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Wondering how to choose the perfect server-side development platform for your new app? Want to know which server-side language is the best? Keep reading and you will find out.

Web development is constantly evolving and its landscape is changing rapidly with new software development trends, web application frameworks, languages, and growing user expectations for a great digital experience. To stay competitive on the application development market, every developer has to stay updated with major advancements in front-end and back-end technologies.

Every year brings new concepts, ideas, and trends and currently, there is a huge number of web development technologies. In this article, we’ll try to answer your questions and focus on the comparison of two popular server-side development platformsASP.NET vs Node.js that have a large potential for growth. Let’s get started!

How to Choose the Right Programming Language for Server-side Development?

Before we start discussing the advantages of these frameworks to decide which of them is a better choice for server-side website programming, let’s talk about the key aspects we should take into account when choosing the right programming language for backend programming.

First of all, you should understand that there is no perfect programming language. So what’s it all mean? It’s just the matter of selecting a language that best serves specific needs of your business. Before you make a final decision what language to use, you should consider the following factors.

  1.   Problem Domain

Each language is a part of a technology stack that has its own business use. For example, .NET is the preferred option if you want to build commercial and enterprise web applications. So you should think about the problem you need to address, peculiarities of your business case, and the type of your customers.

  1.   Technical Expertise

Working on back-end technology requires the profound knowledge of servers, languages, and frameworks so the choice of the right technology will depend on the technical skills of the development team. Availability of skilled workforce typically varies by geography. The development costs will be high if certain skills are in high demand but a good option for enterprises is to outsource web application development team.

  1.   Characteristics of the Languages

There is a variety of languages for server-side programming you can use to create your web applications. Of course, you’d better choose among popular and widely used ones. Languages differ in their characteristics, ecosystems, communities, and support. All these factors are important for the decision-making process.

For example, compiled languages can make a good choice for enterprise applications with critical security requirements or those that must work in the legacy environment. And if you want to develop for the cloud, choose interpretative, dynamic, open source languages that will ensure cost-effective back-end development.

Actually, characteristics of programming languages are the most important aspect that you should take into account when selecting a perfect solution for your new project. Now, let’s compare two advanced back-end technologies – ASP.NET and Node.js and discuss their features and advantages.

Advantages of ASP.NET

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ASP.NET is a framework marketed by Microsoft as a part of the .NET platform. It was initially released in 2002 and now it is an open-source project under Apache 2.0 license. The framework is very popular and is used for building dynamic websites for lots of industries, including marketing, shopping, internet and telecom, business, and health.

Here is why businesses choose this Microsoft technology:

  • Using ASP.NET framework, developers can get everything they need to create web applications without additional libraries or frameworks.
  • It can be used for creating a large variety of web solutions, including dynamic business, corporate, and social networking websites and web-based apps.
  • It is highly scalable and supports lots of programming languages.
  • It features high performance which is enhanced by native optimization, smart caching technologies, and just-in-time compilation.
  • The system features high reliability and security.

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Advantages of Node.js

Node.js was released in 2009 and has steadily grown in popularity although its market share is not as big as that of ASP.NET. It has grown from JavaScript, a popular client-side programming language, and allows to execute JavaScript on the server side, using the Google V8 JavaScript engine. Lots of big players chose this environment to use for back-end development. These days, lots of thriving companies, including LinkedIn, Medium, Netflix, and Walmart took advantage of Node.js for building their applications. Here is why:

  • It is easy to learn and makes a great choice for teams with extensive JavaScript skills.
  • There is a thriving community of active users who constantly contribute to the improvement of the source code and create a lot of excellent modules with additional capabilities.
  • Node.js features high performance due to the non-blocking IO system that allows handling requests simultaneously.
  • It makes full-stack JavaScript a reality.
  • Node.js has tools for integration with Visual Studio, an ecosystem for easy integration with .NET and Windows, and can work with Windows Azure.

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Although Node.js has some weaknesses like immaturity of tools in NPM registry and unstable API, it is undeniably a powerful technology.

Node.js vs ASP.NET Performance

Wondering which system is faster? Let me explain. Node.js is famous for its single-threaded request handling and is well-suited for IO bound applications. ASP.NET uses async/await pattern, is multi-threaded and as a result is better suited for intensive workloads. See the difference?

In some tasks, ASP.NET outperforms Node.js and in other tasks, Node.js is faster. Typically, Node.js has to be clustered to show better performance. ASP.NET needs to use async/await keywords to be faster with IO-expensive tasks.

After all, Node.js was designed to handle requests faster if no heavy computations are required. If tasks require heavy computations, Node.js loses to ASP.NET.

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Node.js vs ASP.NET: What to Choose?

Still not sure which framework for backend programming to choose to ensure that your projects are up-to-date? When comparing two technologies, we should also take into account such aspects as the ecosystem and the deployment. Here these technologies differ most of all.

Node.js is supported by a very large community which writes lots of different modules in its NPM system. But when a package is pulled off or updated, it may impact the entire system. Besides, many packages have errors or are not maintained properly.

The ASP.Net is created by a dedicated Microsoft team and provides all tools you need for building fully functional websites.

As to deploy & run, Node.js is a great choice, being cross-platform and PaaS compatible. Your code can be easily hosted on a variety of platforms:

  • your Mac, Windows or Linux server
  • the majority of PaaS cloud providers
  • a Docker container and a lot of other options

ASP.NET is also cross-platform but there are not so many options for deployment: your own Linux or Windows server, a Docker container, Azure, and Heroku (unofficial packs).

Conclusion

  • ASP.NET is preferred for creating enterprise-class technologies, web applications, and websites with large code-base because it offers tools and software architecture that is suitable for all needs.
  • Node.js is a good alternative for micro-services as well as small or medium-sized REST APIs. It is a good choice as a technology for building real-time apps that are getting more popular.
  • All frameworks have advantages and shortcomings and the final choice is up to the developer and is a matter of preference.