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Node.js vs Java: Choosing the right backend tech stack for your project

Node.js vs Java: Choosing the right backend tech stack for your project

  • Last Updated on January 20, 2023
  • 13 min read

When it comes to backend development, Node.js and Java are two of the most popular choices among developers. While there may be ongoing debates about which one is better, the truth is that both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Whether you want to hire Node.JS developer or are looking for an experienced Java development company, this guide will help you make the right decision for your next project.

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If you're currently in the process of building a complex web or mobile app and are unsure about which tech stack to use, this guide will provide you with a detailed comparison of Node.js and Java performance. We'll take a close look at the pros and cons of each, giving you actionable insights to help you make an informed decision.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment that allows for the execution of JavaScript code outside a browser. Developed in 2009 by Ryan Dahl, it combines C, C++, and JavaScript and enables interaction with I/O devices through APIs and connection to external libraries written in other languages.

The "JavaScript everywhere" paradigm emphasizes the use of a single programming language for both server-side and client-side scripts in web application development.

What is Java?

Java is a widely-used, object-oriented programming language created by James Gosling in 1995. It is known for its class-based structure, high-level nature, and ability to run on various platforms.

Its popularity among developers is due to its speed, security, and powerful capabilities. It has strong community support and is easy to learn, with the added benefit of reusable code, which helps to lower development costs.

The Java ecosystem includes the Java Development Kit, Java Runtime Environment, and Java Virtual Machine, which all contribute to its robustness, cross-platform compatibility, user-friendliness, and security. It is a popular choice for building apps and is used by 96,037 websites on 51,346 domains.

According to Statista, Java has been consistently ranked as one of the most used programming languages for eight years, resulting in 65% of respondents using JavaScript - an increasing demand for hiring dedicated Java developers among clients.

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Node.js vs Java: 360-degree comparison

Node.js offers a game-changing solution. With its JavaScript foundation, Node.js allows developers to use the same familiar syntax for both client and server-side tasks, making for a much faster and more agile workflow compared to traditional methods.

But that's not all, Node.js also has an event loop mechanism that allows for non-blocking server responses, resulting in higher scalability compared to other technologies. And to top it off, developers love Node.js for its lightweight nature, making it a clear winner in terms of ease of use.

Java is a highly reliable and secure programming language that stands out from its rivals, particularly Node.js. One of Java's key strengths is its support for multithreading, which enables the simultaneous execution of multiple processes and efficient use of CPU resources.

Additionally, Java's compilation in bytecode allows for easy portability and platform independence, ensuring that the code can be run on any machine or operating system without modification.

Java's other notable features include robust memory management and concurrent accumulators that contribute to the performance and reliability of the application.

The availability of numerous libraries in both Java and Node.js makes developers' lives a lot easier.

Node.js vs Java: Stability

When it comes to stability, Node.js and Java have distinct differences. While Node.js is designed for interacting with APIs, which can often change and cause instability issues for applications built in this environment, Java boasts a reputation for stability with its time-proven and rigid structure. In contrast, Java's interfaces are highly stable.

Node.js vs Java: Scalability

Node.js is a powerful tool for developing highly scalable applications. Its non-blocking input and output system, as well as its event-oriented model, enables it to handle multiple concurrent requests, making it ideal for handling high traffic.

Read more: Rise of Node.JS for enterprise application development

Furthermore, Node.js' event-loop mechanism allows the server to process a large number of requests effectively, providing scalability and efficiency. Additionally, Node.js uses a distributed system for different types of services, which is an added advantage for scalability and efficiency.

Java is a popular choice for enterprise application development due to its scalability and superior performance. However, to fully unlock its potential, developers must implement best practices for adding computational resources such as RAM and CPUs.

Java offers various scaling options including vertical scaling, horizontal scaling and it also addresses the single point of failure issue. Additionally, Java's architecture can cater to all your needs.

Node.js vs Java: Documentation

Documentation pages are an essential resource for learning new languages and understanding their capabilities. The Node.js documentation page offers an extensive overview of the language, including API reference documentation, ES6 features, and guides.

This provides developers with a comprehensive understanding of the most commonly used and niche features of Node.js. Similarly, Java's documentation is a vast database of all language-related information, making it a valuable resource for developers of all skill levels.

Node.js vs Java: Community

One key area where Node.js and Java differ is in community support. According to enterpriseappstoday, more than 6.3 million websites are using Node.js alone in the United States.

