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Is NodeJS Used for Frontend or Backend?

Is NodeJS Used for Frontend or Backend

Confused about whether Node.js is frontend or backend? Don’t worry we have industry experts with years of experience that can help you resolve your queries. Do check the detailed blog.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
    1. Real-Time Applications
    2. Single Page Application
    3. Streaming Applications
    4. Dashboards
    5. Internet of Things
  • Features of Node.js
  • Node.js Market Size
  • How Is NodeJS Different from Web JavaScript?
    1. Application Programming Interface (API)
    2. Leverage of control
  • Pros of Using NodeJS for Backend Development
    1. Cross-Functional
    2. Liberty
    3. Full Stack JavaScript
    4. Scalability
    5. NPM
    6. Microservice Architecture
  • Cons of Using NodeJS for Backend Development
    1. Unstable API
    2. Consumes development time
    3. Worse for high-computing apps
    4. Inefficient Tools
  • Node.js is frontend or backend?
  • Conclusion


Initially, JavaScript was used for client-side scripting and was restricted to front-end development. Gradually, it was disregarded by the developers as they had to work on different frameworks for both server-side and client-side areas of applications.

This was a major loophole in JavaScript. To resolve it, Node JS was launched in 2009, and with it, JavaScript was brought to the server side and started supporting back-end development.

Node JS is an open-source framework that is used for scalable and robust applications. With Node, the developers aren’t restricted to one side of development and are unshackled and open to use for both server-side and client-side development.

When it’s combined with JavaScript, it can make websites more interactive and intuitive.

You must be wondering when it’s used in both frontend and backend, which side of development becomes more feasible with NodeJS. Is it used for the front-end or back-end?

If you’re contemplating too, by the end of this article you’ll imbibe enough valuable insight to decide whether it’s used for front-end or back-end.

What is NodeJS and what’s its purpose?

As mentioned above, it’s an open-source cross-platform runtime environment that allows you to work on server-side applications with the help of JavaScript. It’s light and efficient enough to force Javascript to work on both the front end and the back end.

The primary purpose of introducing NodeJS was to build real-time applications and to develop tools for developers that were non-blocking and event-driven.

In addition, it offers great speed of development and data processing, and client-server interaction. In a nutshell, it offers both kinds of interaction between client and server, where they can exchange data and communicate.

Due to its indifferent I/O model, it works great for scalability and real-time solutions.

Unlike other web serving techniques that create a new thread for each request, NodeJS occupies this gap that most developers face with other techniques in the market by running on a single-threaded event loop. It does it by non-blocking I/O calls and saving RAM while ensuring that it supports millions of concurrent connections.

It’s far better to just run on a thread smoothly than to require a new thread for each connection.

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Its characteristic of being lightweight and efficient and its vast potential to use JavaScript coding for both sides of development paves a new year in development, which itself is awesome!

In fact, the greater flexibility of working in both front-end and backend ends up making the development team far more efficient and cross-functional, which results in cuts in development costs.

NodeJS adds a new dimension to the most popular and widely used JavaScript language by running on a single-thread event loop and aiding asynchronous programming to enable developers to run multiple programs simultaneously.

Besides, Node JS is also used for several other purposes:

Node JS is also used for several other purposes

1. Real-Time Applications

Real-Time Applications are products that can be used on an almost daily basis or in everyday life. It includes collaborative services, project management tools, and video and audio conferencing programs. They need heavy input or output operations.

However, Node JS provides excellent support and updates data instantly by providing an event socket and API.

Also, if there’s a chat application, Node JS is quite efficient at handling heavy traffic and data flow as the web socket helps in handling message flow in the chat room.

2. Single Page Application

In SPAs, the developers put the entire application on one page. It’s widely used in social networking and emails. NodeJS aids asynchronous data flow on the backend, which is great for

SPAs as it fosters smooth data updates.

It makes it quite easy for users as they don’t have to refresh the page to get new data. The reusability structure of NodeJS makes it quite easy for SPAs.

3. Streaming Applications

The use of NodeJS is quite beneficial in streaming applications such as Netflix. The high ability of NodeJS to process the data while it gets uploaded is insane.

While part of the content is getting transmitted, it’s still available for downloading other components.

