as Real-Time Applications (RTA), and some of the examples are Dropbox Paper, Google Docs and Sheets, and Trello. Due to its features, Node.js is an excellent choice for real-time application development.

While many real-time application systems can be easily developed using Node.js, the most prominent ones are instant-messaging and live-chatting applications. With its efficiency in real-time applications, it catalyzes processes such as sharing and reuse of library code, data sync between the client-side and server-side, and handling multiple requests. 

Bad Use Cases

  • CPU-Centric Jobs

If your application requires massive CPU computing, then Node.js might not be the perfect environment for you. It uses only a single CPU core, and CPU-heavy operations will hinder incoming requests, making Node.js slow. If your applications are CPU-heavy, you need to look for a more suitable technology as Node.js will not cut it for you. 

  • Quality of Node Packages

Node.js packages for its applications are available in npm, a packaging software for JavaScript. Even though the community is relatively active, and it is the largest repository available, the package quality is far from optimal in some cases. Occasionally, you will encounter issues in using packages which are supported by individual users, as they are not appropriately maintained.

A lot of developers who are looking to make their career as full stack developer they also need to be aware of interview questions which can be asked at the time of face-to-face interview.

Applications built using Node.js

Node.js is used by some of the top companies around the world. Take a look at some of them below:

  • PayPal

PayPal, the world-famous system for payments over the Internet uses Node.js to build the consumer-end of the web applications. The company states that the application took less workforce to build with twice the speed and nearly 2/3rd the code, all because of Node.js.

  • LinkedIn

The business-oriented powerhouse has over 400 million members spread over 200 countries. Node.js plays a vital role in empowering the server-side of LinkedIn’s mobile application. The Node.js version was a serious upgrade to the previous version based on Ruby on Rails, increasing the speed over 20 times with less server space required.

  • Yahoo

This American giant provides mail, search, and other services to over 500 million consumers in over 30 languages all around the globe. Node.js was implemented at the frontend at Yahoo and has changed the culture ever since. It is already implemented in multiple Yahoo websites and soon will power the whole of Yahoo. The software team stated that Node.js helped them scale and has significantly increased the performance of the application, and every property that has been migrated to Node.js has seen a sharp increase in performance.

  • eBay

eBay is one of the oldest e-commerce websites that has over 150 million users. Node.js was implemented in their application to make it as real-time as possible and sustain the live connections with the server. The company states that they have witnessed several advantages after implementing Node.js, such as speed, simplicity, scalability, single-threading, and more.

  • Uber

Uber, the Internet-based transportation company, was one of the first companies to put Node.js into full production. The massive matching function in the application which matches the drivers and the users is built on Node.js technology. The company decided to use Node.js due to its ability to intake and process vast heaps of data quickly, and the continuous optimization of the technology due to an active open-source community.

  • Netflix

The whole user interface of the most significant video-streaming service in the world is built with Node.js. Through Node.js, the startup time of their application significantly reduced. Since the technology was effective and exceeded expectations, Netflix is considering implementing it to other layers of the stack as well.

Other companies that have used Node.js include NASA, Mozilla, Groupon, GoDaddy, Trello, Medium, and Walmart. 


In many cases, both Node.js and Ruby on Rails may achieve the same results, but there are situations where each works at its best. Node.js is faster, scales efficiently, and is perfect for real-time tasks. Hopefully, this article helps you understand the features of Node.js and where you can use it for your next project. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, do let us know in the comment box below. Are you starting with Node.js framework? Look at some of the Node.js Tutorials and Courses recommended by the community.

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