Node.js – Introduction
What is Node.js?
Features of Node.js
Following are some of the important features that make Node.js the first choice of software architects.
- Asynchronous and Event Driven − All APIs of Node.js library are asynchronous, that is, non-blocking. It essentially means a Node.js based server never waits for an API to return data. The server moves to the next API after calling it and a notification mechanism of Events of Node.js helps the server to get a response from the previous API call.
- Single Threaded but Highly Scalable − Node.js uses a single threaded model with event looping. Event mechanism helps the server to respond in a non-blocking way and makes the server highly scalable as opposed to traditional servers which create limited threads to handle requests. Node.js uses a single threaded program and the same program can provide service to a much larger number of requests than traditional servers like Apache HTTP Server.
- No Buffering − Node.js applications never buffer any data. These applications simply output the data in chunks.
- License − Node.js is released under the MIT license.
Who Uses Node.js?
Following is the link on github wiki containing an exhaustive list of projects, application and companies which are using Node.js. This list includes eBay, General Electric, GoDaddy, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, Wikipins, Yahoo!, and Yammer to name a few.
The following diagram depicts some important parts of Node.js which we will discuss in detail in the subsequent chapters.
Where to Use Node.js?
Following are the areas where Node.js is proving itself as a perfect technology partner.
- I/O bound Applications
- Data Streaming Applications
- Data Intensive Real-time Applications (DIRT)
- JSON APIs based Applications
- Single Page Applications
Where Not to Use Node.js?
It is not advisable to use Node.js for CPU intensive applications.