• November 06, 2020 5:30 pm
  • by Aruthra

Top 10 Node.js Tools for Developers

  • November 06, 2020 5:30 pm
  • by Aruthra

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a cross-platform and open-source JS runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js allows you to execute JavaScript outside of your browser. Node.js is often used to build highly scalable, data-intensive, and real-time backend services such as APIs that power client-side applications.

Why is Node.js so popular?

You must be now wondering why Node.js development is popular even though there are plenty of other frameworks such as ASP.NET, Rails, Django, and so on available for us building powerful backends. The increase in popularity of Node.js among developers is due to its relatively shallow learning curve and code consistency. As Node.js uses JavaScript both on the front-end and back-end, It will be easy for front-end developers to learn Node.js as they can use the same naming convention and best practices of web app development.

Node.js Development Tools

Another great benefit that you get from Node.js is its open-source libraries and development tools. When compared to other backend frameworks, Node.js has the largest ecosystem of development tools and open-source libraries.

So, for pretty much any features or building blocks you want to add to your application there is some free and open-source library available in Node.js that you can use. This helps you to give more focus on the core of your application, instead of building these from scratch.

In this blogpost, we will dive into some of the popular open-source developer tools that are available for Node.js.

  • Mocha.js
  • Webpack
  • Broccoli.js
  • Sinon.js
  • Keystone
  • Koa.js
  • PM2
  • Migrat
  • Babel
  • Chai
  • Passport.js
  • Socket.io

1. Mocha.js

Mocha.js is a popular and feature-packed JS test framework based on Node.js. Mocha.js is a solid testing framework that is heavily used by Node.js developers. The cool thing about this framework is that you can run it on Node.js as well as your browser. This can be quite convenient for us especially when it comes to sharing code and writing modules that are supported by both client-side and server-side.

You can use Mocha.js to do both unit and integration tests and it works perfectly fine for behavior-driven and test-driven development(BDD and TDD). Furthermore, you can use this test framework with other libraries such as Sinon, Chai, etc.

2. Webpack

Webpack is a module bundler that takes modules (created by you or installed via NPM) and generates static assets to represent those modules. Webpack enables you to package a fully dynamic application into static files that you can then upload and deploy to your server. This allows you to significantly reduce your application’s initial loading time. Another great feature of webpack is its code splitting ability that allows you to split your codebase into chunks that can be loaded on demand. By default, webpack can only work with native javascript. However, you can use loaders to transform other resources written in CSS, JSX, SAAS, etc into javascript.

You can also extend the functionalities of webpack by adding it with plugins and loaders that have their own set of configurations. Web pack also has a very clever way to parse just about any third party library.

3. Broccoli.js

Broccoli is a JavaScript build management tool that assembles your application assets into one distributable version so that you can run your apps in a browser.Broccoli.js does the configuration in JavaScript by using a modular plugin architecture.

This build tool follows a tree structure (which is a collection of nodes and plugins) for structuring the build pipeline that stores subdirectories and files.

Another cool feature of Broccoli is that it ships with a built-in server for development that allows you to host your assets on a local HTTP server. By using this tool, you can save a lot of your development time and increase the productivity of your development team.

4. Snyk

Snyk helps you to find and fix unknown vulnerabilities in the open-source libraries your app works on. With snyk you can choose the repository that you need to protect, snyk will automatically find the manifest file from your projects, understand direct and indirect dependencies, and flag those with known vulnerabilities. You can instantly see your vulnerable projects via its CLI, you will get the same results by integrating it with Github. Synk also enables you to pick which vulnerabilities you want to fix and automatically opens a pull request with the minimum changes needed to make them go away.

5. Koa.js

Koa.js is a minimalistic and modern server-side framework(built on ES6+) that runs on Node.js. Koa.js is an extremely lightweight backend framework and is lighter than any other Node.js frameworks including Express. Like Express.js, Koa is a highly popular and widely used backend JavaScript framework for developing APIs and applications that can remain relevant over a long period of time. With this framework, you can easily build APIs that can connect with other front-end frameworks as well as apps that render views on the server. You can also extend this framework by adding modules.

6. PM2

PM2 is a process manager used for building Node.js applications. PM2 ships with advanced features such as load balancing, application cluster, hot reload, log management, container integration, key metrics monitoring, and much more. Pm2-runtime is a perfect companion to get the most out of Node.js in a production environment. One of the great features of PM2 is its container integration, you can use PM2 inside Docker containers. By using this tool, you can eliminate most of the issues that are associated while running Node.js applications inside Docker containers.

7. Electrode.js

Electrode.js is an advanced developer tool for building Node.js and React apps by ensuring smooth performance, stability, cloud deployability, and component reusability. This developer tool was created by WalmartLab in 2016 as a platform for building, deploying, and maintaining JavaScript apps that power their eCommerce website.

8. Chai

Chai is an assertion library for Node.JS. Assertion libraries are developer tools that help you to verify the statements in your code are correct. This makes testing your code a hassle-free process. Even though node JS has one as one inbuilt in it by default.

9. Passport.js

Passport is extremely flexible authentication middleware for Node.js. Being highly flexible, this middleware can be easily placed into any Express-based web app.

10. Socket.io

Socket.io is a JavaScript library for building RTAs (real-time web applications). This library facilitates bi-directional and real-time communication between the client-side and the server-side. Socket.io primarily has two libraries, one that runs in the browser and another one for managing the server-side (node.js). Socket.io is packed with many cool features such as binary streaming, Real-time analytics, and much more.


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