Node.js vs Java: What to select in 2021?

Nimisha Kapadia July 23, 2021

Node.js vs Java

Quick Summary: Node.js vs Java could be a noticeable topic of discussion. New Developers have tons of confusion about it.  In this Blog/Article, you will understand the difference between Node JS and Java regarding performance, learning curve, community support, use case, and so many other features.

This article will help you decide which backend technology is suitable for your subsequent web app development project. You can understand why Java is still linked in the times of modern and scalable Node.js.

It also introduces you to what areas Node.js outperforms Java. So, if you want to compare these two powerful backend technologies: Node.js vs Java, without further argument, let’s compare the critical aspects of each tool.

Quick Links:

        1.  Node.js overview
        2.  Java overview
        3.  Pros and cons
        4.  Popular applications
        5.  Performance comparison
        6.  Application architecture
        7.  Easy testing
        8.  Scalability
        9.  Micro-services compatibility
        10.  Database support
        11.  Community support
        12.  Hiring Developers
        13. Conclusion

1. What is Node.js? – An Overview of the Node

Node.js developed by Ryan Dahl in 2009. Node.js is a server-side, open-source, JavaScript runtime environment that allows developers to write JavaScript on the client and the server side. Node.js-based frameworks like Express,, and Meteor.js can operate within it to improve the backend capability of a project. The technology is known to develop single-page applications, websites, and backend API services designed with real-time and push-based architectures.

Here is some Market apply statistics of Node.js as a backend technology:

Share of Respodent Node vs Java

  • StackOverflow Trends has caused a rise in the discussion around Node.js, covering nearly 3.5% of queries over the last decade.

Stack Overflow Trends



Use cases of Node.js is

  • Micro-services
  • Streaming web applications
  • Back-ends and servers
  • Real-time software system & Streaming apps – Collaboration tools used for video/audio conferencing, document writing, Chat applications, etc.
  • Developing APIs
  • Advanced single-page apps
  • IoT-based applications
  • Scripting and automation


2. What is Java? – An Overview of the Java

Java is an object oriented programming language. Java has significant usage in building many applications, most significantly, Automation apps. Developers use Java with the principle of “write once and run anywhere” (WORA). Furthermore, it is portable. Therefore, a program based mainly in Java will run equally on varied hardware and operational systems.

The Java was developed by James goose and also the “Green Team” at Sun Micro systems in 1991. It’s an associated object-oriented, class-based, general artificial language.

Stability, efficiency, and cross-platform capabilities count among Java’s main characteristics.  As a result, The Java is one of the well-liked and severely used object oriented programming languages around the world.

When combined with runtime surroundings, Java becomes a platform/framework. i.e., JVM ( the Java Virtual Machine). Thus, there are primarily four platforms of Java:

  • Java SE – Java Platform, Normal Edition
  • Java EE – Java Platform, Enterprise Edition
  • Java Maine – Java Platform, Small Edition
  • Java FX


Here are some market usage stats for Java:


Use Cases of Java

  • Web app development
  • Desktop GUI
  • Application Servers/Web Servers
  • Test automation
  • Android app development
  • Software tools
  • Game development
  • Scientific apps
  • Applications for Enterprises
  • Embedded Systems
  • Business Applications
  • Banking and FinTech applications
  • Big Data Technologies


3. Advantages and Disadvantages difference between Java and Node.js

You must understand the prospects and limitations it carries along before you select a framework. The result of this comparison between Node.js and Java should help you to choose the most well-matched tool for your application.

Nodejs vs Java

Pros of Node.js

Unopinionated: Node.js is giving developers the liberty to code their way by building everything from scratch with fewer restrictions.

Non-blocking, I/O System: This allows you to process several requests simultaneously, resulting in more scalability and faster performance.

Caching facility: Node.js can support caching of single modules within the application memory removing the need to re-execute the code on the server for faster response times.

Active Community: It allows Coders to access readily available solutions and codes that make it easy for start-ups and beginner coders.

Full-Stack Privilege: It allows Node.js developers to write down frontend and backend each in JavaScript. It enables the smooth deployment of apps and reduces the learning curve.

Easy to learn: Coders with experience in JavaScript as a frontend language will adapt quickly to the framework.

Widespread support: It supports developers with commonly used tools for different purposes such as testing or identifying project dependencies.

