What is Node.js?

Node.js is actually a runtime environment which is based on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine. It is not a framework or a library.

Node.js was first introduced in the year of 2009 by Ryan Dahl at the annual European JSConf and was henceforth considered as “the most exciting single piece of software in the current JavaScript universe”. According to the official documentation, the definition of Node.js is :

"Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast and scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices."

The Node.js applications are basically written in JavaScript, and they can be run within the Node.js runtime on OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.

Node.js simplifies the development of web applications to a great extent by providing a rich library of various JavaScript modules.

Features

  • Very Fast − As, Node.js is built on Google Chrome's V8 JavaScript Engine, it is very quick in code execution.
  • Asynchronous − In Node.js, all the APIs are asynchronous, that is, non-blocking. It essentially means a Node.js based server never waits for an API to return data. The server moves to the next API after calling it and a notification mechanism of Events of Node.js helps the server to get a response from the previous API call.
  • Single Threaded but Highly Scalable − Node.js uses a single threaded model with event looping. Event mechanism helps the server to respond in a non-blocking way and makes the server highly scalable as opposed to traditional servers which create limited threads to handle requests. Node.js uses a single threaded program and the same program can provide service to a much larger number of requests than traditional servers like Apache HTTP Server.
  • No Buffering − Since the Node.js applications never buffer any data, they simply output the data in chunks.

Advantages of NodeJS:

  • As NodeJS is a runtime environment of JavaScript, NodeJS applications are lightweight and faster as compared to the traditional applications that take a lot of time to load and process data.
  • When the application requires efficient input-output operations, the developers can choose NodeJS without giving it a second thought. NodeJS Applications are a great fit when the applications process a lot of Input and Output tasks. For example, an application that takes frequent inputs from the users.
  • NodeJS applications consume much lower memory than traditional mobile apps. When the application is built with NodeJS, we can save a lot of memory on our device as NodeJS applications can run even in memory shortage, so it will not be hard for our device to run the applications built with NodeJS.
  • Another big advantage of choosing NodeJS is its Node Package Manager, also known as the NPM. The Node Package Manager is constantly growing and more and more features are being available with the constantly growing Node Package Manager. The NPM plays a vital role for choosing NodeJS development for our next business application.

Disadvantages of NodeJS

  • Although it is pretty good with data-intensive applications, NodeJS applications cannot perform efficiently when we require heavy computing. So, it will turn us down when there is heavy computing needed for our app.
  • Another disadvantage of NodeJS is that it is not mature enough yet. Therefore, some bugs and frequent inconsistent versions of NodeJS makes it a little immature. But, we can expect it to be mature enough in the future and build apps on it without any worries.

What is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is a bootstrapped version of the Spring platform which allows for quick startup of a production-grade, stand-alone application. It is implemented in Java and the idea for Spring Boot is that it’s very easy to just run, so it minimizes the amount of fuss that comes with getting an application up and running.

Spring Boot is all about the dependencies. It relies heavily on annotations or XML. This simplifies configuration, which is huge for when our project is growing and we start to have a ton of dependencies to manage. Everything is autoconfigured.

As previously mentioned, Spring Boot is multi-threaded. This is very useful when dealing with long or repetitive operations. When the main thread is consumed, others are used concurrently.

Microservice creation has been simplified as well. Creating a new suite of independent cloud-based services can be done easily with the set of features provided by Spring Boot.

Advantages of Spring Boot

  • One of the main pros of using Spring Boot is the Java community which is mature and fully grown. Whether there is any problem with the application, developers just have to post it to the community and active members will surely help them solve the problem that they are having with the application. The community is really helpful and friendly. This is one strong reason to choose Spring Boot Development.
  • When we choose Spring Boot, we indirectly choose long-term support and maintainability for our application. As Spring Boot is based on Java, we can expect long-time support, so if we are stuck somewhere for our application, we can avail official support to get it resolved.
  • Another great advantage of choosing Spring Boot Development is its multi-thread programming. So, our application can handle multiple processes at the same time when it is multi-thread supported, and Spring Boot is popular for multi-threaded programming. Choosing Spring Boot will make our application faster when developed with multi-threaded programming.
  • Spring Boot is quite a popular framework and hence it has a large number of resource availability. When we want to implement any particular function in our application, then it may be already available on the internet, and we just have to copy-paste the function and change the variables and class names, and we are all set! This saves major development cost and time!

Disadvantages of Spring Boot

  • The biggest disadvantage of Spring Boot is that it utilizes a high amount of memory, unlike NodeJS which consumed a very low amount of memory. So, when our device has limited memory, then Spring Boot might not be the suitable choice for us.
  • Another disadvantage of using the Spring Boot framework is that its debugging is quite a tough task to handle, and that’s why most developers get frustrated while debugging the Spring Boot code. We can say it has lots of boilerplate code, which makes debugging a tough and tedious task.

Which one to choose?

More than one factor should be used to consider the right selection of technology while building the various enterprise applications. With the numbers for web applications increasing by the day, complexities also have increased. We can say that both the technologies are amazing in their own way and we cannot really give the best award to any one of them. We can declare both the technologies as a winner.

If our application requires a lot of input or output tasks, then we should go with NodeJS Application Development and if we require a tough, secure and standalone application that requires intensive CPU usage, then we should go for Spring Boot Application Development.

Summary

  • From this article, we learnt about the two most popular technologies, namely, NodeJS and Spring Boot for web application development.
  • We also saw the various features that make them popular for developing various web applications.
  • We also learnt about the advantages and disadvantages of both these technologies, which can be considered before choosing one of the two.
  • We can conclude that both these technologies are amazing on their own and the developers should choose one of them based on the requirements of their application.