Furthermore, Node.js has gained credibility due to the significant contributions from tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. In contrast, Java has a more established community with a longer history of usage and support.

Java, like Node.js, has a strong community that supports the resolution of complex issues. This large community leads to quick bug fixes, regular updates, and ongoing innovation.

As one of the top three programming languages, Java has a vibrant community of software developers, with support from resources such as Coderanch, StackOverflow, Java World, and the Oracle-Java Forum.

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Node.js vs Java: Talent pool

The enterpriseapptoday Survey shows that There were 23 million developers worldwide in 2018. Researchers predict that there will be around 27.7 million developers by the end of 2023.

Node.js ranks 7th in the "most loved" category for frameworks, libraries, and tools, and 1st in the "most wanted" category. Java also performs well in the survey, coming in 5th place for the "most used" languages and 10th for the "most loved."

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Node.js vs Java: Easy to learn

The Node.js environment offers a streamlined and efficient coding experience thanks to its simple syntax and interpreted code. It is relatively easy to learn, particularly for developers who are already proficient in JavaScript.

In contrast, Java has a more complex ecosystem and a steeper learning curve. However, while it can be challenging to fully understand Java, it is not impossible to master.

Node.js vs Java: Speed of coding

Both Java and Node.js have extensive collections of community-created libraries and reusable components that make coding easier for developers. However, Node.js has a slight edge in this comparison.

According to Jeff Harrell, former Director of Engineering and Chief Architect at PayPal, Node.js apps require 33% fewer lines of code and 40% fewer files. As a result, on average, the development of Node.js apps takes less time.

It is worth noting that the development time may vary depending on the type of project, the size of the team, and the team's language proficiency.

Node.js vs Java: Installation

To work with Node.js, you must first have the archive file on your system. Developers should download the NodeJS .msi installer and run it. Once the installation is complete, it is important to verify that it has been installed correctly. This can be done by launching the command prompt and running the command:

$ node -v If NodeJS is installed correctly, the command will return the version number, such as: $ node -v v6.9.5

If the above command is not returned, it may be necessary to uninstall and reinstall NodeJS.

To install Java, developers must first set up the JavaFX environment to run JavaFX applications. The process begins by downloading the JDK to your system. Once the download is complete, the JDK must be installed and the path must be set permanently.

To verify that Java has been installed correctly, the following steps can be taken:

Open the command prompt
Type "java -version" and press enter
If Java is properly installed, you will see a message similar to:

Java version "1.4.x_xx"
Java SE Runtime Environment
Java hotspot Client VM

If the message "command not found" appears, it may be necessary to uninstall and reinstall Java on your system.

Node.js vs Java: Database support

NodeJS is compatible with a variety of NoSQL and relational databases, but it is especially well-suited for use with a NoSQL database like MongoDB. This is because MongoDB allows for storage of data in JSON objects, which enhances accessibility for backends that are JavaScript-based, such as NodeJS.

Additionally, Node.js has a specialized object data-modelling library that is specifically designed to work with MongoDB. It also improves developer productivity by making the code more readable and flexible.

Java underpins numerous databases and utilizes the standard database connectivity known as Java Database Connectivity for accessing data in applications. Some of the commonly utilized databases are MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.

In order to build simple projects, developers and programmers utilize built-in Java databases. Moreover, JDBC-enabled databases can solve the problems of relational databases.

Read more : Find out how to improve the Node.JS performance

Node.js vs Java: Cost of development

According to Glassdoor estimates, the average salary for a Java programmer in the United States is around $90,000, while Node.js developers make an average of $105,000. Whereas in India, a Senior Java developer’s salary is $10,496.16. This means that Java development tends to be more affordable in the Indian market.

However, when working with freelancers or outsourcing development, prices can vary greatly. Factors such as project complexity, management, and potential drawbacks all impact cost estimates, making it difficult to provide an exact figure. To get a more accurate idea of the expenses, it is recommended to obtain quotes from multiple Java and Node.JS development companies.