4. Dashboards

You can also use NodeJS for monitoring and tracking dashboards that show data in real time. With the easability of NodeJS, you can easily create dashboards to keep track of visitors to the website, and their interactions, and gather the statistics for it.

5. Internet of Things

NodeJS works best in IoT solutions as it easily processes multiple requests at a time and its asynchronous features help in the speedy data flow. It doesn’t matter how many peripheral devices send requests as it can process them all at the same time.

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Features of Node.js

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that enables developers to build dynamic, feature-rich web applications. It has become increasingly popular in recent years and has become the go-to choice for many companies due to its lightweight, fast performance and scalability. Let’s take a look at some of the top features of Node.js that make it such an attractive option for web development:

1) Event-driven I/O – Node.js supports asynchronous I/O which allows it to handle multiple requests in parallel without slowing down the server’s response time and improving throughput significantly.

2) Easy Scalability – With its single-threaded event loop, Node.js makes scaling applications horizontally easier than ever before with no changes required to the codebase.

3) Highly Extensible – The extensive range of modules available through npm (Node Package Manager), makes it easy for developers to find and implement additional features into their projects with ease.

4) Cross-Platform Compatibility – Node.js works across multiple platforms and is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and FreeBSD.

5) Blazing Fast Performance – Node.js provides blazing-fast performance and is great for use with which helps applications scale to hundreds of thousands of concurrent connections with ease.

6) Easy Integration into Existing Frameworks – Node’s flexible API makes it easy to integrate into existing frameworks such as Express or Rails and easily take advantage of the common non-blocking patterns such as request/response that provide a consistent user experience from the front-end to back-end without any server-side processing required.

Node.js Market Size

The market size of Node.js has been growing rapidly in recent years, with more and more companies and developers adopting the technology for web development. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global Node.js market size is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2020 to $15.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 35.1% during the forecast period.

The growth of the Node.js market can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing popularity of JavaScript as a programming language, the growing demand for real-time web applications, and the rising adoption of Node.js in a microservices architecture.

Node.js is widely used in various industries such as e-commerce, healthcare, BFSI, and IT & telecommunication, among others. The adoption of Node.js has been increasing in the IT and telecommunication industry as Node.js is widely used for the development of chatbots and messaging applications.

Furthermore, the increasing adoption of Node.js in the development of IoT applications is also expected to drive the growth of the Node.js market.

In summary, the Node.js market is growing rapidly as more and more companies and developers adopt this technology, due to its flexibility and scalability. The market size of Node.js is expected to grow significantly in the near future, with an expected CAGR of 35.1% during the forecast period.

How Is Node.js Different from Web JavaScript?

There are two parameters on which we can differentiate between JavaScript used on web browsers and NodeJS.

1. Application Programming Interface (API)

There is a thin line difference between JavaScript used in NodeJS and JavaScript used in web browsers. In web browsers, there’s a limited variety of APIs and DOMs.

Although it enables interaction with the UI but restricts access to hardware, Also, the APIs for backend development in browsers are limited due to security concerns.

On the contrary, in Node JS, there are different sets of APIs that can be used for backend development, including HTTP requests and support for file systems, which end up enhancing speed and functionality and giving greater access.

2. Leverage of control

If you’re building an application for a browser, there’s no control over the environment or you don’t have an option to select the browser for your visitors.

On the contrary, when you build an application with Node JS, you’re aware of which version of Node JS has to be used to run it as you can control the environment.

Pros of Using Node.js for Backend Development

Pros of Using Node.js for Backend Development

Node JS is extremely beneficial when it comes to app development as the same language is used for both the backend and front end which ends up accelerating the process of development with the cost reduction.

Besides, there are various other features of Node JS that you can take leverage of :

1. Cross-Functional

According to research conducted by StackFlow, JavaScript is the most popular and widely used programming language.

As JavaScript is extensively used by developers, it has become easier for developers to hop to Node JS for backend development.

If you had to also train a developer to work on NodeJS, the developers wouldn’t take much time to get trained in the language. In fact, a junior JavaScript developer can be effectively trained in Node JS.

This way, you will end up creating a cross-functional team with a bunch of expert developers who can work together with more efficiency and who will have equal responsibility for deploying updates and initial code testing.

