Top 7 Most Popular Node.js Frameworks You Should Know

Top 7 Most Popular Node.js Frameworks You Should Know

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, runtime environment that allows developers to run JavaScript outside of a browser. In this post, you'll see top 7 of the most popular Node frameworks at this point in time (ranked from high to low by GitHub stars).

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, runtime environment that allows developers to run JavaScript outside of a browser.

One of the main advantages of Node is that it enables developers to use JavaScript on both the front-end and the back-end of an application. This not only makes the source code of any app cleaner and more consistent, but it significantly speeds up app development too, as developers only need to use one language.

Node is fast, scalable, and easy to get started with. Its default package manager is npm, which means it also sports the largest ecosystem of open-source libraries. Node is used by companies such as NASA, Uber, Netflix, and Walmart.

But Node doesn't come alone. It comes with a plethora of frameworks. A Node framework can be pictured as the external scaffolding that you can build your app in. These frameworks are built on top of Node and extend the technology's functionality, mostly by making apps easier to prototype and develop, while also making them faster and more scalable.

Below are 7of the most popular Node frameworks at this point in time (ranked from high to low by GitHub stars).

Express

With over 43,000 GitHub stars, Express is the most popular Node framework. It brands itself as a fast, unopinionated, and minimalist framework. Express acts as middleware: it helps set up and configure routes to send and receive requests between the front-end and the database of an app.

Express provides lightweight, powerful tools for HTTP servers. It's a great framework for single-page apps, websites, hybrids, or public HTTP APIs. It supports over fourteen different template engines, so developers aren't forced into any specific ORM.

Meteor

Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript platform. It allows developers to build real-time web apps, i.e. apps where code changes are pushed to all browsers and devices in real-time. Additionally, servers send data over the wire, instead of HTML. The client renders the data.

The project has over 41,000 GitHub stars and is built to power large projects. Meteor is used by companies such as Mazda, Honeywell, Qualcomm, and IKEA. It has excellent documentation and a strong community behind it.

Koa

Koa is built by the same team that built Express. It uses ES6 methods that allow developers to work without callbacks. Developers also have more control over error-handling. Koa has no middleware within its core, which means that developers have more control over configuration, but which means that traditional Node middleware (e.g. req, res, next) won't work with Koa.

Koa already has over 26,000 GitHub stars. The Express developers built Koa because they wanted a lighter framework that was more expressive and more robust than Express. You can find out more about the differences between Koa and Express here.

Sails

Sails is a real-time, MVC framework for Node that's built on Express. It supports auto-generated REST APIs and comes with an easy WebSocket integration.

The project has over 20,000 stars on GitHub and is compatible with almost all databases (MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis). It's also compatible with most front-end technologies (Angular, iOS, Android, React, and even Windows Phone).

Nest

Nest has over 15,000 GitHub stars. It uses progressive JavaScript and is built with TypeScript, which means it comes with strong typing. It combines elements of object-oriented programming, functional programming, and functional reactive programming.

Nest is packaged in such a way it serves as a complete development kit for writing enterprise-level apps. The framework uses Express, but is compatible with a wide range of other libraries.

LoopBack

LoopBack is a framework that allows developers to quickly create REST APIs. It has an easy-to-use CLI wizard and allows developers to create models either on their schema or dynamically. It also has a built-in API explorer.

LoopBack has over 12,000 GitHub stars and is used by companies such as GoDaddy, Symantec, and the Bank of America. It's compatible with many REST services and a wide variety of databases (MongoDB, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL).

Hapi

Similar to Express, hapi serves data by intermediating between server-side and client-side. As such, it's can serve as a substitute for Express. Hapi allows developers to focus on writing reusable app logic in a modular and prescriptive fashion.

The project has over 11,000 GitHub stars. It has built-in support for input validation, caching, authentication, and more. Hapi was originally developed to handle all of Walmart's mobile traffic during Black Friday.

