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What is Node.js?
- Open-Sourced: It means- Node.js is such a platform where its source code is accessible and can be customized by anyone according to their needs.
- Cross-Platform: Node.js works on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Why is Node.js so popular?
Multiple factors are responsible for the popularity of Node.js among the community of developers. Node.js solved a crucial problem that was managing concurrent requests. Developers around the globe use Node.js services to make interactive applications. It offered a greater level of scalability too.
- Scalability: The primary reason for Node.js’s popularity among top platforms like eBay, AliExpress, Netflix, LinkedIn is scalability. The scalability that Node.js offers is unmatchable.
It can efficiently handle multiple requests at a time. The server would not slow down in such a scenario.
So, what makes this runtime environment so fast and efficient?
Node.js has built a reputation for its high-speed execution. This high-speed execution is due to its very own architecture. Node.js uses a single-threaded, asynchronous model that makes it so efficient at managing requests.
Single-Threaded, Asynchronous Model
Unlike traditional web applications that use a Multi-Thread Request-Response Model, Node.js runs on a Single-threaded model. It makes handling multiple requests much efficient.
In a multi-thread model, one thread is assigned to one client at a time. Suppose, there are ‘x’ number of user requests and ‘y’ is the total number of threads in the thread loop. Now, if x is greater than y, then other requests have to wait. It is synchronous execution that takes more time and hence results in the usage of more memory.
Besides, there is a callback mechanism functioning in the single-thread model. Here, the whole code is executed at a time. Meaning that the system does not wait for the next function to run its course of action while the previous is still operating. This aspect contributes to the massive scalability of Node.js.
The Best-Case Uses of Node.js
- Real-Time Web Applications: Node.js finds its use in operating real-time web applications. The npm packages in their architecture can be reused again and again to store library codes. Node.js has an event-driven model and it also has the non-blocking I/O function that makes managing real-time requests faster.
- Scalable Applications: Platforms like Uber, eBay, and PayPal have an ever-increasing customer base. Hence, Node.js is the first choice for such platforms as it offers a greater scope of scalability.
The cluster modules present in Node.js architecture allows the system to divide the load among multiple processing units. Thus, it does not eat the RAM resulting in the slowing down of the delivery requests.
- Chat: Live chat and chat applications require efficient real-time processing. Node.js covers all aspects of chats- it manages multiple requests, heavy traffic, data.
Hence, it can easily execute the message delivery. The clients on the other end receive the requested delivery in a push notification form. These messages are passed through Websockets. The system can queue messages in case of a connection issue or if the user is offline.
- Streaming Services: Netflix opted for Node.js because they have the architecture to support video streaming by reducing load time. It can also enhance performance and enable customization by users.
- Server Side Proxy: Third-party proxy services can wreak havoc in various web applications. Using Node.js, multiple requests can be managed at a time. Node.js has a side proxy server feature that can enable and process multiple requests simultaneously.
Node.js emerged as a vital runtime environment for developing applications. It has provided numerous benefits to top international platforms. In this article, we have covered the efficiency of Node.js and its applications.