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Alternatives to Node.js

AngularJS, PHP, Python, JavaScript, and React are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Node.js.
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What is Node.js and what are its top alternatives?

Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
Node.js is a tool in the Frameworks (Full Stack) category of a tech stack.
Node.js is an open source tool with 35.2K GitHub stars and 7.7K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Node.js's open source repository on GitHub

Top Alternatives of Node.js

Node.js alternatives & related posts

AngularJS logo

AngularJS

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Superheroic JavaScript MVW Framework
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Simon Reymann
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 22 upvotes · 250.2K views

Our whole Node.js backend stack consists of the following tools:

  • Lerna as a tool for multi package and multi repository management
  • npm as package manager
  • NestJS as Node.js framework
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • ExpressJS as web server
  • Swagger UI for visualizing and interacting with the API’s resources
  • Postman as a tool for API development
  • TypeORM as object relational mapping layer
  • JSON Web Token for access token management

The main reason we have chosen Node.js over PHP is related to the following artifacts:

  • Made for the web and widely in use: Node.js is a software platform for developing server-side network services. Well-known projects that rely on Node.js include the blogging software Ghost, the project management tool Trello and the operating system WebOS. Node.js requires the JavaScript runtime environment V8, which was specially developed by Google for the popular Chrome browser. This guarantees a very resource-saving architecture, which qualifies Node.js especially for the operation of a web server. Ryan Dahl, the developer of Node.js, released the first stable version on May 27, 2009. He developed Node.js out of dissatisfaction with the possibilities that JavaScript offered at the time. The basic functionality of Node.js has been mapped with JavaScript since the first version, which can be expanded with a large number of different modules. The current package managers (npm or Yarn) for Node.js know more than 1,000,000 of these modules.
  • Fast server-side solutions: Node.js adopts the JavaScript "event-loop" to create non-blocking I/O applications that conveniently serve simultaneous events. With the standard available asynchronous processing within JavaScript/TypeScript, highly scalable, server-side solutions can be realized. The efficient use of the CPU and the RAM is maximized and more simultaneous requests can be processed than with conventional multi-thread servers.
  • A language along the entire stack: Widely used frameworks such as React or AngularJS or Vue.js, which we prefer, are written in JavaScript/TypeScript. If Node.js is now used on the server side, you can use all the advantages of a uniform script language throughout the entire application development. The same language in the back- and frontend simplifies the maintenance of the application and also the coordination within the development team.
  • Flexibility: Node.js sets very few strict dependencies, rules and guidelines and thus grants a high degree of flexibility in application development. There are no strict conventions so that the appropriate architecture, design structures, modules and features can be freely selected for the development.
See more
Simon Reymann
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 16 upvotes · 67.1K views

Our whole Vue.js frontend stack (incl. SSR) consists of the following tools:

  • Nuxt.js consisting of Vue CLI, Vue Router, vuex, Webpack and Sass (Bundler for HTML5, CSS 3), Babel (Transpiler for JavaScript),
  • Vue Styleguidist as our style guide and pool of developed Vue.js components
  • Vuetify as Material Component Framework (for fast app development)
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • Apollo / GraphQL (incl. GraphiQL) for data access layer (https://apollo.vuejs.org/)
  • ESLint, TSLint and Prettier for coding style and code analyzes
  • Jest as testing framework
  • Google Fonts and Font Awesome for typography and icon toolkit
  • NativeScript-Vue for mobile development

The main reason we have chosen Vue.js over React and AngularJS is related to the following artifacts:

  • Empowered HTML. Vue.js has many similar approaches with Angular. This helps to optimize HTML blocks handling with the use of different components.
  • Detailed documentation. Vue.js has very good documentation which can fasten learning curve for developers.
  • Adaptability. It provides a rapid switching period from other frameworks. It has similarities with Angular and React in terms of design and architecture.
  • Awesome integration. Vue.js can be used for both building single-page applications and more difficult web interfaces of apps. Smaller interactive parts can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure with no negative effect on the entire system.
  • Large scaling. Vue.js can help to develop pretty large reusable templates.
  • Tiny size. Vue.js weights around 20KB keeping its speed and flexibility. It allows reaching much better performance in comparison to other frameworks.
See more
PHP logo

PHP

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A popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development
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Nick Rockwell
Nick Rockwell
CTO at NY Times · | 37 upvotes · 1M views

When I joined NYT there was already broad dissatisfaction with the LAMP (Linux Apache HTTP Server MySQL PHP) Stack and the front end framework, in particular. So, I wasn't passing judgment on it. I mean, LAMP's fine, you can do good work in LAMP. It's a little dated at this point, but it's not ... I didn't want to rip it out for its own sake, but everyone else was like, "We don't like this, it's really inflexible." And I remember from being outside the company when that was called MIT FIVE when it had launched. And been observing it from the outside, and I was like, you guys took so long to do that and you did it so carefully, and yet you're not happy with your decisions. Why is that? That was more the impetus. If we're going to do this again, how are we going to do it in a way that we're gonna get a better result?

