Nodejs: An Introduction and its Uses

Node.js is a server-side runtime environment for running JavaScript scripts. Although it was first published in 2009, it’s had a significant effect since then.

It peaked in 2017 and has been high ever since in the runtime environment. Node.js’s popularity can be attributed in part to its use in building real-time network applications. Because it’s open-source, it’s free and available to everyone. The event-driven I/O APIs are available to developers using Node.js. The runtime environment for cross-platform app development can also execute JavaScript code, thanks to Google’s JavaScript V8 engine for JavaScript.

Node.js is platform-independent, which means, it can run on any platform like Linux, Windows, etc. It is an open-source application that can run on a cross-platform run-time environment for server-side and networking applications. It is made up of a large library with many JavaScript modules that can be used in web applications to make them more flexible.

In 2014, Node.js became the world’s first JavaScript runtime to support the V8 JavaScript engine, which is a well-known open-source engine. The JavaScript engines in Node.js are well suited to handling real-time and non-real-time, asynchronous, and event-driven applications and web services. Node.js supports both server-side and client-side code while using JavaScript as the core language. Because JavaScript is a platform-independent language, Node.js allows its applications to run across multiple operating systems and hardware platforms.

Why Node.js and not any other?

Well, when it comes to the dynamic handling of web pages, Node.js is more powerful. You can say that PHP and can handle the dynamic rendering of pages, but the problem comes with asynchronous web page handling.

In simple words, when a PHP or server sends a web page to the browser, it waits for the receiver to open and read the file and then processes another request. So it takes a little time in this process. While in Node.js, as soon as the server sends the task, the Server is ready to handle the next response. Another major reason you should be using Node.js is that it’s single-threaded, non-blocking, asynchronous programming and memory efficient.

Features in Node.js

Node.js is designed with real-time applications in mind, so the whole thing is more efficient. The concept of asynchrony was introduced in event-driven programming using web browsers and later moved to other systems like command line tools. The asynchrony concept has become very popular among programmers who work with Node.js, and they are the ones who appreciate its real-time features. Some other key features of Node.js include:

  • It can create, open, close, read, write and delete files on the server easily.
  • It can add, modify, and delete data in your database.
  • It can generate dynamic web page content.
  • It uses JavaScript on the server.
  • Node.js can run on various platforms; it’s free and has an open-source server environment.

Benefits of using Node.js

When it comes to building scalable apps, a Node.js development company, has long been considered a viable option. The cluster module in the cross-platform runtime environment helps with load balancing. The non-blocking event loop technique in Node.js makes it possible for servers to operate without interruption.

Node.js allows programmers to create code for both the visible end and the back end with ease. This is because it allows developers to create JavaScript server-side code. As a result, the business saves money by not having to employ two separate resource teams. Additionally, it speeds up the whole web creation process while maintaining high-quality standards. Using a development company, with full-stack JS, eliminates the need to employ separate front-end and back-end engineers. Because of this, Node.js may be effectively used by both established businesses and start-ups.

Node.js, in contrast to PHP and Ruby on Rails, does not communicate with binary models using JSON format. In the case of NoSQL database support, this functionality helps developers create RESTful APIs. The use of MongoDB in the MEAN Stack exemplifies the benefit of this functionality.

Also Read: A Complete Introduction to ReactJs

Download and install Node.js for your computer

The source code is written in javascript and we will use an interpreter for executing our Node.js javascript code. You can download it from the official link. It is also recommended to use Visual Studio Code so that you can see and understand the work that goes into running code.

Verifying Installation

After downloading and installing it, you can check it on your system. Simply create and save a file with sample.js name and save. Type the below code on Visual Studio Code Terminal:

Console.log(“Hello and Welcome to DigitalGyan”)

It’s not compulsory to use ; (semi-colon) at the end. But as a programmer, you should use it.

After that type:  

node sample.js

If everything is working, then you will get the Output

Hello and Welcome to DigitalGyan

Creating a Simple Web Server on your local machine

To create a simple web page, follow the steps below:

Create a file with name sample.js and save it

Write the following code:

Var http = require(‘http’);

# require(): This method is used to add a header file, which consist of pre-defined functions.

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
res.writeHead(200, {‘Content-Type’ : ‘text/html’ });
res.end(‘Hello World!’);

# the createServer function is used to create a Server that will handle request and response method to your local browser.

#res.write is used to generate a response status with 200, “OK” and the type of file which server will send.
# res.end is the output that will be returned.

We’ll cover more about the code in a later course.

Save the file open the terminal and type

node sample.js

Now, your computer becomes a server.

After this, you can open your browser and type the following address


you will get the output.

nodejs example

If anyone tries to connect with this port 8080 to your computer. This will display the same output message.

Is JavaScript necessary for Node.js?

Node.js was originally built to extend the features of Java programming. But at the same time, it must handle the request and response, which can be in XML or other languages. Hence, a newer version of the ECMA script was written. Later it was converted to Javascript programming. Therefore, Javascript is given more focus for Web Development in Node.js.

Which Big Companies Use Nodejs?

NodeJS is not only used by large tech companies; it is also used by many small businesses and start-ups. Some of the Big Companies that rely on Nodejs are eBay, GoDaddy, General Electric, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, Wikipins, Yahoo, Netflix, etc.

When to use Node.js?

If you have these conditions, then Node.js is the best tool you should use. These conditions are:

  • Data Intensive Real-time Applications (DIRT)
  • Single Page Applications
  • I/O bound Applications
  • JSON-based Applications
  • Data Streaming Applications

It’s actually possible to build a fully featured, high-performance business application using Node.js without ever requiring the support of an operating system. Sure, there are other ways to build an application. But Node.js is definitely one of the better ways to do it.

Also Read: Difference between Sequence Diagram and a System Sequence Diagram

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Hi, My name is Kartik. I have expertise in Technical and Social Domains. I love to write articles that could benefit people and the community.

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