What is Node.js?
Developers may simply install and use external libraries and modules with Node.js's package management (npm), which offers a robust collection of built-in modules. Because of this, it is simple to create advanced features with little new code and to reuse old code, which boosts productivity and speeds up development.
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Why Use Node.js?
It utilizes an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, which makes it efficient for building real-time, data-intensive applications that can manage a massive number of concurrent connections.
Who Uses Node.js?
Node.js is used by a wide range of organizations and individuals across various industries. Examples of companies that use Node.js include PayPal, Netflix, Uber, and LinkedIn. They use it to handle millions of requests per day and real-time applications and build scalable and high-performance applications. Additionally, it's also popular among startups, small-medium businesses, and individual developers for building web applications, RESTful APIs, and command-line tools.
History of Node.js
The first version of Node.js was released on May 27, 2009, and since then it has gone through several updates and releases. Some of the significant versions and their release dates are:
- v0.1.14 - January 2010
- v0.4.0 - January 2011
- v0.6.0 - June 2011
- v0.8.0 - June 2012
- v0.10.0 - March 2013
- v0.12.0 - February 2015
- v4.0.0 - September 2015
- v6.0.0 - April 2016
- v8.0.0 - May 2017
- v10.0.0 - April 2018
- v12.0.0 - April 2019
- v14.0.0 - April 2020
- v15.0.0 - April 2021
You will get an idea of how to set up the development environment to build Node.js applications. You can do it on Windows, Ubuntu, or Linux, and the following would be required:
- Node Package Manager
- Integrated Development Environment
Installing Node.js for Windows
Installing Node.js on Windows can be done in the following steps:
1.Download the latest version of Node.js for Windows from the official website (https://nodejs.org/en/download/). You can choose to download the LTS (Long-term Support) version or the current version, depending on your needs.
2.Run the downloaded installer file, and follow the prompts to complete the installation process. This process should take a few minutes.
3.Once the installation is complete, open the Command Prompt and type "node -v" to check the version of Node.js that you have installed.
5.You can also use Node Package Manager (npm) to install and manage packages for your project. To check the npm version you can run the "npm -v" command in the Command Prompt.
6.You can also add the Node.js path to the system environment variables to access it from any directory.
Install Node.js on Ubuntu/Linux
1.Go to Node.js official website https://nodejs.org/en/download
2.To install Node.js on Ubuntu/Linux, you can use the following commands:
First, update the package manager by running:
sudo apt-get update
Next, install Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) by running:
sudo apt-get install nodejs npm
Verify the installation by running:
Related Article: Install Node.js on Ubuntu!
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The event loop listens for events, such as incoming network connections, and triggers the appropriate event handlers. Node.js also has a built-in module system, allowing developers to organize and reuse code easily.
This architecture allows for the efficient handling of large numbers of simultaneous connections, making Node.js well-suited for real-time applications like chat, gaming, and streaming.
Node.js Module Types
Node.js has three types of modules: Core Modules, Local Modules, and Third-Party Modules.
Core Modules: These are modules that are included with Node.js by default. Examples of core modules include the 'http' and 'fs' (file system) modules, which provide functionality for creating web servers and working with the file system.
Third-Party Modules: These are modules that are created by other developers and are available through npm (Node Package Manager). Developers can use third-party modules by installing them via npm and importing them into their application using the require() function. Examples of popular third-party modules include 'Express' for web application development and 'Mongoose' for MongoDB database management.
Related Article: Node.js Modules!
Applications of Node.js
- Real-time web applications such as chat, gaming, and social media platforms.
- RESTful APIs for mobile and web applications.
- Real-time data streaming and processing.
- Server-side scripting for web development.
- Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
- Building command line tools and utilities.
Features of Node.js
- It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model for efficient handling of multiple connections.
- It has a built-in module system, allowing developers to organize and reuse code easily.
- It has a large and active community that contributes to its development and maintenance.
- It allows for real-time, two-way communication between the client and the server using WebSockets.
- It has a huge package ecosystem, npm, which allows easy sharing and reusing of code.
- It supports cross-platform development, which means the same code can be run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
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Advantages of Node.js
Now that we’ve understood so much about Node.js, let us have a look at some of its advantages.
- Easy to Scale: Node.js allows for easy horizontal scaling by adding more nodes to a system.
- Real-Time Web Applications: Node.js is well-suited for real-time web applications such as chat, gaming, and social media platforms.
- Single Programming Language: Node.js allows developers to use a single programming language for both client-side and server-side development.
- Caching: Node.js provides caching support that speeds up the application by keeping a copy of the frequently accessed data in memory.
- Data Streaming: Node.js allows for real-time data streaming and processing.
- Hosting: Node.js can be hosted on various platforms like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Heroku, and more.
- Support of Large and Active Community: Node.js has a large and active community that contributes to its development and maintenance.
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