Node.js, Ruby on Rails and PHP are pretty close in terms of popularity and can achieve similar results. Are you wondering which would be best suited for your next project? Read on as we weigh the pros and cons…
PHP and Ruby have been around for a long time while Node.js is relatively younger and has caught the fancy of tech industry for its scalability. Here we attempt to differentiate the three platforms, although it is suggested that architects or enterprises choose a platform that is best suited to requirement at hand.
Building Of Web Applications
Ruby on Rails offers a generous ecosystem with models to views, controllers, to data object models, particularly clear and concise interactions. The same is possible with Node.js as well, but it will require heavy module interaction and helpers. Moreover, in RoR, you need not worry about data models. These integrations however do come with a downside. When something goes wrong, it’s a lot more difficult to drill down to the actual cause, because Rails reads into specific variable names. On the other hand if you are using Node.js, what you see is what you get, with hardly any interpolation.
Weather it is PHP or Ruby On Rails they cannot compete with Node.js on scalability and uptime.
If we talk about enterprise applications they either require very high memory or multi-threading of JVM. However with JVM the programmer can leverage the threading on modern hardware the multicore. In comparison Node.js runs as a single thread using only one core even in a multi core server. But it can be clustered using its ‘Cluster’ module to leverage all the cores where in all the server processes sharing the same port can be forked into multiple processes. As for RoR it was primarily designed for programmer productivity as against the machine efficiency.
On the other hand RoR which has a simple Ruby web server that is distributed with Ruby, and Rake, a build system, distributed as a gem. Together with Ruby on Rails, these tools provide a basic development environment. These gems help assist in adding the certain functions to the web app developed with the help of Ruby on Rails.
One noticeable aspect of Node.js is that apart from being concurrent it only takes few milliseconds for the Node.js based application to boot up and serve in an eventuality of a server crash whereas it may take 20-90 mins for a server based on any other stack.
All the said applications have the IDEs like sublime, Eclipse, Jetbrain or any test editors. All the environments for these languages are equally simple to setup and start development.
Here, PHP has an advantage of being around for a long time giving it more options. But it should also be noted that there are severely outdated integrations like MySQL extension — which has only recently been eliminated in PHP7.
ROR has an excellent automated testing suit to go with and consists of inbuilt testing system, which reduces the requirement of manual testing. Rails creates a test folder for you as soon as you create a Rails project and has a specific folder for integration testing.
Hosting and Deployment
What’s best for High Traffic web applications?
Node.js seems perfect for any high traffic usually RESTful web application given its concurrency and non-blocking I/O. Asynchronous communication with database is a huge advantage if you are using node.js. In a RoR application when a user hits a database all other users need to wait until that request has finished, which is why it is known for being slow. In Node.js that request would be asynchronous, other users would be unaffected and the user with a big database request would wait for the event loop to finish. This can lead to a SLA nightmare.
PHP is in process of getting a multi thread built-in server. This will enable it to dodge an external server entirely. High-performance, low latency applications are terms that are now synonymous with Node.js. The non-blocking I/O mechanism combined with Google Chrome V8 engine technology, has enabled node.js to become fast and scalable. However as mentioned above Node.js application uses a single core even in multicore servers which can be overcome by using ‘Cluster’ package.
There is room for all three to succeed but what makes Node.js standout is its event based architecture which by all means is going to overtake the other two. PHP has over the years become vulnerable to security threats like SQL injections and there is also lack of centralized packaging registry. Issues also occur due to the inconsistent API and below average performance. The better alternatives are Ruby on Rails if you want a faster development and Node.js if you want higher performance. Although Node.js is comparatively a younger technology but as Node matures, more help will be available easily thanks to thriving community. Node.js has already found its foothold in code stacks of many Fortune 500 companies across the globe and there seems to be nothing stopping it now!
To know more about Node.js and to find out how it can help your enterprise improve business efficiency contact Avenir IT. You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +44(0) 20 8596 5007. Avenir IT provides Node.js consultation, implementation and also resources to clients for short term as well as long term projects.
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