Why You Should Consider Angular.js and Node.js for Your Next Development Project

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by Warren Tudor, Director, dotNear

Many agile development teams (onsite and nearshore team extensions) already use JavaScript (Angular.JS) extensively as a UI development technology, combined with different backend technologies (such as Node.JS), so it makes sense to explore how we can extend the use of this technology.

Angular.JS and Node.js help to solve some difficult problems on both the client and server side in a way which supports rapid development and can scale to enterprise levels. This just gives a few reasons why onshore and nearshore Angular.JS Developers are increasingly leveraging such frameworks.

So why is the full stack JavaScript approach gaining major traction across the industry, from outsourced nearshore teams, start-ups, and major corporates? Here are some of the reasons:

  • Developing the whole service or application in a single language has to be better – right!
  • The best brains in the industry, i.e. Google, are working very hard to make the V8 JavaScript Engine run faster and faster
  • It’s open source – Bill Gates already has far too much money

Client-side Application Development with Angular.JS

Client side JavaScript development frameworks are becoming much more mature. One of the best examples is Angular.JS – http://angularjs.org  developed and supported by Google. Indeed, Angular.JS developers (whether on their own or helped by a nearshore team extension) have a powerful tool to build vibrant client apps. The Angular.JS framework enables the extension of HTML and introduces concepts like dependency injection and mocking, enabling the rapid development of complex, fully testable web applications.

So, JavaScript spaghetti-code hell should be a thing of the past, provided that agile best practices around TDD and continuous integration are rigorously implemented.

A fast growing open source community is driving lots of innovation across frameworks, and the language. An example is CoffeeScript  –http://coffeescript.org . This gives you a more concise and readable syntax which compiles to JavaScript, getting rid of most of the unnecessary parentheses and braces and instead using indentation to denote blocks of code.

Mobile Development with JavaScript

JavaScript also works well on mobile devices. There are some powerful frameworks which you should consider if you want to develop mobile apps in HTML5 and JavaScript and still access native device functions – camera, accelerometer etc. 2 examples are Ionic and Titanium:

Ionichttps://ionicframework.com is a mobile development framework that enables developers to build ‘native-feeling’ apps purely with web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These apps run in the mobile device’s browser using the embedded JavaScript engine, so they can run on any mobile device with a browser. Ionic is based the Angular.JS web application development framework, so Angular.JS developers will become highly productive in a very short time with Ionic.

Titanium from Appceleratorhttp://www.appcelerator.com  Titanium takes a ‘hybrid’ approach to mobile development enabling developers to write reusable ‘business logic’ code in JavaScript, but also to compile JavaScript to native code to implement native features and native UI components for iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms.

Node.js

The Node.js server- http://nodejs.org is particularly awesome, so it’s worthy some further explanation.

Node.js is a server platform which enables highly scalable web services and applications to be developed in JavaScript. Node.js has a unique event-driven ‘non-blocking IO’ architecture which supports high concurrency in a very efficient way. No more multi-threading and eating up Gigabytes of memory across your web servers.

There is a vast range of ‘Node Package Modules’ (NPMs) to choose from, so you don’t actually have to write that much code.

Related frameworks

– Express.JS – http://expressjs.com , a minimal and flexible node.js web application framework for building single and multi-page web applications.

– Socket.io – http://socket.io , this is a JavaScript library for real time web applications. It has both a client-side library that runs in the browser, and a server-side library for Node.js. Both components have a nearly identical API and, of course it’s event-driven.

JavaScript – The ‘Full Stack’

The frameworks and libraries described above can be implemented separately as either client side or server side only technologies, however, when combined they provide an even more powerful JavaScript development environment across the whole technology stack. An example of this ‘full stack’ approach is ‘MEAN’ – http://mean.io, which combines the MongoDB NoSQL database, the Express framework and Node.js. This provides web services and data persistence, combined with Angular.JS for a rich client experience.

Conclusion

Adoption of the various JavaScript frameworks and platforms is growing at a phenomenal pace. Node.js and Angular.JS in particular are being adopted by major industry players including Microsoft and PayPal. Many Tech Start Ups are adopting the full stack JavaScript as their development technology of choice across the entire stack, and for both web and mobile applications. So whether you are a Start-Up aiming to rapidly build highly scalable web applications and services, an SME or Enterprise business requiring a rich user experience on the web, and cross platform mobile apps with a native user experience, then full stack JavaScript – Angular.JS and Node.js in particular, are seriously worth considering for your next development project.

About Us

dotNear blends technically excellent developers, nearshore proximity, clear communication and a collaborative approach to application development.

Our teams work out of Bucharest, Romania – the largest city in Eastern Europe within EU borders, and 6th largest overall in the EU, a city with a rich academic tradition in mathematics and applied sciences.

Software development team extension is our core business, and managing productive teams of nearshore developers (team extensions for your internal engineers) is what we are good at. With that in mind, we keep an open eye on the end result: software products and custom applications, which we develop most of the times in a joint effort with our customers – although we are known to deliver when we work on our own, as well.

Far from a body-shop, not only do we provide 10X* nearshore software developers, but we can also assist with UI/UX design, Business Analysis, QA Engineers and Software Architecture to help you achieve those milestones on time. More on us at www.dotnear.com

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