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Node.js Vs. Java For Enterprise Web Development

Web Development

5 min read

20/1/2023


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Organizations of all sizes are realizing the magnitude of their digital needs to optimize staff activities, streamline workflow and boost productivity. A key approach to solving this predicament is the development of enterprise web apps.

These solutions automate operations, foster collaboration among staff members and amplify their skill-set. It’s no wonder that companies are beginning to pour money into this sector – the enterprise app development market is projected to gain a wallet-busting $263.80 billion by 2023!

Choosing the right programming language for your enterprise application is critical. With so many options out there, it can be tricky to decide. Here, we take a deep dive into two of the most prominent languages: Node.js and Java. We’ll evaluate their respective advantages and examine the use cases of popular apps that have adopted them. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s quickly establish what these languages are all about.

Node.js, what is it?

Node.Js isn’t a programming language, but a framework – derived from the ever-popular Javascript. It’s open source and works on all platforms. In 2009, Ryan Dahl created Node.js using Google Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine, providing a way to use Javascript in back-end development.

Node.js is the ultimate powerhouse for web development – it can do both front-end and back-end stuff! What’s even better? It uses event-driven programming, meaning it always stays one step ahead of user behaviour. This makes Node.js so smart and intuitive – watch out world!

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Node.js

Let’s have a look at what benefits Node.js enterprise development brings to the table!

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Node.js

Rapid processing

Node.js is renowned for the speed of processing tasks in the development community.

The reason is simple. Node.js V8 engine helps in compiling Javascript codes quickly.

In addition, Node.js can complete simultaneous requests at impressive speeds. Netflix is a popular Node.js enterprise app.

Tech Stack

Node.js extracts all the benefits of being affiliated with Javascript. A developer survey shows that Javascript is the first choice for web development due to its large libraries, efficiency, and speed.

With Node.js, developers can use all the available Javascript tools to develop front-end and server-side applications.

Open-source

Node.js is developer-driven, so you can select from the built-in modules and modify them to your specifications. It helps Node.js to receive constant updates as developers modify and add to the program.

Optimal Performance

Streaming services require a framework infrastructure to handle various requests simultaneously. Node.js helps through its non-blocking asynchronous architecture, which means executing line by line. With this, Node.js is perfect for web apps that handle multiple requests per second.

Huge Community

Due to the heavy use of Node.js and its benefits, there is a big community of developers who use Node.js.  The advantage here is that companies always have a large pool of Node.js developers to hire from. A beginner coder, he can learn from this large community.

Runs across platforms

Using Node.js means you don’t have to rewrite codes for each platform. The codes run in every platform once written for one platform. Thereby saving you costs and time of rewriting codes.

Less hiring expenses

You don’t have to hire back-end and front-end developers. Developers versed in Node.js can do both functions. It translates to more efficiency and less hassle for developers with different opinions.

Disadvantages

Despite its benefits, Node.js has some drawbacks.

Slow processing of CPU-bound tasks

As a result of its non-blocking asynchronous processing model, heavy computation tasks cannot be performed efficiently by Node.js. It is also affected by being single-threaded and event-driven. Long-running computation tasks prevent it from attending events, slowing the entire system.

Unstable APIs

Due to constant changes in Node.js’s APIs, developers must always rewrite codes to suit the changing APIs. Whenever a change happens, it drags the development process and adds more work to the development team.

Longer development time

The flexibility and open-source nature of Node.js allow developers to modify the program. Developers must figure out how to use the framework, which may take longer due to constant changes and updates.

Java. What is it?

Java is the oldest programming language available today. Its designer, James Gosling, introduced the world to Java upon its release in 1995.

Java uses object-oriented programming as well as being a multi-platform language. Using Java for enterprise app development means it is functional for both front-end and back-end development.

Java is used for everything from web applications and server-side development to artificial intelligence.

Java is noted as very simple to learn due to its English-written syntax. It is also a “Write Once Read Anywhere” language whereby you don’t have to change the codes to run other platforms.

The advantages and drawbacks of Java

Java has remained relevant all these years. Let’s see why.

The advantages and drawbacks of Java

Platform-Independent

Java codes can run on various platforms like Linux, Windows, IOS, and Android.

Once the code is written and compiled, any device with a JRE (Java Runtime Environment) will run it. This saves the cost of rewriting codes specifically for each platform.