Node.js Tutorial for Beginners | Node.js Crash Course | Node.js Certification Training

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Why learn Node.js?

Node.js uses JavaScript - a language known to millions of developers worldwide - thus giving it a much lower learning curve even for complete beginners. Using Node.js you can build simple Command Line programs or complex enterprise level web applications with equal ease. Node.js is an event-driven, server-side, asynchronous development platform with lightning speed execution. Node.js helps you to code the most complex functionalities in just a few lines of code...

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A Beginner Guide To Node.js (Basic Introduction To Node.js)

Node.js is a very popular javascript free and open source cross-platform for server-side programming built on Google Chrome’s Javascript V8 Engine. It is used by thousands of developers around the world to develop mobile and web applications. According to StackOverflow survey, Node.js is one of most famous choice for building the web application in 2018.

Introduction

Node.js is a very popular javascript free and open source cross-platform for server-side programming built on Google Chrome’s Javascript V8 Engine. It is used by thousands of developers around the world to develop mobile and web applications. According to StackOverflow survey, Node.js is one of most famous choice for building the web application in 2018.

In this article, you will gain a deep understanding of node, learn how node.js works and why it is so popular among the developers and startups. Not In startup even big companies like eBay, Microsoft, GoDaddy, Paypal etc.

Why is Node.js so much popular

It is fast very fast

It’s a javascript runtime built on google chrome javascript v8 engine which means both node js and js executed in your browser running in the same engine that makes it very fast in comparison to any other server-side programming language.

It uses event-driven and non-blocking model

Node.js uses the event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it very lightweight and efficient.
Now let’s understand the above statement in more details. Here I/O refers to Input /Output.

Event Driven Programming is a paradigm in which control flow of any program is determined by the occurrence of the events. All these events monitor by the code which is known as an event listener. If you are from javascript background then most probably you know what is event-listeners. In short, event-listener is a procedure or function that waits for an event to occurs. In javascript, onload, onclick, onblur most common event-listener.

**Blocking I/O **takes time and hence block other function. Consider the scenario where we want to fetch data from the database for two different users. Here we can not get the data of the second user until we did not complete the first user process. Since javascript is a single threaded and here we would have to start a new thread every time we want to fetch user data. So here Non-Blocking I/O parts come in.

Example of Blocking I/O operation

<span class="hljs-keyword">const</span> fs = <span class="hljs-built_in">require</span>(‘fs’);
<span class="hljs-keyword">var</span> contents = fs.readFileSync(<span class="hljs-string">'package.json'</span>).toString();
<span class="hljs-built_in">console</span>.log(contents);

In** Non-blocking I/O **operations, you can get the user2 data without waiting for the completion of the user1 request. You can initiate both requests in parallel. **Non-blocking I/O **eliminates the need for the multi-threaded, since the system can handle multiple requests at the same time. That is the main reason which makes it very fast.

Example of Non-blocking I/O operation

<span class="hljs-keyword">const</span> fs = <span class="hljs-built_in">require</span>(‘fs’);
fs.readFile(<span class="hljs-string">'package.json'</span>, <span class="hljs-function"><span class="hljs-keyword">function</span> (<span class="hljs-params">err, buf</span>)</span>{
    <span class="hljs-built_in">console</span>.log(buf.toString());
});

Note: You can learn more about the event loop and other things by going through this link.

What is Node Package Manager ( NPM )

It is is the official package manager for the node. It bundles automatically installed when you install node in your system. It is used to install new packages and manage them in useful ways. NPM install packages in two modes local and global. In the local mode, NPM installs packages in the node_module directory of the current working directory which location is owned by current user. Global packages installed in the directory where the node is installed and the location is owned by the root user.

