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What Is Node.js?

Node.js, a popular JavaScript runtime environment, lets you run JavaScript outside the browser. Not only does Node.js provide a nice boost to processing times, it’s easy to set up.

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that is:

  • Open-source
  • Cross-platform
  • Single-threaded

Together, all of this means Node.js allows for creating quick server-side applications for tasks such as networking.

The JavaScript V8 runtime engine powers Node.js and uses event-driven, non-blocking I/O architecture. This is what makes Node.js so efficient and suitable for real-time apps.

Node.js is easy to use and scale. Its speed advantages and thousands of useful packages make it a great choice for web projects. Based on W3Techs research, Node.js powers 1.2 percent of all websites, which means there are more than 20 million websites that run Node.js behind the scenes.

Node.js Tutorial for Beginners: Learn Node in 1 Hour. | Video: Programming With Mosh

 

Why Is Node.js Important?

Node.js solves the problem with server-side JavaScript. JavaScript is among the most popular programming languages in the world and millions of websites use it on the back end. JavaScript is a language that makes websites non-static by incorporating interaction, such as animations and effects.

Initially, JavaScript was a client-side scripting language that interacts with the back end. To run JavaScript, you had to place the code between <script></script> tags in the HTML document. This meant all JavaScript code ran in the browser which wasn’t optimal when it comes to code maintainability and speed.

This problem gave rise to the idea of having a separate runtime environment for JavaScript. This runtime environment should be able to handle simultaneous connections and offer a speed boost to web apps.

Enter Node.js, which has everything you need to run a JavaScript program quickly, securely and reliably.

 

Is Node.js a Framework?

Node.js is not a framework. Instead, Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment. You can think of it like a place where you can run JavaScript without inserting the code into HTML

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Node.js Features

Node.js has gained developers’ attention in the past couple of years thanks to a long list of useful features that come with the runtime environment. 

 

Easy for Beginners 

Node.js is great for beginners. This is, in part, due to the large, supportive open-source community. With all the available tutorials and guides, it’s a good choice for most web developers.

 

Scalable 

Node.js allows you to introduce scalability to your web apps because of its single-threaded nature. This means Node.js can handle a large number of connections at the same time.

 

Speed

The thread execution is non-blocking in Node.js, which makes the JavaScript’s execution that much faster.

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Packages

Node package manager (NPM) has more than a million available packages. These packages simplify your work and you can install them with a single command. The packages handle a lot of automation behind the scenes, such as building the right type of folder structure and initiating boilerplate code. This type of automation lets you focus on building the actual project.

 

Powerful Backend

C and C++ power Node.js. This provides Node.js with even greater speed while also making it possible to complete useful tasks, such as networking, creating dynamic page content and collecting form data.

 

Cross-Platform Support

With Node.js you can build websites, desktop apps and even mobile apps.

The cross-platform support is possible because Node.js abstracts out system-specific functionality and turns it into APIs. You can then invoke these APIs with your applications from multiple platforms.