The State of Node in the Enterprise

NodeSource
Jun 15, 2015 · 4 min read

The Essence of Node

The growing popularity of Node is the result of a confluence of factors. First, there is an increasing need to quickly build fast, scalable, distributed web applications. Second, there is inherent risk associated with running large, complex monolithic applications. Third, software developers are looking to develop a skill set that has lasting value in the job market.

JavaScript on the Server

At the most basic level, Node is a platform for running JavaScript on the server. There are some key benefits associated with this model. First, there is already a large JavaScript developer community that is building some of the world’s most exciting web applications. Second, JavaScript consistently ranks among the most popular programming languages. “Developer joy” is a common theme for Node and this largely relates to JavaScript’s approachability and the high levels of productivity it affords.

Asynchronous Programming

Node requires developers to embrace a different mindset in the form of asynchronous programming — as opposed to the traditional serial, or sequential programming.By treating I/O as a special class of operation, developers must design highly performant applications by default, but it does come with the burden of adjusting the way the programmer thinks about the execution of their code. Node is single-threaded by nature, and while some consider this a weakness, it should instead be embraced as a win for application design.

Module-driven Development

Node is a highly productive platform that is modular by nature and has a track record as a key component in an agile technology stack. Node embraces the new mantra of “Throw-awayability” that is becoming pervasive in the services oriented software design world. Node encourages developers to think in terms of creating small services that can be easily replaced or updated when necessary.

Small Core, Vibrant Ecosystem

The main risk in large monolithic applications and traditional development methods is the natural mission creep of applications and the development environments that build them. Over time this results in feature rich but bloated products.

New Models in Open Source

Most IT organizations now realize the increasing difficulty of modernizing their approach to development and operations without embracing open source technology to some degree. Gartner predicts that by 2016, “the vast majority of mainstream IT organizations will leverage non-trivial elements of open source software” in mission-critical solutions.

Read On

The above excerpt is an abridged version of the first section of the white paper. The rest of the paper is the product of our work in the Node community and the experience gained from customer engagements. We hope you find it useful.

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