Nearly 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies consider Node.js the first choice due to the environment’s scalability, efficiency, speed, and lightweight. Before we delve into the Node.js apps, we’ll give you a deeper insight into the benefits of the environment. And to do so, let’s delve into the working mechanism of Node.js and explore multiple Node.js apps based on their types.
The architecture of Node.js is the main reason it’s popular among developers. Unlike other runtime environments using the multi-threaded design, Node.js uses a single-threaded architecture. This model processes all the requests using event loops to run input/output blocking operations in a non-blocking manner.
Eventually, thanks to its approach, a single-thread architecture performs much more quickly and effectively than multi-threaded models.
How Node.js works
Node.js accepts I/O requests from various clients, handles them with a single-threaded approach, and sends responses. It primarily operates on two fundamental concepts, i.e.g, non-blocking I/O and asynchronous.
1. Non-blocking I/O
Node.js works with multiple concurrent requests without blocking the single request thread. Generally, I/O works with external systems like databases and files. On the other hand, Node.js is unsuitable for CPU-intensive work due to its single-threaded processing.
As we get any response from the database or some other server, Node.js will execute a callback function. It uses a unique event-driven model to perform it after a task is finished. Remember, a single thread doesn’t work with the provided request; instead, it forwards the request to another system to resolve the problem.
Now, let’s discuss various Node.js projects under different types of applications built or maintained by this environment.
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Node.js is a trending technology embraced by many businesses in production. It is more widely used when seeking a scalable solution for real-time applications. Many big market players, e.g., Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo use Node.js to develop high-performance web and mobile apps.
Let's look at some noteworthy Node.js app types trending in the market.
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is a network of connected devices and tech to exchange data between devices and the cloud. It can facilitate communication among various devices, meaning that it sends and receives data between millions of such devices, which makes it hard to manage data streams and requests.
This is where Node.js comes into play by simultaneously offering the smooth processing of thousands of such requests. As a result, organizations have preferred it over other alternatives for over a decade.
Additionally, most IoT applications employ the MQTT protocol, which Node.js seamlessly supports.
Here are the key reasons why developers prefer Node.js over C++, RUBY, and other alternatives:
- Seamless integration of IoT protocols
- Ensures the security of data
- Its modules favor IoT development
- Facilitate easy management of data
Node.js apps example: Skycatch
IoT Projects use Node.js technology to help you identify the abnormal behavior of machines before any accident happens. Usually, it compares equipment performance to standard parameters to enhance process quality and maintenance frequency and thus prevent device failure.
Skycatch — the geospatial data software for the physical world— is an example of a Node.js application in IoT. It uses the environment to power data drones, potentially turning physical items into 3D models in real-time.
2. Streaming apps
Application streamings let you download desirable application segments and avoid overburdening the server and local PC. At the start, you need to download specific application segments required to boot up. Then it keeps the connection open for downloading new components on demand.
Node.js has a Stream API that facilitates these processes, thus making it an ideal pick for streaming applications.
Node.js is ideal for developing streaming apps because:
- It has an understandable interface you can easily control and monitor
- Begin a server request in application streaming if you wish to save data
- Upgrade your localized app through various server events without much data traffic
- It minimizes delays by employing the Node.js event loop, which facilitates easy synchronization of end-user and server
Node.js apps example: Netflix
Netflix is a heavy data-driven platform, leading the world in streaming media and demanding video content. It uses A/B testing to create experiences for its subscribers. The platform decided to use Node.js when it faced a conditional problem of dependencies and app scalability. This upgrade resulted in a 70 percent reduction in app initialization.
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3. Real-time chat
Real-time chat is a communication tool enabling the live online transmission of video, text, or audio chats from a sender to a recipient. Real-time chat applications like Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and others are vital in several industries and are widely used across social media and popular commercial sites.
Node.js is efficient enough to offer all the essential functions for creating real-time chats of varying complexity due to the following points:
- A robust Event API that facilitates the creation of special “emitters.”
- Emitters regularly emit named events “listened” to by all the event handlers.
- Executing push notifications and other server-side events is convenient in most real-time applications and instant messaging.
With its WebSockets protocol, Node.js also favors real-time data exchange between the end-user and server. So, with Node.js, you can also build real-time applications like:
- IRC: Internet Relay Chat
- IM: Instant Messaging
Node.js apps example: WeChat
WeChat is a famous social media and messaging app with one billion users across the globe. It allows you to chat and call your friends, use local services, read the news, and play games with others. It does all this and more using a Node.js environment.
