Node.js Vs Java- Which Is Best For Mobile App Development?

Node.js vs Java

Selecting the best technology for app development is a crucial task as it drives apps towards success. Node.js and Java are two popular technologies in the app development world. Node.js was written by Ryan Dahi in 2009. Let’s first clear that, Node.js is not a programming language, also it is not a framework. It is an open-source, cross-platform Javascript run time environment which executes Javascript code outside of the browser. It is also used to build back-end services(APIs). Whereas, Java is one of the most adopted programming languages in the world. Then which one to choose for app development in 2021? To answer this question, here we’ll compare Node.js vs Java on the basis of various parameters. But before digging to the comparison, let us see overview of Node.js and Java.

What Is Node.js?

Node.js is a server-side, Javascript-based runtime environment. It attributes its success as a high-performance, scalable framework to the single-threaded process used for web loads and also async programming. Also, you can use Node.js based frameworks like Express, and Meteor.js within it to improve the backend capability of a project. It is designed with real-time and push-based architectures to build single page apps, websites and backend API services.

One can use Node.js to build microservices, iot based apps, streaming web apps, real-time software & streaming apps, complex single-page apps, backends and servers, scripting and automation etc.

Know the role of Node.js in iot app development at- Role of Node.js in Internet of things (IOT)

Twitter, Netflix, Trello are some of the most popular apps developed with Node.js.

What Is Java?

Java is a popular programming language which promotes the use of object-oriented concepts after C++. It works with “write once and run anywhere(WORA)” principle means the code can run on all the platforms that support Java without need of recompilation.  Java is a secure, stable an flexible programming language so a perfect solution for banking, eCommerce, FinTech and transportation services. 

One can use Java for android app development, web app development, game development, software tools, test automation. Scientific apps, enterprise applications, embedded systems, app servers/web servers, big data technologies, Banking and FinTech applications and so on.

Ebay, google docs, Spotify, netflix are some of the popular apps built with Java.

Node.js Vs Java-

1. Architecture-


Node.js uses a single-threaded Event loop architecture which allows it to handle multiple concurrent requests with high performance. It also allows you to make use of MVC/MVP architecture pattern, that eases isolating and onboarding issues in the app codebase. Also, it creates multiple views for the same data and supports asynchronous communication between various components.


Developers prefer MVC(Model-View-Controller) pattern to build apps with Java where Model represents objects in Java, and design pattern resembles the internal architecture of language. It advances simple code  maintenance and trouble-free testing of apps. Developers can classify individual roles and work on various functionalities in large apps. Hence the changes that are made in one module don’t affect the whole application. It improves productivity of development teams and results in faster time to market applications.

2. Scalability-


It builds highly scalable applications. Non-blocking I/O and event-driven models manages multiple concurrent requests. Also, event-loop mechanism enables the server to process a maximum number of requests. It’d be ideal if the numerous services are distributed to separate work servers, it expands Nodejs’ effectiveness and scalability. So different development teams can segregate tasks and rapidly develop apps scalably.


Java is scalable and this makes it best to perform for enterprise apps. Also it is important to implement best practices like vertical scalability to add more computational resources like CPUs and RAM. EJB(Enterprise Java beans) that is known as development architecture is used to build highly scalable and robust enterprise-level apps in Java. The EJB architecture is accompanied by application server that facilitates the processing of numerous requests. Along these, it offers good scalability. Also, enterprise based applications use an event-driven architecture that encourages module separation for various functions and centrally controls input data. It is best to build complex functionalities and implement high-scalability in the projects. Projects that involve adding new functionalities adopt this design pattern.

3. Thread Control-


With Nodejs, you can write few lines of code and get simple web server. It is not easy to implement but there are some frameworks that allow you to solve similar problems.


Java has developed concurrent api that allows you to work with competitive streams. But at the same time, problem with concurrency is that it is a difficult thing that not every developer understands well enough to be able to implement. Sometimes, Web- REST API of node.js is used for that. Whereas if we are dealing with complex calculations, it’s better to go with Java. 

4. Performance-


It inherits the asynchronous and non-blocking from Javascript, so creates a perfect environment for small tasks that don’t affect main app thread. Also, apps built in Nodejs perform best because of multitasking and V8 Javascript engine. Node.js’s event-driven architecture allows efficient multi-tasking that improves app performance. Framework processes multiple requests simultaneously compared to other backend solutions.   


Java programs are written as byte codes. Means java performs better and faster than other programming languages. Virtual machines easily interpret these byte-code instructions and deliver faster and efficient app. JVM is optimized to provide an efficient code interpretation in its new versions. Java introduced elements like just-in-time compiler to deliver high-performing applications.

5. Testing-


Nodejs provides competent testing and debugging capabilities with its rich ecosystem of third-party packages. Automated tools and frameworks such as Jest, Mocha, Lab and code, jasmine and AVA create a sound testing ecosystem for Nodejs applications. Also, you can make use of testing libraries like Mocha, Jest and Chai to provide seamless experience. 


It allows developers to write test cases so team members can write flexible tests with grouping, sequencing and data-driven features. It eases the writing of parallel tests and also supports multiple testing frameworks and tools like JUnit, Selenium, TestNG, Apache JMeter and FitNess. Java provides compatibility and support to some popular IDEs and builds tools like IntelliJ, IDEA, Eclipse, NetBeans, Maven an dso on.

6. Specificities-


  • It is easy to get started
  • Best for prototyping and agile development
  • Can apply to build superfast and highly scalable services
  • Uses largest ecosystem of open-source libraries available to anyone
  • Node.js doubles the number of requests served per second while decreasing the average response time by 35%
  • With PayPal changes, Node uses 33% of few lines of code and 40% of fewer files as compared to previous Java-based application


  • Supported by all devices and OS that exist today
  • Shows better result in its performance, gradually improved by each update.
  • Includes libraries to reduce workload. It is a set of precoded classes and methods, that solve particular problems.
  • Robustness- ‘Robust code’ means your program manages all possibilities of error. Java has strong memory allocation and automatic garbage collection mechanism. It provides powerful exception handling and type-checking mechanism as compared to other programming languages
  • Has built-in security features enforced by Java compiler and virtual machine that make Java the best language for enterprise, financial, scientific and web development.
  • It is good at integration- there are specifications and implementations for integrating with many system types that you’re likely to run into in an “enterprise” environment.

7. Community-


It has a robust community and as per report, 51.4% of professional developers use Nodejs for frameworks, libraries, and tools. Compaies like Amazon, Facebook and Google have made contributions to the Nodejs environment and this makes technology more credible., Github, Stackoverflow, Nodebb, reddit are some of the Nodejs community forums.


It has a strong community support for issues and complex queries. Huge community means frequent updates, bug squashing and innovation. In terms of active software developer community, Java is in a list of top three programming languages.

Final Words-

Selecting the best one between Node.js or Java is a tough decision even for skilled development teams. So, here we came with a short conclusion according to the requirements.

When To Choose Node.js?

  • Choose Node.js when you want to build a web app to stream content.
  • When you have to build a performant single-page app, web app with efficient data processing capabilities.
  • If you want to build real-time multi-user web app
  • You want to create browser-based game app

When To Choose Java?

  • When you want to build enterprise apps, highly scalable apps, ecommerce and big data apps
  • You want to build cryptocurrency app with advanced security features
  • Want to use a matured framework with rich community support

So you must consider the requirements of the app before selecting the framework. If you’re still confused to choose between node.js vs Java, consult with Solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and development. You can also hire node.js developers of Solace team for an effective and secured mobile app development. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for mobile app development that will lead your app in the modern market. We will be happy to help you.

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