Node.js vs Java: A cheat sheet

Determinant Node.js Java
Performance It operates extremely fast in a short time period. Java delivers high-performance capabilities to the applications.
Application Architecture NodeJS uses a single-threaded event loop system or MVP/MVC architecture. Java developers opt for the model-view-controller architecture for app development.
Installation You need the archive file on your system. You will have to set the JavaFX environment to execute the JavaFX applications.
Testing NodeJS provides competent testing and debugging abilities. Java enables testing with FitNess, JMeter, Selenium, JUnit, and Apache.
Scalability NodeJS boasts scalability and efficiency. Java offers vertical scaling, horizontal scaling, single point of failure, and a single solution for all architecture needs.
Microservices Compatibility NodeJS is highly compatible with the code and service modules. Java is compatible with the microservice architecture, owing to its frameworks like Spring Boot and Annotation Syntax.
Database Support NodeJS extends its support for all the NoSQL and relational databases. Java uses MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.
Community Support Facebook, Google, and Amazon have contributed significantly to the NodeJS environment, thereby turning the NodeJS technology more credible A broad community implies bug squashing, frequent updates, as well as innovation.
Hiring Difficulty Easy Easy

When should you choose Node.js?

Hire Node.js developers for the following purposes:

  • Developing web applications for streaming content
  • Creating high-performing single-page apps
  • Building web applications with efficient data processing capabilities
  • Developing real-time and multi-user web applications
  • Creating browser-oriented game applications.

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When should you choose Java?

You can hire Java developers for:

  • Developing enterprise applications
  • Building scalable applications
  • Creating eCommerce applications
  • Developing Big Data applications
  • Building cryptocurrency applications with high-level security features

Final words

In summary, both Java and Node.js have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand them in order to make an informed decision for your next project. In terms of speed, Node.js tends to perform better while Java excels in stability and security. Both technologies have strong communities and resources available for developers.

Node.js is commonly used for real-time applications, streaming, big data projects and e-commerce, while Java is best suited for web applications, scientific applications, trading applications and e-commerce. You can choose to hire the best Java development company.

If you are unsure about which technology to choose for your project, it may be helpful to consult experts who are skilled in both technologies and familiar with your specific niche.

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Frequently Asked Questions About NodeJS vs Java

Is NodeJS more Performant than Java?

It is a matter of debate whether Node.js is more performant than Java or not. Node.js has a non-blocking, event-driven I/O model which makes it well suited for IO-bound and high-performance real-time applications.

Both Node.js and Java have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and it's always good to evaluate the specific needs of your project and consult with experts to determine the best technology for your use case.

Is NodeJS more Popular than Java?

It is difficult to compare the popularity of Node.js and Java, as they are often used in different categories. Node.js is commonly used as a JavaScript runtime environment for building server-side applications, while Java is primarily used as a programming language for developing a wide range of applications.

However, in recent years, Node.js has gained a lot of popularity in the field of web development, especially for building real-time and high-performance web applications. Java, on the other hand, has been around for a longer time and is widely used in enterprise applications, scientific computing, and Android mobile app development. Both technologies have large and active communities, and both are well-documented and supported.

Which Technology has a Better Future–Java or NodeJS?

Both Java and Node.js have a bright future in the field of software development, but each technology is better suited for different types of projects.

Java is a mature programming language with a large and active community, which has been around for over two decades.

Node.js, on the other hand, is a JavaScript runtime environment that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years for building high-performance, real-time web applications.

In summary, Java has been around for a long time and has a strong presence in the enterprise market and mobile app development, while Node.js has gained a lot of popularity in recent years for building real-time web applications.

Giants like Netflix are shifting from Java to NodeJS. Does this mean Java is going Extinct?

It is important to note that just because a company like Netflix is shifting from Java to Node.js, it does not mean that Java is going extinct. Java is a mature programming language that has been around for over two decades and has a large and active community. It is widely used in enterprise applications and has a strong presence in the mobile app development market, particularly for Android app development.

It is true that some companies are shifting towards Node.js for certain types of projects because of its non-blocking, event-driven I/O model which makes it well suited for IO-bound and high-performance real-time applications. Node.js is also being adopted by more companies as a replacement for traditional web technologies like PHP, Ruby, and Python.

However, it's important to understand that each technology has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and it's always good to evaluate the specific needs of your project and consult with experts to determine the best technology for your use case. It does not mean that Java is going extinct, it's just that some companies are shifting towards Node.js for certain types of projects.

Is it Possible to Use NodeJS with Java?

It is possible to integrate Java and Node.js, one way to do this is by using J2V8, which allows for wrapping Node.js as a Java library and provides access to Node.js API in Java.

author-profile

Nikunj Gundaniya

In charge of Java consulting, development and support practices at Peerbits. He specializes in delivering massive Java projects on time. In addition, guide the client and his team to apply only the best coding practices and ensure the project meets the client’s expectations.

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