What is the package.json

package.json is a plain JSON text file which manages all the packaged which you installed in your node application. Every Node.js applications should have this file at the root directory to describe the application metadata. A simple package.json file looks like below

{
    <span class="hljs-string">"name"</span> : <span class="hljs-string">"codesquery"</span>,
    <span class="hljs-string">"version"</span> : <span class="hljs-string">"1.0.0"'
    "repository": {
	"type" : "git",
	"url" : "github_repository_url"
    },
    "dependencies": {
	"async": "0.8.0",
	"express": "4.2.x"
    }
}
</span>

In the above file, name and versions are mandatory for the package.json file and rest is optional.

Installing Node.js

  • In Windows, you can install the node.js by using the installer provided by the official node.js website. Follow the installer instruction and node.js will be installed in your windows system.
  • In Linux OS, you can install the node.js by adding the PPA in your system and then install node js. Run the below command the terminal to install node js
sudo apt-get install curl python-software-properties
curl -sL https:<span class="hljs-comment">//deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash -</span>
sudo apt-get install nodejs

  • In macOS, download the macOS installer from the official node.js website. Now run the installer by accepting the license and selecting the destination.

Test Node.js Installation

You can test the node.js installation by typing below command in the terminal

node -v

If node.js was installed successfully then you will see the installed version of the node in the terminal.

Frameworks and Tools

After gaining the popularity among the developers, there are so many frameworks built for the node js for the different type of uses. Here, I will tell you some of the most famous node js frameworks in the market

  • Express.js is the most popular framework for node.js development. A lot of popular websites is powered by express.js due to its lightweight.
  • Hapi.js is a powerful and robust framework for developing the API. This framework has features like input validation, configuration based functionality, error handling, caching and logging.
  • Metor.js is one of the most used frameworks in the node js web application development. This framework is backed by a huge community of developers, tutorials and good documentation.
  • Socket.io is used to build a real-time web application like chat system and analytics. Its allow the bi-direction data flow between the web client and server.
  • Koa.js is yet another most used framework to build the web application using the node js. This framework is backed by the team behind Express.js. It allows you to ditch callbacks and increase error handling.

Conclusion

Today, Node.js shaping the future of web and application development technology. This is the just the basic of how node js works. If you want to build a scalable web application using the node js then you need to know more then this.

Till now, you have got the basic idea of node.js and now it is time to build something using the node.js. You can start with first by create a simple server using the node.js and then connect your node with MongoDB to perform the basic crud operation.

What Is Process.Env In Node.Js - Environment Variables In Node.Js

What Is Process.Env In Node.Js - Environment Variables In Node.Js

In this tutorial, we will see What is process.env in Node.js | Environment Variables in Node.js. Working with environment variables is the great way to configure different configurations of your Node.js application...

In this tutorial, we will see What is process.env in Node.js | Environment Variables in Node.js. Working with environment variables is the great way to configure different configurations of your Node.js application...

Many cloud hosts like Heroku, Azure, AWS, now.sh, etc. uses node environment variables. Node.js modules are using environment variables. Hosts, for example, will set the PORT variable that specifies on which port the server should listen to work properly. Modules might have the different behaviors (like logging) depending on the value of theNODE_ENV variable.

Content Overview

  • 1 What is process.env in Node.js
  • 2 Why environment variable in Node.js is important
  • 3 Basics of process.env
  • 4 Explicitly loading variables from the .env file
What is process.env in Node.js

The Node injects the process.env global variable at runtime in our app to use, and it represents the state of the system environment of our app when it starts. For example, if the system has the PATHvariable set, this will be made accessible to you through the process.env.PATH variable which you can use to check where binaries are located and make external calls to them if required.

Why environment variable in Node.js is important

When we write the code, we can never be sure where our app can be deployed. If we require the database in development, we spin up the instance of it, and we link to it via a connection string , something like 127.0.0.1:3306. However, when we deploy it to the server in production, we might need to link it to the remote server, let say 32.22.2.1.