So we're moving quickly away from LAMP, I would say. So, right now, the new front end is React based and using Apollo. And we've been in a long, protracted, gradual rollout of the core experiences.

React is now talking to GraphQL as a primary API. There's a Node.js back end, to the front end, which is mainly for server-side rendering, as well.

Behind there, the main repository for the GraphQL server is a big table repository, that we call Bodega because it's a convenience store. And that reads off of a Kafka pipeline.

See more
Simon Reymann
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 22 upvotes · 250.2K views

Our whole Node.js backend stack consists of the following tools:

  • Lerna as a tool for multi package and multi repository management
  • npm as package manager
  • NestJS as Node.js framework
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • ExpressJS as web server
  • Swagger UI for visualizing and interacting with the API’s resources
  • Postman as a tool for API development
  • TypeORM as object relational mapping layer
  • JSON Web Token for access token management

The main reason we have chosen Node.js over PHP is related to the following artifacts:

  • Made for the web and widely in use: Node.js is a software platform for developing server-side network services. Well-known projects that rely on Node.js include the blogging software Ghost, the project management tool Trello and the operating system WebOS. Node.js requires the JavaScript runtime environment V8, which was specially developed by Google for the popular Chrome browser. This guarantees a very resource-saving architecture, which qualifies Node.js especially for the operation of a web server. Ryan Dahl, the developer of Node.js, released the first stable version on May 27, 2009. He developed Node.js out of dissatisfaction with the possibilities that JavaScript offered at the time. The basic functionality of Node.js has been mapped with JavaScript since the first version, which can be expanded with a large number of different modules. The current package managers (npm or Yarn) for Node.js know more than 1,000,000 of these modules.
  • Fast server-side solutions: Node.js adopts the JavaScript "event-loop" to create non-blocking I/O applications that conveniently serve simultaneous events. With the standard available asynchronous processing within JavaScript/TypeScript, highly scalable, server-side solutions can be realized. The efficient use of the CPU and the RAM is maximized and more simultaneous requests can be processed than with conventional multi-thread servers.
  • A language along the entire stack: Widely used frameworks such as React or AngularJS or Vue.js, which we prefer, are written in JavaScript/TypeScript. If Node.js is now used on the server side, you can use all the advantages of a uniform script language throughout the entire application development. The same language in the back- and frontend simplifies the maintenance of the application and also the coordination within the development team.
  • Flexibility: Node.js sets very few strict dependencies, rules and guidelines and thus grants a high degree of flexibility in application development. There are no strict conventions so that the appropriate architecture, design structures, modules and features can be freely selected for the development.
See more
Python logo

Python

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A clear and powerful object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java.
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Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
Director of Developer Marketing at Stream · | 35 upvotes · 828.6K views

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

See more
Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 28 upvotes · 2.4M views

How Uber developed the open source, end-to-end distributed tracing Jaeger , now a CNCF project:

Distributed tracing is quickly becoming a must-have component in the tools that organizations use to monitor their complex, microservice-based architectures. At Uber, our open source distributed tracing system Jaeger saw large-scale internal adoption throughout 2016, integrated into hundreds of microservices and now recording thousands of traces every second.

Here is the story of how we got here, from investigating off-the-shelf solutions like Zipkin, to why we switched from pull to push architecture, and how distributed tracing will continue to evolve:

https://eng.uber.com/distributed-tracing/

(GitHub Pages : https://www.jaegertracing.io/, GitHub: https://github.com/jaegertracing/jaeger)

Bindings/Operator: Python Java Node.js Go C++ Kubernetes JavaScript OpenShift C# Apache Spark

See more

related JavaScript posts

Zach Holman
Zach Holman
Founder at Signed · | 44 upvotes · 492.4K views

Oof. I have truly hated JavaScript for a long time. Like, for over twenty years now. Like, since the Clinton administration. It's always been a nightmare to deal with all of the aspects of that silly language.

