When and when not to use Node.js
In the previous blog, we discussed the many advantages of Node.js, citing examples of multinational organizations which have adopted Node.js and proved its benefits. In spite, of all those advantages, there are certain scenarios where Node.js may not be the ideal technology to use. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just about choosing the right framework according to your organizational goals.
Server Heavy Tasks – NO
Tasks that require the processor to compute heavily or crunch numbers can defeat the asynchronous nature of Node.js by blocking the event loop and occupying the whole thread with that heavy task. Moreover, the event-driven, asynchronous nature of Node.js comes from its reliance on callbacks. A callback is a function “called” when a given task is completed to prevent blocking and allowing other code to be run in the meantime. Unless strong emphasis is laid on keeping the code simple from the outset, callbacks can become nested deeply within several other callbacks and make the code difficult to understand or maintain. This situation is known as callback hell.
Similarly, using Node.js for server-side web applications that comprise relational databases is not the best idea because of lack of good tools. Ruby on Rails is better suited for such applications because of the maturity of its tools.
Know What You’re Looking For – YES
Being an open source framework, some — if not all — tools and modules of the Node.js framework lack quality. Although the quality of tools is tested by some major contributors in the field, there is no proper rating or documenting system to separate the wheat from the chaff. This, combined with the lack of a standard guideline about how things should be done in the Node.js environment make it a tough nut to crack. In such a fast growing ecosystem, programmers run the risk of using a poor quality code unless they know what they are looking for.
Like every other technology, Node.js too has its pros and cons and its successful implementation depends on your priority and what you’re trying to achieve.