Why Node.js is becoming the go-to technology in the Enterprise
By Cian O'Maidin

Over the last 18 months the use of Node.js has grown at an exponential rate.

It has moved from innovators such as Voxer  and Yammer  to a group of early adopters that are giving Node.js the credibility required to take it into the mainstream. E-Commerce giants

WalMart and PayPal  have made big bets on Node while the likes of the world’s most read news publication: – The Mail Online  have implemented Node.js and Netflix are now in the process of implementing Node.js  too.

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LET’S START WITH THE BUSINESS BENEFITS

Rapid-Innovation and Delivery

Increasing competition between rival internet companies, the speed of delivery and the ability to iterate are the key traits of market leaders. In a competitive scenario, reacting to end user needs, incorporating their feedback into the offering and delivering updates and changes regularly is essential.

 

Developer Happiness

It’s extremely difficult to hire top talent these days; good developers like to learn new things and to use new technologies. The ability to make developers happy in your organisation cannot be underestimated, happy enthusiastic developers means better software, delivered with more passion by people that are having fun.

Bill Scott once told the story of a new hire that had the choice of going to work for Facebook or PayPal. Faced with similar offers and benefits the developer made his choice, and was quoted as saying.

“Why go to Facebook and do PHP when you can go to PayPal and do Node.js”

  • Bill Scott – Dir UX PayPal

 

Easy to attract and retain talent.

It’s true, you can do anything in Java! But what’s also true is that the best developers like to work using new and interesting technologies, developers want to work new technologies which enable more and allows ideas to be expressed quickly and easily.

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High-Performance

PayPal reported: double the number of requests per-second and reduced response time by 35% or 200 milliseconds.

WalMart Labs had a bumper launch with Node.js in 2013, where they put all of their Mobile traffic through Node.js on black-friday, the busiest shopping period of the year.

The team at WalMart Labs live tweeted against #nodebf tag showing the performance of the Node.js application.

On Black Friday the WalMart servers didn’t go over 1% CPU utilisation and the team did a deploy with 200,000,000 users online.

Similarly Groupon re-implemented their system in Node.js which resulted in page load times dropping by a whopping 50%.

The old story of linkedin where moving to Node.js from Rails for their mobile traffic, reducing the number of servers from 30 to 3 (90% reduction) and the new system was up to 20x faster.

Easy to modify and maintain

New services development using Node.js is easy because of conventions that have grown with Node. Writing applications the Node-way means that applications are composed from small modules, which are piped together. Over-time traditional monolithic applications become rigid and difficult to adapt and as new requirements are added. Eventually traditional applications begin to creak under the weight and the stress put on them by the requirements they were not designed for.

With Node.js a group of small applications is developed instead of one large application, this enables a change to be made or new functionality to be added without requiring changes to be made deep inside the entire code-base.

Productivity

Node.js programs are developed using JavaScript, this means that the silos that existed between frontend developers and backend developers are now broken down, and this results in significant efficiencies in the development process. With Node.js it’s possible to merge web and backend teams into one unit which makes things much more efficient. Node.js opens the door to a world where full stack developers make life much better by reducing inter-silo dependencies. Node.js also has a great package management system called NPM, it’s the first package systems for JavaScript to get dependency management right. NPM effectively kills the possibility of experiencing dependency hell. Node also has a vibrant user-land and a very large number of modules are available via Node.js’s package manager (over 60,000 and growing fast)

PayPal measured a 2x increase in developer productivity, where it took half the number of developers to deliver an application when compared to Java, and it was delivered in less time.

 

The Future of Node.js is bright

Eran Hammer announced at NodeDay that WalMart are planning to use Node.js across all eCommerce by the end of 2014.

PayPal are rolling out Node.js across their entire web application and Node.js will be used almost everywhere within 2 years.

Although Google have not publicly come out talking about their use of Node.js, there is evidence that they are using it, a simple search on linkedin shows almost 200 people in google with Node.js on their profile. According to an article on VentureBeat: “Googlers are definitely working on Node.js projects – perhaps even something big that will be released to the public in the near future. They’re just not ready to talk publicly about what that might be.”

Yahoo are a long way down the line with Node.js and have 200 developers doing Node.js full time with 800 public modules and 500 private ones.

New Entrants to Node.js such as Netflix and others show that there is big growth happening in this area at present.

 

Application Areas for Node.js

  • The Internet of Things
  • E-Commerce
  • Payment Processing
  • Social Media
  • Realtime Services
  • Media
  • Enterprise Web Service

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LET’S ADD IT ALL TOGETHER

 What if my business could:

  • Use ½ the number of developers to develop products
  • Reduce the number of servers needed to serve customers
  • Reduce Page Load Times by up to 50%
  • Hire top-level engineers ahead of big names like Facebook
  • Make customers happier
  • Make developers happier
  • Retain staff for longer

The answer is a no-brainer, the question is whether an enterprise would be crazy not to be considering Node.js in a very serious way.

For more information on using Node.js and it’s business benefits, talk to @nearForm

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