10 Best Practices For Node.js to Build Robust Backend

Last Updated
March 1, 2024
10 Best Practices For Node.js to Build Robust Backend

As most software and IT professionals would know, Node.js is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. It is an asynchronous platform, which is widely used today for lightweight as well as scalable apps. You can scale up the apps built on the Node.js platform in a variety of ways that are both horizontal and vertical.

You can build robust and scalable backend for your business using Node.js.  The popularity of Node.js is rising continuously, as it happens to be the most versatile platform for software and app development. There are queries from several quarters, which revolve around the best practices for Node.js. 

Here in this article, you will read about some of the best practices which can help in reducing runtime errors and creating a high-performance app. The best practices that are used widely for JavaScript, also apply here, as it is the language that is being used today.

The best practices that you are going to read over here, can be used by anyone developing an app or software on the platform. Moreover, the entire Node.js community will also get assistance when problems arise.  According to one recent survey, around 42.7% of respondents reported to be using Node.js, while overtaking another prominent web framework. 

Check also: Best backend as a service

Node.js Best Practices – Project Structure 

Dividing the Keys Into Components 

When it comes to working with large databases, the main challenge arises when you have to deal with a huge code base. A huge code base translates into different dependencies. This slows down the development process, when it comes to adding new features.

According to Node.js best practice guidelines, you should divide the entire code base into smaller modules, so that each code gets its own separate folder. In this manner, several developers can work together on a single project, without having to share codes. 

Layering The Components 

Every component that you develop under the Node.js framework comes with layers. Each layer is dedicated to one object, like logic, data access code, and the web. You can reduce confusion while dealing with mock and test codes, as the layers help in the segregation of performance issues. The use of layers also helps in tightly coupling the application. 

Separating The Express And App Server 

The biggest challenge that this approach solves, is to keep aside the application process files separately. One is kept aside for the API declaration, while the other one is used for network concerns. It can also help you to locate API declarations within different components. 

Starting All Projects With NPM In It 

The best way to add couplings and dependencies is NPM. You can also use it to browse all the Node.js packages. Npm init will create a package.json file for your project that can provide access to all the important information about your project. 

Using Environmental Variables 

No matter which programming language you are using, it requires configuration management. You may need to search for various attributes during the development process, like decoupling, services, and databases. It can be impossible to locate each one of these, in the developmental stage, production stage, or quality analysis stage. However, environmental variables can make things easy for you. It helps mainly in the discovery of values during the web development process. Most cloud-hosting providers use NVM. 

Flawless Configuration Setup 

In order to keep all the app-level keys readable from the file, as well as the environment variables, a configuration hierarchy can fill in the gap. It allows fuss-free accessibility. Some of the Node.js project structures, which can help in creating better accessibility and maintaining security are rc, nconf, and config. All developers should utilize the power of npmrc files in their projects. 

Avoiding Garbage In The App 

The Node V8 garbage collector is the solution that helps to avoid trash in the apps. Setting the flags to the V8 profile can help minimize the garbage in the app. You can also use the Docker image. This is all the more important if the app is running with space below 1.5 GB. 

Utilizing Client-side Rendering

Client-side rendering can reduce any kind of redundancy in the project. Additionally, it also helps in saving bandwidth. Some of the client-side JS frameworks that you can use are BackboneJS and AngularJS. These frameworks offer APIs that send JSON replies to the client while bypassing the server. Moreover, every call returns an HTML page. 

Using Asynchronous and Non-Blocking Operations 

Using asynchronous, and non-blocking applications. You can adopt an asynchronous programming structure and non-blocking operations, to make the app more efficient. This way, your application will be able to handle multiple simultaneous requests with ease. It also prevents blocking the event loop. 

Confirming That Your App Starts Automatically 

Despite using the best error handling standards in development, any sort of dependency mistake can bring the app down. So, most of the new-age developers today use process managers to ensure that the app recovers from downtimes automatically. In another scenario, if the entire service fails, you can use the PM2 key metrics to manage the process, unhindered. 

Implementation of Error-Handling 

If you want to create robust Node.js applications, it is crucial for you to use proper error-handling features. Try-catch blocks can help you to handle synchronous errors, while error-first callbacks can facilitate asynchronous operations. Many developers also utilize Express.js as an error-handling middleware to detect and process errors in a uniform manner. 

Securing The Application  

One of the best practices that we are going to talk about here revolves around security. In order to secure the application, some of the security best practices are validation and sanitization of user inputs. Protecting the app against cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery attacks is also crucial. Updating dependencies to cover any security issues, is the way to go. 

Optimizing The Performance 

According to industry experts, if you want to achieve optimal performance, you should ensure to minimize the usage of applications that unnecessarily create blocks. Usage of caching mechanisms to store data, that is frequently used, can reduce database hits. Again, developers can also enhance the performance by optimizing the database queries. Finally, if you distribute the incoming requests across different Node.js, it can assist with higher traffic handling. 

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Implementing Logging and Monitoring Functionalities 

If you are eager to diagnose issues in the Node.js application, you have to practice using frameworks, like Winston, as an example. It helps in logging important and to-the-point information, like errors, request details, and system metrics. You can also implement application monitoring tools to gain invaluable information about the application’s performance and identify several bottlenecks. 

Using Dedicated Testing Frameworks 

Like other programming languages quality assurance and testing is important for ensuring the quality of the software. Embracing dedicated testing frameworks like Mocha or Jasmine, ensures stability of the Node.js application. These tests prove effective in detecting bugs early on in the development cycle. Many developers are also using continuous integration tools like Jenkins and Travis CI, to automate the process. 

Following Coding Style Guidelines 

If you stick to the coding guidelines, you will be able to maintain consistency throughout the project. Some of the most established businesses following such guidelines include Airbnb. If you are consistent with your code formatting practices, it enhances collaborative benefits and code maintenance. 

Documenting The Code 

Documenting the code plays a crucial role in collaboration and maintenance. It also provides a clear set of instructions, which any new team member in the development team can also work on. You can use tools like JSDoc that assist in the documentation of apps. 

Conclusion 

If you follow the best practices for Node.js, you can harness its full power. It will help you to make the apps more scalable and agile. With such a wide variety of best practices in place, you can develop a robust Node.js application that delivers over-the-top performance.