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2. Liberty

Node JS gives you far more liberty in building applications than any other framework. Unlike other frameworks, there are no predefined rules and guidelines for working on software.

You can easily start building an application from scratch without necessitating any requirement to develop for a specific operating system, as it can easily be created
across Linux, macOS, and Windows.

In addition, the developers don’t have to learn any additional programming languages to work on both web and applications together, or if they feel the need to use any tools for backend development, they can use Google Chrome developer tools.

In a nutshell, developers can build an application from scratch without any expertise in various programming languages and aren’t restricted to specific rules, making programming more agile and streamlined.

3. Full Stack JavaScript

Initially, JavaScript was used for front-end development. However, with the launch of Node JS, it was forced to shift to JavaScript in the backend as well. To deal with this, companies have to hire separate development teams for efficient work on both front-end and back-end development.

Instead, you can hire a full-stack developer for JavaScript, which can work well on both the front-end and back-end, which will eventually reduce cost and make deployment much easier.

4. Scalability

Undeniably, the Node JS environment is super scalable and can develop and massively grow your application.

Its single-thread event loop is perfect for handling multiple requests at once. In fact, if any process gets tedious, the application can be scaled vertically or horizontally.

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5. NPM

The Node Package Manager comprises a set of components that can easily be utilized to solve common issues and if any development is stuck, it can seek help from it.

NPM enhances the NodeJS experience and its NPM CLI tool is installed along with NodeJS, making it extremely accessible and easy for users.

In addition, if any developer has a potential solution to any problem, the modules can be shared there as well.

The added benefit of NodeJS is its enterprise version, which works best for big corporations where the tool runs behind the company’s firewall, resulting in providing additional security features to identify vulnerabilities and also giving access to private registers.

Yet Another Resource Negotiator (YARN) is yet another alternative to NPM, which was developed by Facebook to fix any anticipated performance or security issues.

It also acts as a great project management tool, which ensures that any downloaded third-party tool is updated and supported.

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6. Microservice Architecture

Often, it happens that while using an application, one part works well while the other goes haywire and hence needs to be scaled as quickly as possible.

With microservice architecture, you can easily divide an application into individual capabilities and delegate development to different teams while ensuring that the company remains unaffected.

You can also hire the exact kind of expert that you will need for an application to work on, and instead of starting it from scratch, you can deploy the latest updates. Isn’t it cool?

Cons of Using NodeJS for Backend Development

Cons of Using Node.js for Backend Development

Although NodeJS might seem like a perfect go-to tool, it has got some setbacks as well. Here are some disadvantages that you might feel in NodeJS:

1. Unstable API

Undoubtedly, NodeJS has got various APIs to offer, but sometimes its APIs get incompatible due to frequent changes in its APIs. As soon as it becomes incompatible, the task for developers gets more tedious as they have to make changes in the existing code base to ensure compatibility with the latest version.

2. Consumes development time

As we touched on above, developers do get this liberty of making an application from scratch, but sometimes it can just get on their shoulders and can end up decreasing productivity and efficiency.

In that case, it’s highly recommended to hire an expert development team for better development and maintenance of codes.

3. Worse for high-computing apps

NodeJS isn’t the best for heavy computing applications as it doesn’t support multi-threaded programming. Although it’s good for complex apps, when it comes to heavy computing apps, it blocks incoming requests.

It’s great for light and complex apps. When working in a high-computing app, make sure you add a module from Node Package Module for better prevention of any anticipated damage crashes.

In addition, if it paves its way to a single thread loop, it might result in a complete crash of the program without leaving any scope for restoration. If that happens, you might seek some help from an external system like NPM.

4. Inefficient Tools

The packers in NPM aren’t stable and most of them aren’t documented well, resulting in poor quality.

As NodeJS is open source, most tools aren’t able to meet the desired coding standard due to a lack of quality, making it efficient.

The catch lies when developers come across inefficient or obscure databases, making it difficult for NPM to identify reliable packages. There comes the need to hire expert developers who can manage it quite well.

Is NodeJS Frontend or Backend?

It’s time to unravel the real mystery. As far as now, you must have guessed it. You can use this versatile tool for both front-end and back-end based on your requirements.

