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Node.js is a robust server-side framework for building server-based mobile applications. Using the basic scalable features of Node.js, many of the performance-driven frameworks have been developed. According to a report, as many as 487, 663 companies around the globe have already used Node.js, surpassing other web frameworks.
The framework offers certain distinguishing features such as single-threaded event looping and asynchronous, non-blocking input/output processing. Single-threaded asynchronous programming ensures optimum memory usage with no dependency on the dedicated web server. Node.js is also equipped with a Node Package Manager that enables developers to reuse the code. In terms of security, Node.js has two types of security buffers—zero filling buffer and new buffer—within the memory space that prevents imminent malicious code to destroy the system during the run-time.
Today a number of Node.js frameworks such as Mojito, Sails, Hapi, Express, Koa, Meteor, Derby, Flatiron, Mean.IO, Socket, Stream, and few others are available in the market. Mojito, Derby, Meteor, and Mean.IO can be used for building standard application architecture. However, they are not flexible enough in terms of performance. Express, Hapi, and Koa provide greater flexibility. LoopBack is considered to be the right choice for the developers who want to build a number of specialized APIs that can boost scalability.
The top 5 Node.js frameworks that will play a significant role in 2018 are:
- Express.js: As a standard server framework for Node.js, Express was released as an open-source platform. It is a vital component of the larger MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js) stack and is considered as an alternative to Ruby-based application frameworks. Express is a light-weight component that offers various functionalities with a number of plug-ins. The framework was earlier managed by StrongLoop before IBM acquired the company in 2015.
- LoopBack.js: LoopBack is powered by the ‘API Explorer,’ which enables it to connect seamlessly with back-end resources. It is also capable of decoding data model definition and generating end-to-end RESTful APIs which are crucial for a LoopBack application to set predefined roles based on built-in models at the User, Role, and Application level. The framework is equipped with the inherent ability to generate dynamic APIs in the desired web application by virtue of the Node Package Manager. This helps in ensuring scalability and improving the performance of dynamic server-based applications built using the framework.
- Hapi.js: Hapi framework is a high-performance, light-weight framework with built-in caching, making it easy for developers to run data-intensive real-time applications capable of running across distributed devices. It is used for building RESTful and real-time web applications and services with ease. By virtue of a scalable plug-in architecture, Hapi can simplify the work of distributed teams working on separate back-end services. The users only need to be familiar with one particular API, rather than a number of back-end APIs to work in the distributed environment.
- Koa.js: Koa. Js is a powerful framework that helps build efficient, light-weight web that remains relevant for a longer period of time. It is known for the efficient handling of exceptions or callbacks in order to avoid run-time errors by using specific generators. Koa offers a bundle of methods that allow fast and dynamic server-side coding for developers. The framework resembles a number of typical middleware systems, wherein a single request can trigger execution of several middleware functions simultaneously in the form of a unified stack.
- Sails.js: With a Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, Sails.js is one of the most popular real-time frameworks capable of building custom, enterprise-grade Node.js apps. It is widely used in data-driven application programming APIs for developing dashboards and games. Sails.js is compatible with a number of front-end components like Angular, Backbone, React, Android, iOS, Windows, Java and more by utilizing Express.js. It comes with blueprints that enable you to jumpstart your app backend without writing the code. The framework is also bundled with object-relational mapping (ORM) tool—Waterline—that provides a simple data access layer which can work on any database that the developer is using.
Node.js: Framework for the Future
Each of the available Node.js frameworks offers advanced features that can help best leverage memory and network resources to improve the overall performance of an application. With many powerful web applications created for diverse requirements and the need for truly customized apps, the role of Node.js is expected to grow significantly in the future.