Blog posts tagged in Web app development

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It often happens that a game-changing technology enters the tech market with a boom, but passes into extinction later. However, that’s certainly not the case with Node.js, which is an open source, cross-platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime. Node.js was developed by Ryan Dahl in 2009, and the platform has now become an exceptional choice for real-time web application development that boosts ROI by providing a highly interactive user experience.

The best advantage of using Node.js is that developers can write JavaScript on both the client side and the server side. It’s worth mentioning that enterprises like PayPal, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix, The Mail Online, and Walmart have taken their respective businesses to fruition using Node.js. Read further to gain insight into 10 major reasons why most businesses are jumping on the Node.js-powered web app bandwagon.

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10 Reasons behind Skyrocketing Popularity of Node.js for Web App Development

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#1 Expedites the Development Process

Node.js uses the V8 engine developed by Google which allows compilation of JavaScript into native machine code and fast execution. Since Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, it’s very efficient and lightweight for in-memory usage and data dense real-time web applications that work on multiple devices.


With Node.js, you can execute common web application tasks very fast, like reading or writing to the database, reading and writing to network connections and reading or writing to the file system. Node.js is a blessing for developers who want to build quick, robust web applications that can effectively deal with parallel connections with increased throughput.


After LinkedIn opted for Node.js, it recorded a significant rise in its mobile traffic and also the reduction in the number of servers from 30 to 3. PayPal is another example that benefitted from Node.js. After using Node.js, PayPal saw a 35% downfall in their response time and doubled requests per second. You can run Node.js applications on multiple servers including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix.

#2 Excellent for Real-Time App Development

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You will agree that almost every company now looks for customer information in real time. For a simple reason, a reliable access to customer information as it’s being generated paves the way for significant boost in business sales by offering users what they are actually looking for, not something random that does not interest them. And over the past few years, having a real-time web app built using Node.js has emerged as the best way to notch that up.

With Node.js, all your worries related to low-level sockets and protocols go for a walk to the moon. Using Node.js, you can build a real-time web application as fast as making a simple blog in PHP. Node.js is a good fit for multi-user real-time web apps as in games and chat apps. The multi-user function is tackled by the event loop via websocket protocol which works on TCP. It also prevents the overhead of HTTP for web development.

#3 Data Streaming

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Although HTTP request and response are thought to be two isolated events, they are data streams in real. The beauty of Node.js is that it enables file processing while uploading. As a result, it saves a lot of time that goes waste in overall processing in the event of data coming in the form of streams. The same remains the case with real-time video or audio recording.

#4 Node.js is Omnipresent

JavaScript exists in both the browser and the server, thanks to Node.js for making it possible. If a company feel the need of changing the logic built for the browser to be shifted to the server, developers can do it with ease by using Node.js code migration. Though, there is not much difference in how the code written for either the browser or server runs.

#5 Allows to Use a Single Code Base for Web Applications

With Node.js, developers can automatically send and synchronize data between server and the client side as it allows developers to write JavaScript for both the server and client. Meteor, a web app framework created on top of Node.js, offers support to the same codebase for the client and the server. Any data change in the server is immediately visible on the client-side.

“Node.js is not a silver-bullet new platform that will dominate the web development world. Instead, it’s a platform that fills a particular need. Where Node really shines is in building fast, scalable network applications”, according to the web engineering company Toptal.

#6 Serves the Purpose of Proxy Server

One of the top advantages of using Node.js is that it serves as a proxy server for services with different response times or for collecting data from multiple source points.

To better understand consider this example: An enterprise has a server side application that is meant to communicate with third party resources, collect data from different sources, or store images and videos to third-party cloud services. Now, although the enterprise can use dedicated servers, Node.js is a better option in the event of non-existent infrastructure or when a solution is needed for local development.

#7 Robust Node.js Package Manager (NPM)

Node.js has a dynamic repository of dynamic tools and modules that programmers can share for app development. Node.js has thousands of thousands of modules one can use for various tasks, like files upload management, connectivity to MySQL databases or to Redis, via frameworks, template systems, and management of real-time communication with visitors.

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Node.js package manager or NPM is a savior for many programmers who need to reuse a code some JavaScript developer from outside has created to solve a particular problem. NPM also allows JavaScript developers to download updates that are made to a particular code they have previously used in their applications. Even if you don’t want to reuse a code created by a JavaScript developer from outside of your organization, you can adopt the module based approach to improve synergy between your team members.

After using NPM, PayPal saw a significant rise in developer productivity. Besides, the Internet payment giant didn’t require as many developer to build an application as it required prior to using Node.js.

#8 Node.js is Excellent with Database Queries

For database queries, Node.js has an upper hand since JavaScript is used to write database queries for new NoSQL databases like MongoDB, CouchDB. It’s a big relief for developers as they don’t need to remember the syntax differences while performing the task of combining Node.js and NoSQL databases. Node.js is really a boon to real-time web apps, given the fact that the JSON stored data format allows smooth functioning without any obstacles in data conversion or mismatches.

#9 Node.js Hosting has Gone to a New Level

As Node.js has become very popular among developers, it’s hosting has gone a long way to become a big success. PaaS (Platform as a Service) service providers such as Heroku and Modulus offer support to node deployments to a single command. With Node.js hosting, you can reduce page load time by up to 50% and bring down the number of servers required to host the application.

