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I remember when I started using Javascript, I asked myself, can there be a way of using Javascript on the server side of an application?  As time went on I heard about Nodejs.  Nodejs has really changed how Javascript is perceived.  It has widened the scope of Javascript from a frontend programming language into an 'everywhere' programming language.


What is Nodejs?


Nodejs is a programming platform for developing applications using Javascript.  It was built on V8 Javascript engine  by Ryan Dahl in 2009.  Nodejs brings the beauty of Javascript language to the backend.  It is currently used by a number companies and organisations, including Uber, NASA, PayPal, eBay, Walmart and many others.  Nodejs has enabled Javascript to used almost everywhere, including in Embedded systems.


What are the advantages of Nodejs?


Nodejs brings with it many of the Javascript advantages to the serverside.  Some of these are:


  1.   Non-blocking mechanism:  Nodejs processes requests using a single loop while utilizing the asynchronous mechanism of execution where response is based on when the task is completed rather than when it was started.  In this mechanism, the first input task is not guaranteed to product the first output.  This mechanism enables maximum utilization of resources by eliminating idle time(waiting time).
  2. Suited for real time applications:   The non-blocking mechanism of Nodejs gives it a firm stand in  real time application development.  
  3. I have to also mention that Nodejs really helps to lower learning time for new developers.  You just have to learn only Javascript, and of course HTML and CSS, to build for both client and server sides.


What are the advantages of Nodejs?


  1. The first disadvantages of Javascript-Nodejs compared to other server-side technologies is that you have control also everything.  From traffic routing, to parsing uploads.  This has been solved by NPM, a Nodejs package manager, where developers upload solutions to some of these challenges.
  2. Developers tend to rely on other developers' libraries/frameworks for fast development which might pose a security risk if these tools are not updated fast in case of a security concern. I think this can be solved by limiting the numbers of libraries/frameworks you use; Sometimes you just need a few lines of codes to perform the task of which you need that tool for.  And always make sure you check for updates, if you see that updates do not come as required, it may be better to remove it.

NodeJs Hosting platforms


With an ever increase number of people turning to Nodejs, web hosting companies are configuring their systems to handle Nodejs.  Some of these include DigitalOcean, and us here at Nilewebspace.  Nilewebspace has configured Nodejs environment for most of it's shared hosting plans.


Conclusion:


Nodejs has really moved Javascript from client side development language to an 'everywhere' programming language.  If you need help to get started with Nodejs, do not hesitate to contact us.

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