4. Single-page applications
Single-Page Apps (SPAs) refer to a web development approach in which the whole application fits into a single page. However, they offer an extensive user experience, just like desktop apps. SPAs are widely used now to create social media apps, online text tools, drawing tools, and others. A well-known example of such a SPA is Gmail. Moreover, Node.js is extremely popular with several social sites, like Medium and LinkedIn.
Node.js is best-suited for creating SPAs due to its:
- Power to handle data-heavy workloads and asynchronous calls
- Event loop can “postpone” multiple concurrent client requests
- Ensures smooth transitions between views and updates
Node.js apps example: Linkedin
Being the world’s largest business and employment-oriented social site, Linkedin trusted Node.js to upgrade their service. So now, they have shifted their mobile app backend to Node.js. At that time, it was still a very immature environment. However, time proved it to be a smart move for the company. As a result, the new app appears extremely lightweight and two to tenfolds faster than the previous version. Above all, the development process was surprisingly quick, according to LinkedIn’s mobile development lead, - Kiran Prasad.
5. Project management apps
Project management applications allow users to organize and track all their work on a single platform. Building a node.js app for managing your projects is the ultimate solution considering its features. That’s why it is the base for various collaborative tools of big tech companies, like Slack for remote team communications and Trello for project management.
Such apps are built on Node.js due to following reasons:
- It offers an ideal back end for managing workloads
- Helps teams collaborate and monitor the steps of their projects’ timelines
- You can build servers for communicating effectively with all your users without slowdowns
Node.js apps example: Trello
The engineering team of the famous project management app Trello used the Node.js stack due to its immense advantages. Node.js instantly updates the collaboration environment by emitting push notifications. So all users have a single coherent representation of the app. They used Node.js for propagating updates and holding open connections due to its non-blocking architecture.
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6. Microservices architecture
Recently, the microservices model has become more popular with several high-profile apps like Netflix, Facebook, eBay, PayPal, and Amazon, evolving from monolithic applications.
Microservice architecture is all about the following traits:
- Way of developing apps as independent modular services
- Running a unique process in a specific role
Node.js apps example: PayPal
Microservices Architecture benefits of Node.js have been used by PayPal, the world’s popular online payment platform. Paypal has been using Node.js since 2013 to modularise its application stack allowing multiple teams to work on a similar project simultaneously. Currently, Node.js is used to develop the user-facing content portion of Paypal. Previously, it was running a Java-based application. But the Nodejs-based version contains 40 percent fewer files and 33 percent fewer code lines, making it twice as fast as the previous one.
7. Location-based app
Navigation apps are the most trending type nowadays. And Node.js is what can help you create a location-specific app that allows users to find their desired destination nearby.
Location-based apps built with Node.js are:
- Ideal for business owners
- Asynchronous functioning
- Ability to offer real-time updates
Node.js apps example: Google Maps
Google Maps, built by Google, has a noble position in the mapping and navigation apps list that also employs Node.js.
8. Ridesharing apps
Node.js is ideal for creating user-friendly ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. However, the core reason for the technology choice was its asynchrony.
Some of the best features of these Node.js applications are:
- You can easily switch a system without restarting it
- Communicate with all of the users effectively without causing crashes or slowdowns
- The power to process big data in glimpses
- Clean code and affordable implementation cost
Node.js apps example: Uber
Uber is a top-rated trip execution engine with its excellent ridesharing app. It works globally to handle multiple consumer requests. The core feature of this app is an effective driver-passenger matching system. It can support around 2 million real-time calls each second. In addition, Uber is among the top Node.js example applications which can now resolve errors without needing a restart.
9. eCommerce apps
eCommerce apps are based on the Node.js framework due to their power to handle complex websites. Thanks to the event-based, non-blocking technology of Node.js.
As many users search, shop, and make transactions, eCommerce apps must be:
- Highly functional and easily scalable
- Bear heavy loads
- Manage concurrent customer requests
And that’s what Node.js allows you to do with its functionality.
Node.js apps example: Walmart
The world’s largest retailing giant is now creating an advancing approach in the online retail market. Despite many risks, Walmart is currently working with Node.s projects as modern technology. They re-engineered their mobile app to offer sophisticated, user-friendly features on their client side. Walmart appreciates Node.js’ asynchronous I/O and single-threaded architecture to handle concurrent requests.
Node.js apps types – wrapping Up
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