Node.js Backend Frameworks

JavaScript on the frontend, Javascript on the backend.

Everyone loves JavaScript. Over the past two decades JavaScript has become the go-to gold standard for web developing. Since then, dozens upon dozens of frameworks have cropped up, giving developers a wide arsenal of tools to create dynamic, powerful web applications using JavaScript. This article will introduce the use of Node.js backends and the powerful frameworks that will allow you to create a full stack in JS!

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that forms the basis of many popular application frameworks today. While the use of Node.js is not limited to the frontend or backend, or for that matter to the use in application building, many widely used frameworks employ a Node.js runtime in order to run JavaScript outside of the browser.

Node is a popular choice for building backends largely due to the fact that it shares the same base language, JavaScript, as many front-ends. This allows developers and teams to contribute, share and reuse code across the stack and manage full-stack projects with a single package manager (such as NPM).

Besides the obvious congruities across the code stack, Node backends are known for its event-driven, non-blocking model which allows for simultaneous data-processing at very high speeds. It is for this reason that Node frameworks have become the back-end of choice for micro-servers that require flexible, highly scalable data processing.

Some popular Node.js backend frameworks include Express, Sails and Koa. These are, of course, just some of the dozens of frameworks being used in production today and as is the case in the entire JavaScript community, the landscape for frameworks has never been more diverse.

Express, one of the earliest and most widely used frameworks, has become somewhat of the poster-child for Node.js. It is a component of the MEAN stack of softwares which includes the database platform MongoDB and the front-end framework Angular.

Sails was built on-top of Express and provides a more traditional MVC framework in the style of other familiar backends such as Rails.

Koa, built by the same team behind Express, is quickly gaining traction as a more lightweight framework for building minimal interfaces utilizing asynchronous functions over callbacks.

And the Node.js landscape is only expanding. Driving the growth of Node.js is its fast growing community of developers hitched alongside the broader JavaScript and NPM community. Companies and projects are choosing Node due to the abundance of support and growth within its community and the frameworks listed above, while amongst the most popular, are now just a small part of the Node community as a whole.

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