Now, we can write the code of linking the database using the **process.env **file.

const connection = new Connection(process.env.DB_CONNECTION_STRING);

Specifying an external service dependency allows us to link to the remote load-balancer protected database cluster which can scale independently of an app, and will enable us to have the multiple instances of our app independently of a database service.

Basics of process.env

Accessing environment variables in the Node.js is supported out of the box. When your Node.js process boots up, it will automatically provide an access to all the existing environment variables by creating the env object as a property of the process global object.

I am using Node.js version 11. Now, if you have not installed Node.js, then please install it.

After that, create a folder and inside create a file called **app.js **and add the following code.

console.log(process.env);

Now, go to the terminal and hit the following command.

The above code should output all the environment variables that this Node.js process is aware of. If we want to access one specific variable, access it like any property of the object. Let’s access the PORT property.

console.log(process.env.PORT);

You will see the undefined** **in the output because we have defined a specific port yet.

Cloud hosts like Heroku or Azure; however, use the PORT variable to tell you on which port your server should listen for the routing to work correctly. Therefore, the next time you set up the web server, you should determine the port to listen on by checking PORT first and giving it a default value otherwise.

See the following code.

// app.js

const app = require('http').createServer((req, res) => res.send('Ahoy!'));
const PORT = process.env.PORT || 4000;

app.listen(PORT, () => {
  console.log(`Server is listening on port: ${PORT}`);
});

In the above code, we have created the HTTP server, and that server is running on the either defined port in the **.env **file or by default 4000.

Run the file and see the output.

Since the process.env is simply an ordinary object, we can set/override the values very easily.

Explicitly loading variables from the .env file

We have two levels to work, when dealing with a server provisioning: 1) infrastructure and 2) application levels. We can either set an environment through the application-level logic, or we can use the tool to provide an environment for us.

A standard application-level tool is **dotenv, **which allows us to load the environment variables from a file named .env. We can install it via NPM using the following command.

npm install dotenv --save

Afterward, add the following line to the very top of your entry file.

require('dotenv').config();

The above code will automatically load the .env file in the root of your project and initialize the values. It will skip any variables that already have been set.

You should not use the .env file in your production environment though instead set the values directly on the respective host. Therefore, you might want to wrap the config statement in the if-statement.

if (process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'production') {
  require('dotenv').config();
}

Now, create a file called **.env **and add the following one line of code inside that **.env **file. You need to create the **.env **file in the root of your project folder.

PORT = 3000

Now, write the following code inside the **app.js **file.

// app.js

if (process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'production') {
  require('dotenv').config();
}

const app = require('http').createServer((req, res) => res.send('Ahoy!'));
const PORT = process.env.PORT || 4000;

app.listen(PORT, () => {
  console.log(`Server is listening on port: ${PORT}`);
});

Now, run the server and you will see the server is running on PORT: 3000 and not on 4000.

While this is a convenient for development needs, it is considered the bad practice to couple the environment with our application, so keep it out by adding .env to your .gitignore file.

At an infrastructure level, we can use the deployment manager tools like PM2, Docker Compose, and Kubernetes to specify an environment.

PM2 uses an ecosystem.yaml file where you can specify the environment using the env property.

apps:
  - script: ./app.js
    name: 'my_application'
    env:
      NODE_ENV: development
    env_production:
      NODE_ENV: production
    ...

Docker Compose likewise allows for the environment property to be specified in the service manifest.

version: "3"
services:
  my_application:
    image: node:8.9.4-alpine
    environment:
      NODE_ENV: production
      ...
    ...

Kubernetes has an equivalent the env property in the pod template manifest which allows us to set the environment:

kind: Deployment
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
metadata:
  name: my_application
spec:
  ...
  template:
    spec:
      env:
        - name: NODE_ENV
          value: production
        ...

Using the process.env.* correctly results in applications that can be tested with ease and deployed/scaled elegantly. So, we have seen process.env in Node.js very deeply in this article.

Finally, What is process.env in Node.js | Environment Variables in Node.js is over.