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#10 Flourished Open Source Community

Node.js is very community friendly. Having an open-source community, Node.js offers many outstanding modules to add a lot more amazing features to your web applications. For instance, Socket.io allows to deal with constant communication between the client and the server, thereby making it possible for the server to send real-time updates at the client-end side. Express.js, Koa.js, Hapi.js, Sails.js, Meteor and Derby are some other top-notch frameworks developed by the Node.js community to expedite the application development process.

The IoT community is also welcoming Node.js for embedded devices and robotics, like Cylon and Nodebots. Moreover, it has emerged as a giant player in the real-time web app development world. All the virtues of Node.js mentioned above are the major reasons why many companies now consider Node.js as a good technology for running heavy load web applications and allowing teams to move much faster in bringing their designs to life.

If you have ever used Node.js before for web app development, please tell us about your experience. Do you agree that Node.js is really a boon to web app development? As usual, your views are vital for us, please share them in the comment box below.

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Long gone are the days when computers and PCs were predominant devices for people to surf the Internet. Technology has seen great advancements and people are now increasingly using mobile devices of varying screen sizes that run on different platforms, like Android, Windows, iOS etc. However, advent of tablets, smartphones and phablets has also brought challenges for businesses to develop web apps that are fit for multiple devices.

This blog explains important factors a developer needs to take into consideration before beginning to develop a web app for multiple devices. But first, let’s talk about why so much hype has been created around web apps when other solutions like native apps and hybrid apps are also available.

Web apps are the future because unlike native apps that require installation through an app store, they can be easily accessed through different browsers on different devices. Nowadays, there is an app for everything, but a user has to deal with storage issues as a mobile app on an average weighs 20MB. It’s not possible for a user to install every mobile app that appears of use due to non-availability of such a gigantic storage space on mobile devices. A web app is the best solution as it’s only 1/20th of the size of a mobile app and users can access it with ease by entering a URL in a browser. Users don’t even need to remember a URL for a web app, as it can be easily bookmarked for future use.

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By going for a web app, businesses can also save significant costs as they do not need to create heavy updated versions of mobile apps, which also takes the data burden off from a user as they no longer need to update their mobile apps time and again. So, it won’t be wrong to say that web apps create a win-win situation for both owners and users.

There are so many benefits of a web app, but it’s not at all easy to create one that works flawlessly on multiple devices. Developers are required to take cognizance of popular operating systems, software, hardware bugs, hardware limitations, different screen sizes, resolution, browser and other issues to develop an immaculate web app for multiple devices.

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Programmers need to apply themselves a little more than what they do in case of native apps. For instance, a Firefox browser behaves differently on iOS phones than it does on Android ones. So, developers need to do debugging to fix browser-specific issues, ensuring smooth functionality of a web app on cross platforms.

The main aim of any app is to attract users through quality content on a wide range of screen sizes, which makes it paramount to know about different resolutions on various devices. Efficacy of features on different devices vary as contexts of usage are different, therefore a developer needs to identify how a user will use the product. Smartphones are used as alternatives to desktop, which is why it’s important to design a mobile web app that focuses on core function and activities users look forward to, unlike a website that gives immersive experience to desktop users. A very good example of this is Google’s mobile website which offers you different items in the navigation compared to its desktop website.

Your web app must enable interactions and functionality in an effective manner for multiple devices. It’s very essential for a developer to know strength and weaknesses of each device and figure out how your web app will behave when a user leans back, leans forward, remains stationary or go mobile. With cloud computing offering advanced features, web apps are evolving as cloud apps.

Advantages of cloud apps

  • Can be accessed through web browser.

  • Data is present in cloud infrastructure.

  • Offers support for data backup, security, backup schedule etc.

  • Reduces costs of installing your own servers.

  • Provides you a scalable solution to handle sudden rise in traffic.

  • Provides you an on-demand solution for Test, Load, Beta and Pre-Production Environments.

For a web app, creating a device group could provide you significant help in managing the diversity of screen sizes. Consider the below example to understand how you can put together devices of same widths in one group.

  1. Tiny: 84, 96, 101, 128, 130, 132

  2. Small: 160, 176

  3. Medium: 208, 220, 240

  4. Large: 320, 360, 480+

  5. Desktop: 800+

By creating a default reference design, it becomes easier to make a web app adaptable to smaller and larger screens. Display should be eye-catchy, therefore you must define rules for content and design adaptation. Going for web standards and flexible layout helps in providing a great experience to web app users on multiple devices. It’s also important to keep file size and load times down to provide a good user experience.

You need to be smart with placements of elements as less screen size is available on mobile devices. HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts are some examples of latest improvement in programming languages to design web apps that are scalable and adaptable to multiple devices. jQuery is worth trying for developing a web app as it has a widget library capable of converting semantic markup into a gesture-friendly format. It especially helps your web app perform operations on touch-screens.


Developers also need to pay heed to different user interface guidelines being offered by iOS, Android, Windows and other platforms for mobile devices. Developers can seek help from online forums as well to find answers to questions pertaining to web app development for multiple devices. These tips will help you as a developer to gain insight into important factors need to be taken under consideration to develop a web app for multiple devices. ens.

 


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