This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.
First, there is an increasing need by companies of all sizes to quickly build scalable, fast, distributed web applications. Second, large enterprises are finding there is inherent risk associated with running large, complex monolithic applications due to the difficulty and cost of tuning, maintaining, patching, and debugging them — and the challenges this poses to business responsiveness. Third, software developers are looking to develop a skillset that prepares them for the new market reality of agile practices, continuous integration and delivery, cloud-scale application design and a highly mobile and demanding user base.
Node.js provides a module-driven, highly scalable approach to application design, development and deployment that enables development teams to put the most desirable elements of agile methodology into practice. This can greatly reduce risk and increase developer productivity—raising developer morale in the process.
In order to understand how these gains can be achieved, it is important to understand what makes Node.js so unique and powerful.
Node.js requires developers to embrace a different mindset in the form of asynchronous programming—as opposed to traditional serial, or sequential programming. By treating I/O as a special class of operation, developers must design high performance applications by default. However, the inherent asynchronous nature of Node.js comes with the additional burden of requiring them to adjust they way they think about the execution of their code.
Node.js is single-threaded by nature, and while some consider this a weakness, it should be embraced as a win for application design. Applications built with Node.js are built for predictable scalability; the idiomatic design patterns adopted by Node.js programmers confer robust scalability by nature without the overhead required by complicated synchronization mechanisms.
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