Node vs Angular : Comparing Two Strong JavaScript Technologies

By Saurabh Barot   |   5 July, 2019
Node vs Angular : Comparing Two Strong JavaScript Technologies

Just from being a simple client-side scripting language, JavaScript has evolved over the years to turn out to be a powerful programming language. Today you can use JavaScript for developing server-side applications apart from just working on client-side applications.

Both Angular.js and Node.js are open source JavaScript-based technologies which are widely used today. Here Node.js is a cross-platform runtime environment while AngularJS is one of the top JavaScript framework. Angular helps the developers to build web applications which are dynamic in nature using HTML template language and following the MVC design pattern.

On the other hand, programmers can make use of Node.js to build server-side applications that are scalable in nature by making use of JavaScript as the programming language for server-side coding.

In short, by using Node.js platform and Angular framework, you can work towards building powerful server-side and client-side for applications. Such a cross-platform application will be feature-rich and interactive in nature and will be build using the JavaScript language.

However, both technologies are different from each other in terms of many factors. So, here let’s see them in detail.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a cross-platform runtime environment and library. It is used to run JavaScript applications outside the web browser. You can use it to build server-side applications and, it is free to use and open source in nature.

The applications in Node.js are written in JavaScript. Here the Node.js applications can run in the Node.js runtime on Microsoft Windows and Linux. In order to simplify the web development process, this framework offers a rich library which contains a number of different JavaScript modules.

What is Angular?

If you want to develop dynamic web apps with a structural framework, you need to go for Angular. Angular lets the developers make use of HTML as the template language in the project and here the components of the application get expressed clearly and briefly using HTML syntax.

Here the main goal is to achieve simplification and Node.js is a full-featured JavaScript framework. It supports the MVC structure and helps in the development of single page web apps that are dynamic in nature.

Google Trends
Let’s see how Angular and Node.js are performing out there.

According to similartech survey here are the number of sites used both technologies

Angular vs Node

Features of Node.js

  • It is fast
  • It is asynchronous and event driven
  • No buffering
  • Highly scalable
  • single Threaded
  • No buffering
  • Open source

Features of Angular

  • The MVC framework
  • HTML user interface
  • Access to POJO model
  • Filtering
  • Unit testing facilities
  • Behaviour with directives
  • Templates

Pros and Cons of Node.js

 

Pros of Node.js

 

Node.js offers Scalability

One of the main reasons why developers go ahead with Node.js is that it helps them scale the application in any direction with ease. Just by adding nodes in the existing system, it is possible to scale the application horizontally. Moreover, during the vertical scaling of the application, it is possible with Node.js to add in extra resources to the single nodes. So compared to other JavaScript servers, Node.js is highly scalable.

It is used as a single programming language

Node.js can be called as the right solution to right JavaScript codes for server-side applications. This means using the runtime environment, Node.js developers can easily write codes for frontend and backend web applications. This means there is no need to have any other server-side programming language to use.

It is easy to learn

Most of the front-end developers have a good understanding of JavaScript as it is one of the most popular programming languages out there. This makes it easy for them to start using Node.js quickly in the backend. Node.js needs less to work on and it is easier to learn.

The support of an active and large community

Node.js enjoys amazing support of large and active developers through its community who keep on contributing to the JavaScript technology continuously for further development and improvement.

The JavaScript programmers offer strong support to the groups of developers by offering them easy and ready-made solutions in GitHub along with codes. It is expected that the developers will find it encouraging and will contribute to the community in the coming years.

Offers high performance

Node.js makes use of the Google V8 JavaScript engine to interpret the JavaScript code. This way the JavaScript code gets directly compiled to the machine code. This way, it becomes possible to implement the code faster and easier in an effective manner. As the runtime environment enjoys the support of non-blocking I/O operations, the speed of code execution gets better too.

Offers advantage of caching

Node.js comes with an open source runtime environment which provides the facility of caching single modules. The moment a request comes for the first module, it gets cached in the memory of the application. With caching, it becomes possible to load the app quickly and get back to the user faster, thus saving the developers from re-executing the codes.

Benefits of Fullstack JS

With Node.js, you can easily serve the client and server side applications, which make it a full-stack JavaScript. This way, there is no need for you to hire separate developers for frontend and backend development, which saves you a lot of time and money.

Freedom to develop apps

For the developers, Node.js offers the freedom to develop software and apps. In the case of Ruby on Rails, you will not find this feature due to the presence of some guidelines. While with app development, you can start everything from scratch. Support for tools that are used commonly

It is possible for developers to get support for a number of commonly used tools with Node.js.

 

Cons of Node.js

 

A strong library support system is absent

Compared to other programming languages, JavaScript does not come with a robust and well-equipped library system. This way for executing different tasks like processing the images, ORM, XML parsing, handling database operations, etc. developers are forced to take the support of the common library. For developers working on Node.js, it becomes difficult even to implement common tasks.