But wowza, things have changed. Tooling is just way, way better. I'm primarily web-oriented, and using React and Apollo together the past few years really opened my eyes to building rich apps. And I deeply apologize for using the phrase rich apps; I don't think I've ever said such Enterprisey words before.

But yeah, things are different now. I still love Rails, and still use it for a lot of apps I build. But it's that silly rich apps phrase that's the problem. Users have way more comprehensive expectations than they did even five years ago, and the JS community does a good job at building tools and tech that tackle the problems of making heavy, complicated UI and frontend work.

Obviously there's a lot of things happening here, so just saying "JavaScript isn't terrible" might encompass a huge amount of libraries and frameworks. But if you're like me, yeah, give things another shot- I'm somehow not hating on JavaScript anymore and... gulp... I kinda love it.

See more
Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
Director of Developer Marketing at Stream · | 35 upvotes · 828.6K views

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

See more
React logo

React

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A JavaScript library for building user interfaces
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Vaibhav Taunk
Vaibhav Taunk
Team Lead at Technovert · | 29 upvotes · 775.7K views

I am starting to become a full-stack developer, by choosing and learning .NET Core for API Development, Angular CLI / React for UI Development, MongoDB for database, as it a NoSQL DB and Flutter / React Native for Mobile App Development. Using Postman, Markdown and Visual Studio Code for development.

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Dmitry Mukhin
Dmitry Mukhin
CTO at Uploadcare · | 25 upvotes · 732.4K views

Simple controls over complex technologies, as we put it, wouldn't be possible without neat UIs for our user areas including start page, dashboard, settings, and docs.

Initially, there was Django. Back in 2011, considering our Python-centric approach, that was the best choice. Later, we realized we needed to iterate on our website more quickly. And this led us to detaching Django from our front end. That was when we decided to build an SPA.

For building user interfaces, we're currently using React as it provided the fastest rendering back when we were building our toolkit. It’s worth mentioning Uploadcare is not a front-end-focused SPA: we aren’t running at high levels of complexity. If it were, we’d go with Ember.js.

However, there's a chance we will shift to the faster Preact, with its motto of using as little code as possible, and because it makes more use of browser APIs. One of our future tasks for our front end is to configure our Webpack bundler to split up the code for different site sections. For styles, we use PostCSS along with its plugins such as cssnano which minifies all the code.

All that allows us to provide a great user experience and quickly implement changes where they are needed with as little code as possible.

See more
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Django

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The Web framework for perfectionists with deadlines
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Dmitry Mukhin
Dmitry Mukhin
CTO at Uploadcare · | 25 upvotes · 732.4K views

Simple controls over complex technologies, as we put it, wouldn't be possible without neat UIs for our user areas including start page, dashboard, settings, and docs.

Initially, there was Django. Back in 2011, considering our Python-centric approach, that was the best choice. Later, we realized we needed to iterate on our website more quickly. And this led us to detaching Django from our front end. That was when we decided to build an SPA.

For building user interfaces, we're currently using React as it provided the fastest rendering back when we were building our toolkit. It’s worth mentioning Uploadcare is not a front-end-focused SPA: we aren’t running at high levels of complexity. If it were, we’d go with Ember.js.

However, there's a chance we will shift to the faster Preact, with its motto of using as little code as possible, and because it makes more use of browser APIs. One of our future tasks for our front end is to configure our Webpack bundler to split up the code for different site sections. For styles, we use PostCSS along with its plugins such as cssnano which minifies all the code.

All that allows us to provide a great user experience and quickly implement changes where they are needed with as little code as possible.

See more
George Krachtopoulos
George Krachtopoulos

Hello everyone,

Well, I want to build a large-scale project, but I do not know which ORDBMS to choose. The app should handle real-time operations, not chatting, but things like future scheduling or reminders. It should be also really secure, fast and easy to use. And last but not least, should I use them both. I mean PostgreSQL with Python / Django and MongoDB with Node.js? Or would it be better to use PostgreSQL with Node.js?

*The project is going to use React for the front-end and GraphQL is going to be used for the API.

Thank you all. Any answer or advice would be really helpful!

