Node.js Framework Starts to Reach Enterprise Maturity

The Node.js Foundation, which was formed earlier this year, just released version 4.0 of Node.js.

Michael Vizard

September 14, 2015

3 Min Read
Node.js Framework Starts to Reach Enterprise Maturity

Over the last several years JavaScript has emerged as one of the leading programming tools being used to create applications. The issue with JavaScript, however, is that there is no shortage of frameworks providing various degrees of capabilities to choose from. Now, however, it appears that variants of Node.js are firmly in the JavaScript ascendency.

The Node.js Foundation, which was formed earlier this year, just released version 4.0 of Node.js. One of the most significant things about this release from a solution provider perspective is how The Node.js Foundation plans to advance the framework from here. There will essentially be two tracks through which Node.js will developed and maintained. Each major release of Node.js will be moved into a Long-Term Support (LTS) cycle that will deliver updates every 12 months, which will then be actively maintained for 18 months. After 18 months, that release will enter maintenance mode for another 12 months. In parallel, The Node.js Foundation is promising to continue working on major advances to Node.js. to accelerate innovation.

NodeSource, along with both IBM (IBM) and StrongLoop, which IBM acquired last week, are being credited with enhancing the enterprise-class capabilities of the latest release of Node.js. The latest release also adds support for ARM processors that are most commonly found in embedded systems that will be critical to the development of Internet of Things (IoT) applications using Node.js. The JavaScript engine used in version 4.0 of Node.js is also the same implementation of the JavaScript engine that Google (GOOG) currently uses in its Chrome browser.

Finally, this latest release also heals a rupture in the Node.js community that had led to a fork in Node.js projects. A separate io.js fork that had emerged as an alternative form of Node.js has now been brought back into the fold now that the Node.js Foundation has assumed control over the Node.js. Previously, Node.js was overseen by Joyent, a cloud service provider that led the original development of Node.js. Organized under the auspices of The Linux Foundation, the Node.js Foundation counts Joyent, Microsoft, IBM, PayPal and Fidelity among its founding members.

Mikeal Rogers, community manager of The Node.js Foundation, said the next big Node.js development efforts will focus on adding support for HTTP/2, which is based on a SPDY protocol that promises to substantially reducing Web application latency, and tighter integration with a variety of push notification technologies.

Rogers noted that one of the “luxuries” of Node.js is that there are multiple ways to implement just about any task a developer wants to accomplish. That may create some challenges in terms of keep track of all the Node.js modules there are in the world, but it also shows how vibrant the overall Node.js community has become, said Rogers.

As the most widely used form of JavaScript, it’s clear that Node.js is now driving most of the innovation surrounding the API economy. For solution providers it’s also clear that Node.js is starting to approach a level of maturity around which they can build a practice around. Demand for applications that make use of JavaScript on the client and server is growing at leaps and bounds. As the leading JavaScript framework, solution providers now need to have some level of Node.js expertise to build, deploy and manage modern applications. While Java will continue to dominate back-end enterprise applications and service for some time to come, for years to come the vast majority of customer and employee facing applications that get created are likely to be built mainly using Node.js.

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About the Author(s)

Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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