Multi-threading

Java can perform big tasks by breaking them into smaller threads that run separately. As Java developers know, multi-threading consumes less memory while executing.

Robust IDE

Java has a well-developed IDE (Integrated Development Environment) with tools like IntelliJ, Apache, Eclipse, etc. These tools are used to write codes on every platform and clean up the codes using debugging tools.

Security

Java has mechanisms to prevent malicious codes from running. Whenever you load a set of codes, the Java Runtime Environment’s security manager checks for malicious bugs. Another layer of security is bytecode verification which occurs before a program is executed.

Simplicity

Java is easy to learn and use due to its syntax written in the English language. As a high-level language, Java’s processes are automated, so you don’t have to worry about how every single part of it works.

Garbage removal

Once codes are no longer relevant, the system automatically removes them, making the memory more efficient. The garbage management also removes malware from the system adding to its safety.

Disadvantages

Here are some of the downsides to Java.

Poor performance

Compared to languages like C++, Java’s runtime is considerably slower. The garbage collection, memory consumption, and extra compilation layer working simultaneously contribute to its slow performance.

Poor GUI features

The Graphics User Interface (GUI) of Java needs to be more attractive and efficient. You might have to use a third-party GUI for your Java enterprise development.

Lack of backups

Java does well in data storage; however, there is no backup facility. You may have to rewrite the lost codes in instances where the code is lost.

Features Node.js Java
Performance  Faster performance using Javascript V8 engine  Can handle larger amounts of data seamlessly 
Scope server side and client side  Mostly server-side 
Application  For streaming apps and real-time apps Gaming apps, scalable and IoT apps
Stability  Unstable APIs  More stable APIs
Security  Prone to phishing  Multiple layers of security 
Costs (average developer salary)  $92,887  $91,428
Ease of learning  Simpler syntax, easier to understand  English written syntax but with some unreadable content 
Community Large community of developers  Large community from being well-established 
Examples of Apps Uber, Netflix Opera mini, Spotify

Node.js vs. Java: How do they compare?

Node.js and Java are suitable and unsuitable depending on the project you need to develop. We will attempt a comparison.

Performance

In the Node.js vs. Java performance battle, Node.js stakes its claim as the better performer relying on its ability to multitask due to its event-driven architecture. Also, the V8 Javascript engine drives speed and performance. Apps running on Node.js can manage huge amounts of data without affecting performance.

On the other hand, Java uses multithreading to execute tasks by breaking them down into bytes and executing the commands. This explains why Java is widely used in server-side apps due to handling large amounts of data.

Scope

Java functions well for server-side applications, while Node.js is for server and client-facing enterprise development. Node.js is a full-stack framework based on Javascript. In the Java vs. Node.js backend battle, Java is ahead due to having more extensive and secure tools for backend development.

Application

Java developers utilize its object-oriented properties to simplify the enterprise development process.

In comparison, Node.js is great for collaboration and real-time and scalable apps.

Stability

Node.js is known to frustrate developers due to its unstable APIs. It was primarily created to interact with APIs; however, the ever-changing nature of APIs means it is always unstable.

On the other hand, Java has a rigid structure, thus a more stable interface.

Security

One of Java’s key features is security. It was designed to prevent unauthorized access to the codes written by a developer. Node.js is plagued with vulnerabilities in the Javascript environment, which sometimes causes phishing.

Costs

The cost depends on the project and the enterprise web development specifications you want. Java developers in the US have an average salary of $91,428. Nodejs developers command an average of $92,887. You should also note the cost of hardware needed for each one.

Ease of learning

Although Java’s syntax is written in English, it contains some lengthy and unreadable content that needs clarification. Node.js has a simpler syntax and interpreted code making it easier to understand.

Community

Both Node.js and Java boast a large community of developers using them. Developers are drawn to them due to their open-source nature that supports collaboration and involves developers in the development and evolution process.

Top applications built with Node.js and Java

Let’s see a few real-world apps designed with Node.js and Java.

Netflix

The popular streaming platform hosts hundreds of movies and TV shows.

Netflix also has millions of subscribers requesting different movies simultaneously. The platform can serve its subscribers using Node.js abilities to quicken buffering speeds and fulfill requests faster.

Uber

The digital cab-hailing service is available in 90 countries and almost a thousand cities. The company stated that it chose Node.js for ease of error-checking, faster debugging, and processing. Uber can function seamlessly even when there is a spike in usage, such as during peak periods and holidays.

