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The languages, tools, and platforms used in software development play an essential role in its performance, efficiency, and ease of development. So, once you decide to pursue a SaaS application development project, it makes sense to build your stack around JavaScript. It is a popular programming language used for websites and non-browser environments.

To develop backend, Node.js is highly recommended. The open-source, cross-platform development environment has immensely grown in popularity over the last few years. Thanks to its powerful features, it has become a viable option for many startups and enterprises in 2022.

This guide will explain what Node.js is and show you the key features that will surely be useful to you and your startup.

What is Node.js, and How Does it Work in SaaS Application Development Project?

Node.js provides an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment and library for Chrome’s JavaScript and is often used to develop and execute scalable web applications. Node.js is a framework built on top of the Google Chrome JavaScript Engine V8, which provides event-driven, non-blocking I/O and is ideal for Realtime apps that require data-intensive I/O between multiple devices.

This is not a framework, programming language, or library but an environment for traditional application software.

It is not just because it was built at the right time and the right place; it also happened to have been built by Ryan Dahl in 2009. Moreover, it offers many innovative approaches for JavaScript server-side development using real-time push-based architectures.

In today’s world, Node.js is already widely used as an API development framework for front-end and backend during the SaaS application development process. It can also be used to build:

  • Traditional websites
  • Chatbot apps
  • Single-page applications (SPA) development
  • Data streaming
  • IoT app development
  • Social media networking (backend development)
  • Node.js Specific Features You Should Know

The next step is to understand Node.js’ potential – by studying its main features. You will gain a better understanding of how to use Node.js, but will also be able to evaluate if it’s the right option for you.

The following are some of the most valuable features of Node.js:

Microservice – An individual, self-sufficient component of a large application that works with others as a whole. This allows different app components to be managed independently, modified, and updated without impacting the application’s performance.

Event-Driven Programming – A mechanism for responding to user input, such as clicking or pressing a key. In this feature, actions are detected once they happen to achieve a more reactive and intuitive UX and add a greater degree of flexibility to the app.

Node.js has three major features that helped it gain such widespread popularity and that we should certainly examine in detail: 

  • Non-Blocking I/O 
  • Libuv 
  • Node Package Manager
  1. Non-Blocking I/O

SyncThreads (also known as separate requests) are developed to avoid the issue of a separate thread for each request. It used to block the entire process.

It is common for web servers to start individual threads, but with Node.js, each thread can be run in turn.

  1. Libuv

Libuv is a cross-platform C library that primarily targets Node.js environments. It is configured to ensure single thread processing through an event loop mechanism.

When this happens, the library creates a pool that can handle up to four threads. Furthermore, it sends the requests automatically to the operating system, which significantly improves the response times. This Node.js processing model is used in JavaScript event-based models in conjunction with the callback mechanism.

  1. Node Package Manager (NPM)

Note package manager – also known as NPM – is an in-built package manager that includes hundreds of thousands of downloadable libraries. NPM greatly benefits Node.js’s community as the world’s largest free software registry. NPM is open to everyone and grows day by day, which brings a lot to the Node.js community. 

NPM modules that are most useful today for SaaS application development Services and other software solutions include:

  • NPM: Express.js
  • NPM: Meteor.js
  • NPM: Koa.js
  • NPM:Nest.js
  • NPM:Mongo.js

These modules will help you create a high performing module, automates time-consuming process steps, ensures robust routing, and offers comprehensive test coverage.

How Does Node.js Benefit Your Project?

The comprehensive guide to Node.js should also shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of this environment. However, you will be pleasantly surprised by Node.js’s numerous benefits in this situation.

Node.js’s Advantages

  • Easy to Scale

Apps built with Node.js are easy to scale both vertically and horizontally. By scaling vertically, more resources can be added to the existing nodes, while horizontal scalability allows adding new nodes more quickly, which speeds up the development process. For example, a SaaS application development solution built using Node.js can also work perfectly with a set of microservices and modules, so creating a scalable startup is easier and more flexible.

  • Community Support for Node.js

Millions of Node.js fans, who volunteer to support the foundation, along with leading companies like IBM, Microsoft, Fidelity, and SAP, are involved in supporting the foundation. You can thus always find support among semi-minders, and any framework you build will also be developed and maintained by them.

  • Performs at the Highest Level

Undoubtedly, Node.js is a robust, feature-rich environment for developing scalable, ultra-fast applications. It can run on just one thread as its architecture is event-driven, and its I/O tasks are non-blocking. Resultantly, Node.js is a resource-efficient framework that can significantly improve the performance of a framework. 

Additionally, the V8 JS engine compiles JavaScript code directly into machine code. Chrome and Node.js commonly use this. Google – the company that created the V8 engine in 2008 – remains committed to improving the engine’s performance.

  • Enhanced Development Speed

Node.js provides a variety of lightweight and easy-to-use tools that can be used to accelerate the SaaS application development process. NPM enables developers to create more useful apps with less effort and expense by providing a wide range of solutions, modules, and libraries. In addition, the reusable templates enable developers to design apps in a short period, reduce bugs, and decrease app size.

  • Suitable for Developing a Variety of Software

Developing cross-platform applications is easy with Node.js. 

Node.js also supports MQTT, a protocol common to IoT applications, which makes it easier to access and integrate independent and third-party services and prepare the backend for integration through different platforms.

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