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Node JS vs Spring Boot

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Full comparison between Node JS and Spring Boot

We are in the era of technology where we are seeing many technologies taking the world by storm. Talking about server-side technologies that are instrumental in efficiently powering the business, there has been a tough competition between many server-side technologies. Among them are Node.js and Spring Boot. In this article, we will see a detailed comparison between the two technologies.

Additionally, you could expect Spring Boot and Node JS questions often in the interviews.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source runtime environment developed primarily in JavaScript. It is free and cross-platform and is used for building server-side applications. It is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine. Being built on JavaScript, it is extremely lightweight and unbelievably efficient.

Node.js uses an event-driven, single-threaded, non-blocking I/O model. . Being single-threaded makes Node.js lightweight, easy to manage, and enables low memory utilization. The non-blocking I/O mechanism enables a thread to work on another task while it is waiting for a different task to be completed. Hence new tasks are not blocked while waiting for other tasks to finish.

What is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is an open-source Java platform that allows creating a stand-alone, production-ready spring-based application. It makes applications easy to set up and is used by developers to build high-performing, easily testable, and reusable code. It contains embedded servers (such as Tomcat) built over the Spring framework.

Most of the things in Spring Boot are automatically configured. This helps to speed up the development process and helps to easily manage a ton of dependencies when the project is scaled up.

Spring Boot is multi-threaded. This makes it useful for dealing with long or repetitive operations. Hence, when the main thread is consumed, the other child threads are used concurrently.

The Spring Boot Framework has enabled the creation of Microservices creation in a much-simplified manner. Microservice is an architecture wherein each service running has its own process and enables the developers to build and deploy services in an independent manner.

Pros and Cons of Node.js

Pros
  • Easy to learn.
  • Lightweight and easy to manage.
  • Scalable and faster to develop.
  • Low memory utilization.
  • There is the support of the large and active community.
  • A huge pool of libraries available for developers.
  • It follows an agile development methodology. Thus, making it suitable for enterprise application development.
  • Perfect for data-intensive enterprise application development.
  • Great for I/O focused apps.
  • The presence of Node Package Manager (NPM) is a command-line tool that enables applications to install, update and uninstall Node.js packages. It also has an online repository and more features are being added to NPM constantly.
Cons
  • Not efficient when heavy computing is required.
  • Does not support multi-threading.
  • Run time problems due to lack of strict type checking.
  • Bugs and inconsistencies in versions of Node.js make it a bit immature.

Pros and Cons of Spring Boot

Pros
  • Everything is auto-configured. This decreases development time.
  • Supports multi-threading.
  • Efficient for heavy computation.
  • Supported by all operating systems and services.
  • Long-term support and maintainability.
  • Easy to satisfy compliance requirements with Spring Boot.
  • Both XML and annotation-based configuration is supported.
  • Great for CPU-intensive apps.
  • Statically typed language. This enables code safety as the type of variables is known at compile-time.
  • Provides robust security.
Cons
  • Learning Spring Boot takes time.
  • Utilizes a high amount of memory.
  • Debugging takes time and is hard to handle.
  • Quite Expensive.
  • May include unused dependencies.
  • Limited resources are available.

Comparison between Node.js and Spring Boot

Multi-threading

Java Spring Boot is multi-threaded which enables it to perform many tasks concurrently whereas Node.js is single-threaded. This enables Spring Boot to function more efficiently when handling large-scale projects wherein there is a constant need for multiple tasks to run simultaneously.

Cost

Spring Boot due to being multi-threaded requires a high amount of resources thus is costly than Node.js

Concurrency

We know that when it comes to enterprise web applications, high concurrency is the need of the hour. Given that Java Spring Boot supports multi-threading, it requires a thread for each request and it becomes quite expensive as it demands the threads to achieve full concurrency.

On the other hand, Node.js supports single-threading. Thus, the CPU will be busy when it will be operating on full load and the operating system will not break down until the request has been serviced.

Understanding

Node.js as implemented using JavaScript is easy to understand as compared to Spring Boot which asks users to have a good understanding of Java and the spring framework.

Application

Node.js is event-driven and having single threading and. non-blocking I/O mechanism is ideal for I/O focused apps whereas Spring Boot which supports multi-threading is ideal for CPU intensive apps.

Scalability

Node.js is lightweight, easy to manage offers high scalability than Java Spring Boot.

Compliance

It is easier to satisfy compliance requirements in Spring Boot than in Node.js.

Companies using

Java Spring Boot has been used by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Accenture, Intuit, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Capital One, and more. On the other hand, some popular companies using Node.js are Netflix, Twitter, Paypal, Medium, Uber, Linked In, NASA, eBay, and more.

Conclusion

So, if you need to select one server-side technology to make your project what would that be? Which between the two can power your business ahead?

The answer is ‘It depends on the use case’. Probably not the best answer one would be hoping for. Both the technologies provide different capabilities and offer a different solution to the business working on server-side technologies. Let me explain with the help of a few examples why the answer is ‘It depends.

If you have something to be done very quickly, let's say, a hackathon or a low-budget project, then Node.js can be a better option due to being lightweight, cheap, and easy to manage. Let’s say you need to build a real-time application like chat application or streaming things or say one needs to build an application that is dependent on lots of I/O (FinTech, media applications, booking systems, etc ), then also Node.js shall be a good and solid choice due to its features of being event-driven, single-threaded and non-blocking I/O mechanism.

If you are in an enterprise context, have compliance requirements, and hosting costs don’t matter much and you can afford a large development time, then Spring Boot is the way to go about it. Or if you want to build an application, that requires a lot of computing (such as Big Data, IoT, E-commerce platforms ), Spring Boot can be a better fit.

Additional Resources

#java #node.js