API is not stable

One of the main issues that developers encounter is the instability of API. Sometimes, the new API comes with issues of being incompatible to changes backward. This way the developers have to work towards making necessary changes in the accessible code bases so that it achieves compatibility with the latest version API of Node.js.

Asynchronous programming model

Adopting the asynchronous programming, a model can be considered as the main requisite for adding scalability in the applications. Compared to the linear blocking I/O programming, a number of developers find Node.js to be more difficult. With asynchronous programming, chances are more than the codes become clumsier and this way, the developers are more inclined towards working on nested calls.

Pros and cons of Angular

 

Pros of Angular

 

Two-way data binding

With AngularJS, it is possible to have data binding in an easier and faster manner without the involvement of a developer. With the two-way data binding, it becomes possible to see any changes made in the view directly in the model at the same time and vice versa.

DOM manipulation

Compared to other JavaScript frameworks, the duty of the developer to manipulate DOM ends conveniently with Angular. This becomes possible because of the two-way data binding that it supports. This way the time and effort needed to code, translate and update the elements in the DOM gets saved.

Faster application prototyping

Rapid prototyping is actually a kind of a buzzword which is taking rounds around us. It is possible to build app prototypes with great functionality in no time with fewer amounts of codes. Once it is out, you can collect user feedback to make necessary changes without getting irritated.

Use of directives

In order to keep the HTMP pages and scripts clean and properly organized, AngularJS makes use of directives. This helps you bring together some specific functions and write independent codes and use them repeatedly. The framework also lets the developers build custom directives apart from offering a set of pre-defined directives.

Responsive web

It is possible to offer outstanding user experience with the use of AngularJS. It does by offering fast-loading, responsive and easily navigating apps and websites.

Improved server performance

The burden from the server CPUs gets reduced because of the support for caching and other processes. So because of the reduced traffic, the server is said to function well and it responds to the API calls and serves only the static files.

The MVVM architecture

AngularJS brings on table the MVC and MVVM design patterns so as to implement in projects, strong base for app performance. Such kind of design divisions keeps the design and visual presentation separate from data and so it becomes easy to carry out the development of complex projects with ease.

The plain HTML templates

Another good thing you can have from the framework is the use of plain HTMP templates. As DOM elements the templates are passed to the compiler and this itself offers some advantage in terms of better workflow. Moreover, with it, you can easily carry out extension, reusability, and manipulation of templates.

Highly testable products

One of the best things about choosing Angular is that you get to build applications and websites which are highly testable. By offering end-to-end testing and unit testing, Angular makes testing and debugging a simple process more than what you can imagine. It is possible to isolate and mock various components by using dependency injections.

Fast development

Getting familiar with AngularJS is not tough if you are a fast learner. Once you have learned to work on it, you will be able to experience that the development efforts and time has come down.

 

Cons of Angular

 

JavaScript support is mandatory

Just think about a situation where your PC can access the server, but the support for JavaScript is not available. So the users who are associated will not be able to access your web apps or websites. If the number of such users increases significantly, then the web properties of your Angular-based solution become less useful. With plain HTML-based web, you will not face this issue.

Less experience with MVC

If the developer has no idea of the MVC design pattern and follows the traditional approach, then it can be time-consuming to use Angular. Again, if you have no time to experiment the choosing Angular will not be wise. Still, if you want to put it to work, then it would be wise you hire experts for the job.

Other difficult features

In the case of Angular, using directives can be difficult. In addition, Angular comes with features like factories and dependency injections, which can prove to be an issue for traditional developers. So you get to either learn them by putting efforts and time or plan to hire experts who can handle it gracefully.

The Scopes

Arranged hierarchically and quite layered, it can be challenging to handle scopes, if you are working with Angular for the first time. Debugging the scopes can be one of the main issues you will be facing.

When to use Node and Angular?

Applications of Node.js are for:

  • Single page applications
  • I/O bound applications
  • Data streaming applications
  • JSON APIs based applications
  • Data Intensive Real-time applications

Applications of AngularJS are for:

  • Single page applications
  • Video streaming apps
  • User-generated content portals
  • eCommerce Portals
  • User-review apps

Conclusion
If we talk in terms of JavaScript, AngularJS and Node.js are two of the best technologies which you can have used when building your project. However, you need to understand that both of them have different features to offer and so take care of different areas differently during development. So, based on what your project demands, choose the right technology wisely.

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Saurabh Barot

Saurabh Barot is co-founder and Experienced Chief Technology Officer at Aglowid IT Solutions. His deep industry experience in Angular, React, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Mean Stack and just to name few, has helped the company reach to a new level. He believes that technology is all about exploring new possibilities. Whatever a mind can think (exception can't be ruled out), technology brings it into reality.

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