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In a first glance, there are two important things that make Node.js different from other server-side technologies/frameworks. They are Node.js’s use of single threaded and asynchronous architecture. Most of the server-side technologies use a synchronous, means that Node.js is server reacts to events and send events (messages) to the database. As mentioned, this style of programming is very different, it uses asynchronous I/O and scale well, and hard to use with other technologies. Node.js asynchronous model allows the code to handle a large number of concurrent connections with high throughput on a single thread.

Use of JavaScript as a programming language is also a differentiator. JavaScript is the programming language that web applications is using on the client-side. By using the same language on the server-side means that the developer can use his JavaScript knowledge both on the client and the server, and use the same functions if needed. Since lots of web developers know JavaScript, it is a selling point that they can now develop server-side code using the same language.

When the question is which technology is the best for your next development project, it is very difficult to compare any languages. I see comparison questions being repeatedly asking in every service of the internet. Node is not meant as a replacement for other technology stack, but it can provide scalability and increased performance to applications which fit its purpose. Some examples of application types which can benefit from using Node are REST APIs, Chat applications and Real-Time Tracking applications (Brokerage trading dashboards, real-time user statistics, etc.)

Survey shows that Ruby on Rails and Node.js are very much popular with their respective advantages. But, Node.js is leading the race for number of modules in a relatively short time compared to RoR. Primarily, Node.js is an application runtime environment that allows you to write server-side applications in JavaScript whereas RoR is a framework itself for programming. Hence, RoR gives some modules in the installation itself and Node.js is unopinionated, developer has to write code to feel like a feature set to use.

Considering the speed of the development, Node.js works is that it makes you string together different components, ease the process and flexibility of building entire application. The availability of Node.js developers are less compared to other technologies as it has come to common in recent years. Having said that, learning curve of Node.js is considerably less, good scope for front-end developers and backend developers to switch to it by just knowing development concepts.

As a conclusion, let me restate what Node.js homepage says about their advantages. They describe that Node.js is “lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.” Yes, the applications that fit description above well and can take advantage of Node’s features. Node.js is stable enough and is being deployed in more and more complex applications/systems. It’s easy to get started with Node.js and when you’re building next gen web application, especially APIs for mobile/web integration or want to create something with custom solution, Node.js is a run-time environment that suits you best.