Node.Js Is Here To Stay
Node.js is here to stay
Akbar S. Ahmed | Mar 5, 2015

Node.js is key in the new architecture

While there are many potential uses for Node.js, the key driver of its adoption has been in API development. Node.js APIs play a key role in emerging architectures, such as 3-layer architecture (not to be confused with 3-tier architecture).

Exponential.io is a proponent of the 3-layer architecture. 3 layer architecture is a micro-services friendly n-tier architecture where tiers are grouped into layers. Another new architecture is the 4-tier architecture used by Netflix (4-tier architecture.

For the purposes of this post we will focus on the 3-layer architecture.

Don’t believe the hype

We believe Node.js is here to stay thanks to changes in architecture. It delivers solid value as a UI/UX API, which is a new API tier thanks to the 3-layer architecture.

Specifically, Node.js APIs are edge-of-network. Further, Node.js’ event loop forces companies to scale out even when running on a single machine. In other words, if you have a quad-core machine, then you must run 4 separate Node.js instances in order to utilize all available CPU.

Node.js’ adoption appears to be similar to Linux adoption in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. Linux ran on horrible hardware when compared to Sun machines, and the OS was not nearly as robust as Solaris. However, what Sun executives failed to realize is that Linux’s robustness was achieved via scale out using newer architectures. Node.js also achieves its value and robustness via scale out.

Is Node.js a Java killer?

No. Seriously, no one in their right mind would use Node.js/JavaScript for their Data Services API or for CPU-intensive algorithms in a Platform Services API.

Node.js is a solid foundation for developing a specific type of API. True, some companies previously used Java everywhere (if you only have a hammer…) and those companies are now moving the UI/UX API to Node.js. Yet, these same companies have show no inclination to move Platform Services or Data Services APIs to Node.js.

We think the whole Node.js/JavaScript replaces Java hype is just that, hype.

But doesn’t JavaScript suck?

No. JavaScript has matured into a productive language when put into the hands of developers who are skilled with it.

Node.js applications are not developed using the same patterns as monolithic Java, Ruby or Python applications. Node.js applications are composed of numerous small, focused modules. However, Node.js and JavaScript are not optimal for every use case. In other words, choose wisely.

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