Monthly Archives: January 2016

Importance of Middleware in Node.js Express Framework 

Middlewares are set of filters which every request to the web server has to go through. Node.js enables the creation of web server on the fly, all the requests which are received by the web server are first filtered by stack of filters, this is a very helpful feature, each filter performs a specific task like session handling, error handling, form field handling, logging etc

Node.Js Express framework’s Middleware are one of the useful feature which has simplified the development process.

How we stack our middlewares is important as certain tasks needs to be executed before others are done. 

A very useful filter here is the cookie parser filter, this needs to be run before session handler middleware is invoked.

 Error handling middleware should be invoked in the last which means if everything fails then do this gracefully.

Most of the common middleware we use are static middleware to handle the images other digital assets.

Another important area of middleware are the Connect middlewares. These are commonly used to address the regular web application pain points

bodyParser: Helpful in packing form fields submitted from HTML form.

morgan: Very popular for debugging and logging.

cookieParser: For sending and receiving cookies

Similar to the above there are many middlewares which simplify the development process.

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Node.js – How it started

Introduction to Node.js

There is lot of confusion about Node.js, whether it is a new language or a new framework, but its neither. Node is a javascript runtime environment built using V8 engine. Ryan Dahl is the man behind Node, he developed 

this in 2009, it all started with a little progress bar written by him for the flickr photo sharing web service. This little code impressed the people at the JSConf.

Looking at the standing ovation he received for his presentation Ryan went on further developing this code base which eventually came to be known as Node.js

Node.js is single threaded where as PHP, Ruby, apply multi-threaded approach. Though its single threaded, Node uses the asynchronous approach to handle multiple connections, using this approach millions of concurrent requests can be handled. For addressing scalability issues Node.js is the perfect answer.

Technically Node’s approach is non-blocking asynchronous execution

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Node.js & PHP

There are lots of similarities between PHP and Node.js, while PHP is all about blocking API, Node.js implements non-blocking approach. If we put aside this main difference, Node.js is very similar to PHP in terms of language constructs etc.

Looking at the history of PHP, it was launched in year 1995 and slowly it gained prominence, now even after the launch of so many languages PHP is still the preferred and the most widely deployed web application environment in the world. 

Coming to Node.js, it has a recent history, launched in the year 2009, Node gained prominence much quickly, currently Node is preferred for enterprise web applications where latency is matter of concern, using Node.js non-blocking approach we can design applications which can handle thousands of concurrent connections. 

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