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By: Manish Shewaramani

Node JS Vs Java - Settling The Debate Once and For All!

In case you haven’t noticed, we have been posting a lot of technology comparison blogs lately, and before we get into Node JS Vs Java, we wanted to clarify the main reason behind that.

For example, we have posted comparison blogs on Node JS Vs Angular, Vue JS Vs React, React JS Vs Angular, Node JS Vs React, and now Node JS Vs Java.

Now the reason for writing these blogs is simple. – first of all, the choice of technology for Web as well as Mobile App Development makes more difference than you think.

Secondly, we, at Credencys, wanted to share our views on different technologies and by comparing them we show the process we follow while selecting a particular technology for a particular project.

In today’s blog, we will be discussing the Node JS Vs Java differences and how to choose the right technology for your project.

Node JS Vs Java – Basics

Let’s start with Node JS. As you might already know, Node JS is a popular JavaScript framework that changed the course for the JavaScript language. According to a Survey by Node JS Foundation, Node JS is primarily used in building complex web applications, real-time chat apps, collaborative tools, and for many other uses cases.

We have also written a blog on Node JS Use Cases if you’re interested to dive deeper into the subject.

Java, on the other hand, is a platform-independent, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that is created to be used in a distributed environment on the internet.

That being said, if you’re stuck at choosing between Node JS Vs Java, here are the main aspects Node JS and Java are good at individually.

Where Node JS is Better

1 – Ubiquity

Thanks to Node JS, it’s now possible to use the same programming language (JavaScript) on the server as well as the browser. As a result, it has become much easier to develop and maintain large-scale web applications.

In fact, it’s the main reason why tech giants like Netflix, Paypal, and many others started using Node JS in their software productions. Here’s an entirely separate blog on famous companies that use Node JS.

2 – Database Queries

Modern databases like MongoDB and CouchDB requires writing queries in JavaScript, which is why using Node JS with MongoDB or CouchDB makes perfect sense since a call to the database won’t require gear-shifting.

Java, on the other hand, requires writing database queries in SQL. Though SQL is a perfectly fine language for database operations but it often requires different people to write code in Java and SQL.

In addition, most Java Developers use elaborate Java libraries to convert data from SQL into Java objects just so that they can recast it into templates. This, in the end, is just a crazy and wasteful process.

3 – Syntactic Flexibility

Once upon a time, JavaScript was just a simple programming language, mostly used for double-checking form input and popping up annoying alert boxes.

But, times have changed since then as the developer community started creating different versions of the language.

For instance, there is a CoffeeScript that is designed for developers who prefer clean punctuation. Then, there is also TypeScript and LiveScript for type lovers and functional language fans.

4 – JSON

When executing database queries, Java usually goes to deep lengths just to turn database query outputs into Java objects. Although, a Java Developer might argue about using Hibernate, POJO mapping, and other similar tools. But configuring them takes a couple of hours to sometimes days.

Moreover, most databases and web services today run on JSON, which is basically an internal part of JavaScript.

In fact, JSON is so common nowadays that even Java developers have started using the format as there are various JSON parsers available as Java libraries.

In Node JS though, you don’t need any external library, it’s already there in JavaScript, ready to use.

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Where Java is Better

1 – Rock-Solid Foundation

While Java too has its own bugs and glitches just like any other programming language, but it would take decades for the JavaScript community to write and perform as many regression tests as the Oracle & Sun did to test the JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Though JavaScript is indeed catching up quickly, but all the new features are just proliferating quicker than the JavaScript developers can absorb them.

Java, on the other hand, also has its share of options and new features. And more importantly, Java is a stable platform that makes it easier to build something that lasts.

2 – Better IDEs

Most Node JS developers usually code in their favorite text editors and write commands in command line. And yes, there are some good text editors out there to write code like Atom, Sublime Text editor, and many others, but most of them still feel more old school than the Java IDEs.

Java Developers, on the other hand, have IntelliJ, Eclipse, and NetBeans, all of which are top-notch IDEs integrated with decompilers, debuggers, and servers. Each of these IDEs also have solid ecosystems, years of development, and are filled with plug-ins to use.

3 – Types

If you love types, then embracing Java would be the right choice for you since it is static typing from the beginning. Serious programmers also prefer statistically-typed code due to its safety and simplicity.

JavaScript is also catching up with TypeScript, which is a statistically typed superset of JavaScript. Using TypeScript, JavaScript developers can now also apply all the type-checking stuff to their code before it runs in a browser’s JavaScript stack.

However, the statistically typed code in Java just feels better and is rigorous since the Java Compiler is good at catching the obvious bugs after compilation.

4 – Simple Build Process

Node JS once had the simple build process. All you had to do was write the code and just hit “run”. But that was before the Node JS developers decided to “improve” it by adding a bunch of preprocessors, which basically take the JavaScript code and turn it into something executable.

In addition to this, the Node JS developers also now need to find the right library, spend some time looking for the right version number from the Node Package Manager, which is ultimately an unnecessary added step.

Java, on the other hand, also has a complex build process, but it has not been changed much or gotten any more complex. So, compared with the JavaScript build process, Java still wins at having a simpler build process than JavaScript.

Node JS Vs Java – Making a Choice

Though it’s possible to avoid making a choice between Node JS Vs Java, but that’s only possible when you develop the application in Java and then link it to JavaScript by using Rhinorun.

In a real-world scenario, we would advise picking Node JS for web development. It’s just modern, more scalable, and faster than Java.

But, if you’re still confused in making the choice, we recommend to hire Node JS Developer to make that choice for your project.

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