Since backend technologies are the founding stones of any application, selecting a suitable framework is vital to a project’s success and scalability. Node.js and Java EE, are the two most famous backend technologies and as a result, Node.js vs Java EE is a popular question on search engines.
Thus, this blog aims at highlighting the differences between two famous backend technologies: Node.js vs Java EE that often are pitted against each other for business-oriented software or application development.
Table of Contents
Current Popularity Of Node.js And J2EE
The first difference is upon market share and developer availability for both the backend frameworks.
J2EE, a Java backend technology,is the defacto enterprise standard for software or application development. This technology is the most popular programming language in the world and goes through continuous upgrades. And with each new version, it is possible to enhance functionality and portability as well as overall productivity.
Oracle traditionally maintained J2EE but rebranded it as Jakarta EE after submitting it to the Eclipse Foundation in 2017. However, it still remains a popular choice with more than 66% of developers expressing their willingness to stay with Java despite the adjustments.
Some well-known names that Favor Java in their tech stack are TripAdvisor, GameDuell, Rezdy, ICT Health, etc. In fact, SpringBoot is a defacto standard for enterprises because of its global popularity, dominance, and vast community support.
Meanwhile, Node.js is a runtime environment that has been advancing for the past few years, supported by the Node.js Foundation and a community of dedicated developers. It’s gaining popularity rapidly but needs to do a lot of catch-up.
Over the last few years, the choice of Node.js has shown an upward trend in enterprise development. In fact, 49,383 enterprises have used or switched to Node.js in the past few years with more than 75% of Node.js developers engaging in back-end or full-stack development.
In fact, top brands like Uber, Netflix, eBay, Reddit, Medium, etc. use Node.js technology. Moreover, Netflix was able to decrease its startup time from forty minutes to less than a minute by switching to Node.js development. Additionally, with the use of Node.js, Netflix claims to have lowered app load times by roughly 70%. This paved the way for technology’s growing popularity and its bright future.
Talking about the availability and expertise of developers for both technologies, both are popular among developers. Reports indicate that the demand for Node.js specialists has surpassed that of Java developers, although the overall number of Java developers remains higher.
A monolithic architecture is a traditional, singular computing network, with a code base that is self-contained, separate from other applications, and couples all business concerns together. In order to make changes to such an application, one has to update the whole stack. Thus, the process to update is lengthy, restrictive, and time-consuming in monolithic applications.
Pioneered by Netflix and later adopted by companies like Amazon, Twitter, Meta, and eBay, this problem was solved through the Microservices architecture pattern. It is an architectural method that depends on a series of separately deployable services that have their own business logic and database with specified purposes and responsibilities.
This architecture efficiently scales transactions and large data sets. Additionally, the complexity of your codebase is reduced, and businesses can build complex, evolving applications.
Microservices are thus one of the scalable architecture patterns and are supported more efficiently by J2EE, a framework that is suitable to build large, high-functionality applications. Node.js, on the other hand, is a lightweight platform that cannot handle microservices efficiently until and unless you leverage the microservices platform specifically created to achieve the same.
However, this issue was solved by Nest.js, a platform built for the Node.js framework. The successor of Express.js, this non-opinionated platform was created for building large-scale monolith and microservices applications in which the architecture is already handled, and developers only need to build out the business logic.
Used by brands like Adidas, Roche, and Decathalon for their applications, Nest.js is fast gaining popularity in the tech industry for backend development.
Node.js vs Java EE: Key Differences
While Node.js works better for developing small-sized projects, J2EE is suitable for developing complex web-based, highly concurrent applications.
Node.js is compatible with both client and server-side efficiently whereas J2EE is strictly a server-side framework that is independent of the browser.
Node JS does not use the concept of multi-threading and uses single-thread While J2EE makes use of the concept of multithreading with ease,
Node.js development has a steeper learning curve and shows higher productivity as compared to J2EE.
Node.js only allows horizontal application scalability whereas J2EE applications can be scaled both vertically and horizontally.
Node.js development offers the options of customized solutions, whereas J2EE specialists follow the set of in-built security features.
Differences Between Node.js Backend And J2EE Backend:
A programming language and platform.
Productivity and resource consumption
Node.js performance is lower as compared to Java, but is lightweight and can be used to maintain lightweight tasks.
J2EE delivers relatively higher performance but at the expense of high memory usage
Node.js is single-threaded, which means that we have one thread to deal with all requests. Once a request arrives, that thread is used to handle it.
You can create an application and run multiple threads while the load is being distributed with J2EE.
Highly Opinionated Frameworks
No clear winner in highly opinionated frameworks (Express.js, Sails.js, Socket.io, Partial.js, Next.js). To make things worse, frameworks change very frequently
Clear Winner (SpringBoot) in highly opinionated framework and defacto standard for enterprise development
Full Stack Privilege
Does not support Full Stack
Maintainability, Support & Debugging
Allows the developer to code in their own style from scratch, with fewer restrictions.
This eventually gives a free hand to the developer to write the code which might lack in following the OOPS principle making the code complex and hard to understand and maintain.
Developers need to follow the basic OOPs principle, which makes it scalable, secure, and easy to understand and manage the same
Less development effort; faster and less complicated process as compared to Java.
Higher development effort; lengthy and relatively slow process.
Less open-source support for Microservices (mainly for monolithic)
Advanced open-source support for Micro-services (Eureka, Zuul )
Both the backend technologies: Node.js and J2EE have their own use cases, hence, the choice between the two majorly depends upon the business and project scale and requirements.
Although J2EE is an older, more widely used language, it is more complicated than Node.js. Node.js is better at multitasking and overall speed, while J2EE is better at scalability and provides stronger security.
Tools and libraries are great in both technologies. While the Node.js backend is suitable for developing rapid development, real-time applications, streaming, and online shopping, the J2EE backend performs best in enterprise applications, e-commerce applications, scientific software, fintech, and Proptech.
Therefore, the Node.js vs Java EE choice mostly depends on the business and project requirements.
Considering the ease of development, Node. js is better for Rapid development, but from an application performance and security point of view, Java is the best.
Q2. Is Java EE still used?
Yes, Java EE is still in use. It’s one of the most popular backend technologies in the modern world due to its dominance in the enterprise world.
Q3. Which is faster Node Js or Java?
Node.js is faster than Java as it uses an asynchronous event-driven I/O model and does not have the overhead of the Java runtime environment. Both Java and Node have emerged as popular choices for development in recent years.