Introduction to Node.js

Level : Beginner
Mentor: Shailendra Chauhan
Duration : 00:05:00

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript environment used to build web applications such as ASP.NET, JSP, and PHP. It's an open-source, cross-platform framework built on Google's V8 JavaScript Engine. It's used to create quick and scalable network applications, as well as data-intensive real-time web apps.

Who Developed Node.js?

Ryan Dahl, along with other Joyent developers, created Node.js. It was first launched in 2009 and just supports Linux. The version for Windows was launched in 2011.

Versions of Node.js

From the 0.1.0 release to the 0.1.x, 0.2.x, 0.3.x, 0.4.x, 0.5.x, 0.6.x, 0.7.x, 0.8.x, 0.9.x, 0.10.x, 0.11.x, and 0.12.x releases, all versions of Node.js are available. Before the merger of Node.js and io.js, the most recent version was Node.js v0.12.9.

Why Node.js?

  • Node.js excels at server-side JavaScript tasks that are event-based and do not block.
  • It efficiently manages connections and data processing while avoiding server jams.
  • This allows Node.js to function as a strong web server with thousands of concurrent users.
  • Node.js is also great for mobile applications, as it can handle requests from numerous devices via API servers.

What is io.js?

io.js is a fork of the Node.js project, which was started in December 2014. It was created to speed up code development and distribution under an "open governance model".

Node.js Foundation

The Node.js Foundation manages Node.js development and releases, with contributions from IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, Joyent, Fidelity, SAP, and others. On September 14, 2015, Node.js and io.js were merged into Node.js version 4.0, incorporating functionality from both, including several new ES6 features.

NPM

The term NPM refers to the Node Package Manager. It serves as an online repository for node packages. It was launched in 2011 to distribute and update open-source libraries such as jQuery, AngularJS, and React.


V8 JavaScript Engine

V8 is an open-source JavaScript engine created by Google in 2008 for use in the Chrome web browser. It is developed in C++ and supports ES5.


Key Features of V8 JavaScript Engine

  • It can run independently or as part of a C++ program.
  • It runs JavaScript code using just-in-time compilation (JIT).
  • Before execution, it compiles JavaScript into native machine code (IA-32, x86-64, ARM, or MIPS ISAs).
  • Many open-source projects, including Node.js and MongoDB, use it to run JavaScript on the server.

Why Server-side JavaScript?

There are the following reasons to use JavaScript on the server side.

  • A unified language for both the front and back ends.
  • Improve programmer productivity.
  • Code reuseability.
  • Data exchange via JSON.
  • JavaScript with the V8 engine is faster than PHP, Ruby, Python, JSP, and ASP.NET.

JavaScript for Desktop Apps

The V8 JavaScript Engine drives web and desktop application development. It is included in Electron, a GitHub-maintained framework for developing cross-platform desktop programs using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, with Chromium and Node.js compatibility for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Node.js Application Area

The following types of apps can be built with Node.js:

  • E-Commerce Web Applications
  • Social Media Applications
  • Proxy Server
  • Real-time Services
  • Real-time data Applications like Multiplayer Games, Stock Trading, Chat App, etc.
  • Data Streaming Applications
  • Network Applications
  • High Concurrency Applications
  • File Uploading Tools
  • Process Monitoring Tools
  • HTTP Web Server

Who uses Node.js?

  • Walmart
  • E-bay
  • PayPal
  • Microsoft
  • LinkedIn
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • SAP
  • IBM
  • Strong Loop
  • Dropbox


Node.js Platform Support

Node.js is compatible with the following platforms:

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • SunOS

IDE for Node.js development

  • Visual Studio 2013, 2015 or higher
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Atom
  • Node Eclipse
  • WebStorm
  • Sublime Text
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