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ASP.NET

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An open source web framework for building modern web apps and services with .NET
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Greg Neumann
Greg Neumann
Indie, Solo, Developer · | 8 upvotes · 446.1K views

Finding the most effective dev stack for a solo developer. Over the past year, I've been looking at many tech stacks that would be 'best' for me, as a solo, indie, developer to deliver a desktop app (Windows & Mac) plus mobile - iOS mainly. Initially, Xamarin started to stand-out. Using .NET Core as the run-time, Xamarin as the native API provider and Xamarin Forms for the UI seemed to solve all issues. But, the cracks soon started to appear. Xamarin Forms is mobile only; the Windows incarnation is different. There is no Mac UI solution (you have to code it natively in Mac OS Storyboard. I was also worried how Xamarin Forms , if I was to use it, was going to cope, in future, with Apple's new SwiftUI and Google's new Fuchsia.

This plethora of techs for the UI-layer made me reach for the safer waters of using Web-techs for the UI. Lovely! Consistency everywhere (well, mostly). But that consistency evaporates when platform issues are addressed. There are so many web frameworks!

But, I made a simple decision. It's just me...I am clever, but there is no army of coders here. And I have big plans for a business app. How could just 1 developer go-on to deploy a decent app to Windows, iPhone, iPad & Mac OS? I remembered earlier days when I've used Microsoft's ASP.NET to scaffold - generate - loads of Code for a web-app that I needed for several charities that I worked with. What 'generators' exist that do a lot of the platform-specific rubbish, allow the necessary customisation of such platform integration and provide a decent UI?

I've placed my colours to the Quasar Framework mast. Oh dear, that means Electron desktop apps doesn't it? Well, Ive had enough of loads of Developers saying that "the menus won't look native" or "it uses too much RAM" and so on. I've been using non-native UI-wrapped apps for ages - the date picker in Outlook on iOS is way better than the native date-picker and I'd been using it for years without getting hot under the collar about it. Developers do get so hung-up on things that busy Users hardly notice; don't you think?. As to the RAM usage issue; that's a bit true. But Users only really notice when an app uses so much RAM that the machine starts to page-out. Electron contributes towards that horizon but does not cause it. My Users will be business-users after all. Somewhat decent machines.

Looking forward to all that lovely Vue.js around my TypeScript and all those really, really, b e a u t I f u l UI controls of Quasar Framework . Still not sure that 1 dev can deliver all that... but I'm up for trying...

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I found Heroku to be a great option to get ExpressJS up and running with very little hustle. The free tier is great, but I'd recommend to set up a cronjob to visit your site every few minutes so that the server stays awake. Netlify was the option to host the front-end because doing the server side rendering on #Heroku would have taken a little more time than I'd like to. For the moment pre-rendering the app with prerender-spa-plugin is enough to help with #seo. Puppeteer was my choice over other options because it made it easier to scrape websites made on ASP.NET which is what I needed in this case. And Vue.js is my top choice at the moment because it's really beginner friendly and it has a lot of the features I like about Angular 2 and React. vuex is a must in most of the app I build.

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Java

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A concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, language specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible
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Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 28 upvotes · 2.4M views

How Uber developed the open source, end-to-end distributed tracing Jaeger , now a CNCF project:

Distributed tracing is quickly becoming a must-have component in the tools that organizations use to monitor their complex, microservice-based architectures. At Uber, our open source distributed tracing system Jaeger saw large-scale internal adoption throughout 2016, integrated into hundreds of microservices and now recording thousands of traces every second.

Here is the story of how we got here, from investigating off-the-shelf solutions like Zipkin, to why we switched from pull to push architecture, and how distributed tracing will continue to evolve:

https://eng.uber.com/distributed-tracing/

(GitHub Pages : https://www.jaegertracing.io/, GitHub: https://github.com/jaegertracing/jaeger)

Bindings/Operator: Python Java Node.js Go C++ Kubernetes JavaScript OpenShift C# Apache Spark

See more
Kamil Kowalski
Kamil Kowalski
Engineering Manager at Fresha · | 27 upvotes · 467.1K views

When you think about test automation, it’s crucial to make it everyone’s responsibility (not just QA Engineers'). We started with Selenium and Java, but with our platform revolving around Ruby, Elixir and JavaScript, QA Engineers were left alone to automate tests. Cypress was the answer, as we could switch to JS and simply involve more people from day one. There's a downside too, as it meant testing on Chrome only, but that was "good enough" for us + if really needed we can always cover some specific cases in a different way.

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