Primarily, NodeJS was built on JavaScript to cover the server-side or back-end development of websites and applications efficiently, as when you dig out, you will find a host of other frameworks that work well with front-end development, such as React and Angular.

For frontend development, Node.js is mainly used for building command line tools and scripts that automate tasks. For example, developers can use Node.js to build a tool that minifies and concatenates JavaScript files, or a script that automatically updates version numbers in a project’s package.json file.

On the other hand, Node.js is widely used for backend development. Its popularity in this area can be attributed to its ability to handle a large number of concurrent connections, its scalability, and its use of JavaScript, which is a popular language among developers. Node.js is often used to build web servers, APIs, and other server-side functionality.

Uses Of Node.js

Module Uses
Front-end Development Node.js can be used to build client-side applications using libraries like React, Angular, and Vue.js. These libraries can be used to build dynamic user interfaces and handle user interactions.
Back-end Development Node.js is often used to build server-side applications, such as web servers and APIs. It is popular for building scalable and high-performance applications. Popular Node.js frameworks for back-end development include Express, Koa, and Hapi.
Real-time Applications Node.js is well-suited for building real-time applications, such as chat apps and online games. It can handle a large number of concurrent connections, making it a popular choice for building real-time systems.
Full-stack Development Node.js can be used for both front-end and back-end development, making it a popular choice for full-stack development. This allows for a seamless development experience and a unified codebase.
Command-line tools Node.js can be used to build command-line tools and scripts, allowing developers to automate repetitive tasks and perform various operations.


Why is Node.js Popular for Backend Development?

Node.js is a popular choice for backend development due to its scalability, speed, and flexibility. It is an open-source JavaScript runtime environment that allows developers to build powerful and efficient web applications quickly and easily. Node.js can be used for both server-side scripting as well as for client-side scripting, making it an ideal choice for developers looking to create dynamic web applications. Node.js utilizes the non-blocking I/O model which makes it more efficient than other languages while also drastically reducing the amount of code needed to be written. Additionally, its event loop-based architecture makes it incredibly fast, allowing developers to create faster web applications with less effort. Node.js also has an active community of developers who are constantly contributing new modules and tools which makes coding with Node easier than ever before.

Can Node.js be used for both frontend and backend development?

Yes, Node.js can be used for both frontend and backend development. While Node.js is primarily known as a backend technology, it can also be used in the front-end development process. In fact, Node.js has gained popularity as a full-stack technology because of its versatility in handling both client-side and server-side tasks.

In the front end, Node.js can be used to manage package dependencies, automate build processes, and run server-side rendering. Node.js can also be used with popular frontend frameworks like React, Vue, and Angular, to create scalable and high-performance applications.

On the backend, Node.js is used to develop server-side applications that handle network requests, data processing, and database operations. Node.js offers a non-blocking and event-driven architecture that allows for fast and efficient handling of multiple connections, making it ideal for building real-time web applications.

Overall, the ability of Node.js to work on both the front and back end makes it a versatile technology for full-stack development.

Can Node.js be used as a full-stack technology?

Yes, Node.js can be used as a full-stack technology. As a JavaScript runtime built on the V8 engine, Node.js allows developers to use a single language (JavaScript) for both frontend and backend development, making it a popular choice for full-stack development.

In a full-stack application, Node.js can be used on the server side to handle incoming requests, manage databases, and perform other backend operations. On the client side, Node.js can be used to manage package dependencies, automate build processes, and perform server-side rendering.

Node.js also has a large number of modules and packages available through its package manager, npm, which makes it easy to integrate with other frontend and backend technologies, such as React, Vue, Angular, MongoDB, and MySQL, among others.

The versatility of Node.js allows developers to build scalable, high-performance, and full-stack applications using a single technology stack, making it an attractive option for modern web development.

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It’s quite evident that NodeJS is a propitious and fastest-growing programming language when, if used for the right project, it can turn out to be beneficial.

It’s also a great tool for developers to grow as it does not restrict itself to one kind of development and can broaden the horizons of developers by helping them well efficiently in full stack development and can help to beat the development hurdles if you witness any.

Companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have used it quite efficiently to resolve development issues, and they successfully did.

If you look forward to saving money and time in the development process while ensuring high-performance and scalable applications, NodeJS is perfect to meet the raised bar.

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