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When to Use Node.js Development

Whether you’re developing a real-time application, IoT device, or high-traffic site, Node.js can give you speed, efficiency, and lower development costs.

Jeff Moore

By Jeff Moore

Senior Engagement Manager Jeff Moore strives to develop, maintain, and expand relationships across BairesDev while focusing on business development.

10 min read

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When you’re developing an application or software, choosing a backend technology is a crucial task. If you’re a fan of the popular JavaScript programming language, you used to have to find another option for server-side development. With Node.js, full-stack JavaScript development is now possible.

Node.js development brings many benefits, though it isn’t the right choice for every type of project. Whether you’re using an in-house team or outsourcing to a nearshore development company like BairesDev, the following information can help you decide whether Node.js will work for your projects.


What Is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source server environment that runs on various platforms using JavaScript. It’s not a framework, but a runtime environment that allows you to execute JavaScript code on the server-side. The popularity of Node.js has increased dramatically since it was released in 2009. Node.js has several core elements, including:



Node.js development is based on the Google Chrome V8 JavaScript engine, which makes it very fast and lightweight for code execution. 


Event-driven architecture

Node.js doesn’t create multiple threads for each request or wait for one request to finish before starting another. It runs on a single thread and initiates multiple, simultaneous requests. If no data is returned when the server calls the Application Programming Interface (API), it moves to the next API. The events module then helps the server get a response from the previous API.


Node Package Monitor

Node.js development is supported by a document-based database model, rather than SQL. The Node Package Monitor (NPM) has the largest open-source library registry in the world, from which you can easily import any functionality you need for your application. With access to the NPM, you can reuse codes to build apps more quickly.


Advantages of Node.js Development

Node.js development is designed to easily create fast and scalable web applications and develop solutions for high-traffic needs. It offers a wide range of advantages: 

  • Easy to learnSince most developers already know JavaScript, it’s easy to get started using Node.js without much of a learning curve. If you understand JavaScript, you’ll know how to write Node.js apps.
  • Scalable and efficientThe microservices feature of Node.js divides different aspects of the app into separate services, each of which handles different tasks. This process makes it easier to scale apps and implement additional functions as needed. With full-stack JavaScript application development, you can code with one common programming language for both frontend and backend. This convenience makes it easier to send data between server and client and facilitate instant data synchronization.
  • Supports data streaming: Node.js development reduces processing time while uploading audio and video files. Instead of buffering data, it outputs it in chunks, sending one chunk at a time to the end-user. These Node.js “streams” increase memory usage just by the size of the chunk and not the whole file, supporting real-time video or audio encoding.
  • Lowers development costsThe serverless feature allows apps to scale automatically in response to traffic spikes. As a result, you only pay for services when the functions are used, not all the time, resulting in lower costs than with standard server architecture.

Additionally, with Node.js development, you can merge the frontend and backend teams into one smaller team of developers to work on the whole app.

Also, since Node.js is open source, you avoid licensing fees. Its extensive community gives you access to advise and tips from expert developers, including best practices for security, and provides a wide range of free customization features.

The following video describes some of these advantages:



Disadvantages of Node.js

There are a few disadvantages to Node.js development, particularly when it comes to the single thread feature and the extensive choices in the NPM.

Operating with a main single thread isn’t suitable for heavy computations, as its efficiency decreases as CPU load grows. Once a resource-demanding request enters the event loop, it prevents other incoming requests from being answered until it’s completed, reducing response speed. If you’re working with large amounts of data on the server-side, you might require different technology.

Relying on third-party modules in the NPM brings some drawbacks. While a large number of choices can be an advantage, it can also be hard to find and choose the right modules. Since anyone can upload free libraries and features, quality and reliability vary widely. So, you should only choose verified sources.


Best Industries and Businesses for Node.js Development

Node.js development is flexible enough to work for big companies with large-scale projects, given its microservices features. It can also serve well to smaller startups, given its scalability and lower development costs. A wide range of industries successfully uses Node.js, including online entertainment, e-commerce, real estate, payment services, and online publishing.

Some of the best-known companies have used Node.js, based on the specific benefits it provides for their development projects:



  • Scalability
  • Handling of data-intensive apps


Walmart mobile app

  • Advanced features offered on the client-side
  • Efficient handling of concurrent requests



  • Facilitation of a complex matching system
  • Active open-source community



  • Fast build times
  • Handling of large amounts of data


Best Projects for Node.js Development

While it works well for a wide range of projects, Node.js development is particularly effective for data-intensive real-time apps, the Internet of Things (IoT), and high traffic apps. 

Node.js is lightweight and efficient for apps that require a continuous connection from the browser to the server, which allows them to update immediately with new posts or user actions. 

Additionally, Node.js can implement microservices for tracking and other features of the geo-distributed systems that make up the IoT. Real-time capabilities and a data-centric approach make it popular for IoT apps and devices.

Node.js also works well for apps expecting a huge traffic load that processes large numbers of requests on the client-side. It can simultaneously handle multiple requests and provide prompt responses.


When NOT to use Node.js

There are some situations in which you can’t, or shouldn’t, use Node.js. You can’t use it in the browser because it’s a JavaScript runtime, which already exists in the browser. You shouldn’t use it for image and graphics processing or video and audio editing. 

Node.js isn’t the best choice for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, though it does have libraries and tools for incorporating AI-based elements into apps if needed. Node.js also overcomplicates the development of simple apps that transfer data directly from the server.


Node.js Enables Full Stack JavaScript Development

Fans of JavaScript can pursue full-stack development with the help of Node.js. Whether you’re developing a real-time application, IoT device, or high traffic site, Node.js can give you speed, efficiency, and lower development costs.

Jeff Moore

By Jeff Moore

As Senior Engagement Manager, Jeff Moore helps develop, maintain, and expand relationships with customers, partners, and employees at BairesDev. He focuses on business development, account management, and strategic sales consulting with a proactive approach.

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