Paypal

Payment solutions platform PayPal services 426 million accounts in different countries by settling payments between merchants and customers. Initially, two teams of developers: Node.js and Java, built prototypes of the app, but the Node.js faster development displaced Java’s prototype. As a result, Node.js was incorporated into the PayPal stack.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business networking platform and a social media tool for professionals. When LinkedIn began, it had only a handful of users and used Ruby on Rails as its primary coding language. With time, its user base expanded, so it moved its server to Node.js. Now the higher traffic is handled easily, given its seamless integration.

Spotify

The music streaming service uses languages including Java. Users can stream millions of songs from any artiste or albums hosted on the platform. Spotify uses Java for logging and stable data transfer.

Twitter

American Microblogging site, Twitter is known for people tweeting their thoughts or commenting on trending issues. Users are limited to 140 characters. Twitter uses Java due to its ability to handle its over 368 million users and 500 million daily tweets.

Opera mini

The Norwegian browser app became available in 2005. To cater to increased usage and ensure seamless function, the browser utilizes Java. It also uses Java for the android version of the app.

Cash App

Cash app is a mobile payment solution that enables fast and smooth fund transfers between users. The App is used by at least 44 million people worldwide. Java works greatly with the Cash app due to its flexibility and security apparatuses like no-use pointers and bytecode crucial for financial apps.

When Should You Choose Node.js?

Node.js enterprise development can be in any of the following categories:

When Should You Choose Node.js?

Streaming apps

Node.js can handle large chunks of data by breaking them into smaller bits. This ability is crucial to handle video streaming and ensure faster buffering. Netflix is an example of this.

Real-time apps

Apps that support heavy traffic and multiple short messages, like chat rooms, work well with Node.js. Its V8 engine makes it speedy, especially with instant messaging, and ensures high-quality performance.

E-commerce apps

Node.js is built with the app’s scalability in mind, which makes it one of the best languages for e-commerce web development. The framework can handle an unexpected peak in demand, such as during clearance or holiday period sales.

Collaboration apps

These apps are used by large teams that inform members of any changes or updates as soon as possible. Node.js’ event-driven ability and real-time processing make it suitable for apps that require quick updates, like collaboration apps. Trello is an example of a Node.js collaboration app.

When Should you Choose Java?

You can use Java for enterprise development in any of these categories.

When Should you Choose Java?

Game apps

Java helps with the creation of high-graphic games. With its open-source jMonkeyEngine used for 3D gaming, you can use Java to build realistic gaming software. However, Java’s automatic garbage collection may cause some lags in gameplay.

Internet of Things

We have established that Java is not platform specific, making it suited for IoT app development. Linking billions of devices to exchange data will require cross-platform abilities, which Java offers through its Write Once Run Anywhere feature.

Mobile apps

Java is the most widely used language for mobile app development and is the official language of android. Over 50% of Android apps, including Google Earth and Tinder, are built on Java.

Java’s cross-platform features make it attractive to mobile app developers. In addition, Android’s APK Application Package Kit) comes with Java Virtual Machine software, enabling Java to run smoothly on Android.

Enterprise apps

Many developers prefer to use Java in writing codes for enterprise applications. With the aid of Java Enterprise Edition, which possesses API and runtime environment, it is no surprise that it forms the basis for developing financial, commercial, or even health services apps.

Wrapping up

There is no clear winner in the Node.js vs. Java battle. You must factor in their advantages and drawbacks when developing your enterprise applications.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about choosing the right tech stack. Code and Care is here to help you make the right choices in the programming languages for app development. With our team of experts versed in Node.js enterprise apps, Java and React Native app development, etc., we are committed to bringing your project ideas to reality.

FAQ

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While Python is one of the most common backend languages, Java comes out on top in enterprise development. Java's stability and scalability make it a popular choice for backend developers.

Yes. Node.js's speed is tied to its non-blocking asynchronous model, which allows apps to run without lag, such as streaming apps. Java is also fast, but continuous garbage collection reduces its speed.

Java has several layers of security, including during compilation and before execution. The vulnerabilities of Node.js makes it prone to denial of service attacks.

There is no exact answer to this question. The pros and cons of each one mean that the kind of project you want to develop will determine which one to use.

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