Cons of Nodejs

Productivity loss: Beginners find it hard to build apps from scratch due to Node.js’ non-opinionated nature. So, there is a possibility to experience a decline in productivity.

Not suitable for extensive computing:  Though Node.js is supporting complex apps, it reduces performance with heavy computing (CPU intensive) apps. Furthermore, as it doesn’t support multi-threaded programming, it is less effective at heavy calculations.

Difficult to maintain code due to its Async nature: it becomes tiresome to maintain and difficult to understand code due to nested callbacks in Node.js and its heavy dependence on asynchronicity.

Some of its tool’s deficiency quality: Some Node.js tools don’t match high-coding standards and might not correctly structure due to their open-source ecosystem.

Pros of Java

Improved Security:Java is supporting the deployment of apps on a dedicated server. So, it makes it possible to maintain and monitor apps continuously for server administrators. Therefore, it removes the risk of most data breaches/threats.

Cost-effective Development:  Java-based apps configuration and troubleshooting are simple; therefore, the development lifecycle becomes cost-effective.

Better readability: It’s easy for developers to read, write, and debug Java applications. Java allows your developer to write down code that maintains the coding standards for your organization.

 Easy to install and maintain:  Although the new software and versions will automatically upgrade to new versions, you can easily upgrade and add features as you want to once the version is installed on the host server. Hence, the software and versions automatically are upgraded to new versions. During this approach, users will do installations and up-gradation.

Better Interoperability:

Java-based apps quickly integrated with other business apps. For isolated desktop applications and web applications, it makes the language interoperable. Businesses will get a versatile and compliant business model in a very fast-changing business marketplace because of these benefits.


Cons of Java

Memory-consumption: Compared to other natively compiled languages such as C or C++, Java is a programming language that is slower, and therefore the framework consumes more memory on the server.

Lacks backup facilities:  Java focuses only on data storage and not on the backup of data. It is a critical drawback that makes it lose interest and ratings among users.

Not sensible with Android API design: Java programming language has limits. Maintaining and improving the codebase becomes difficult when time passes, which causes problems with Android API designs in the future. So, beginning a brand-new project of Android with Java is not recommended.

No appealing appearance & feels of the GUI:  Java contains several popular frameworks, but they are still not mature enough to develop complex UIs.

4. Some Popular applications built with Node.js and Java is:

Here is a list of some tech hulks and companies that use Nodejs and Java to meet their market desires and application development requirements.

Popular apps using Nodejs as backend technology

  • NASA – reduced access time by a massive 300%.
  • Twitter  – launched Twitter Lite with a 30% faster launch time.
  • Netflix  – decreased start-up time from 40  minutes to 60 seconds and significantly improved performance by migrating their backend from Java to Node.js.
  • Trello – implemented instant propagation of updates.


Popular Apps using Java as a Backend Technology

  • eBay – lessened the time-to-market, enhanced engineer output, and reduced collaboration costs.
  • Google – used Java for backend  programming, user interface development, and one of the products, Google Docs.
  • Spotify – made app development a much more manageable, simpler, and straightforward process.
  • Cash App – used Java object oriented programming language for most of its code since it offers flexibility across devices and out-of-the-box features to dealing with bank accounts.
  • Netflix – relies heavily on Spring Cloud, a Java-based framework, for backend operations.


5. Performance comparison for Node.js and Java

Performance is an essential factor to study when building complex and large projects. So let us compare NodeJS with Java in terms of performance.

Performance of  Java vs Node js


Applications built in Node.js offer more excellent performance because of two main reasons: Multitasking and the V8 JavaScript engine.

  • Node.js has an event-driven architecture that allows effective multitasking and boosts the performance of an application.
  • The V8 JavaScript engine used by Node.js is working faster in a short ramp-up time.

The framework supports the simultaneous processing of many requests as compared to other backend solutions. As a result, many tech titans are turning towards Node for its more excellent performance. LinkedIn, for one, reduced its server load by ten times as it migrated to Node.js.


Java is an object-oriented programming language that performs far better and faster than old-style programming languages as its programs are written as byte codes. Java Virtual machines (JVM) effortlessly interpret these byte-code instructions and deliver quicker and more efficient applications. Additionally, The Java Virtual Machine – JVM is enhanced to provide a compelling code interpretation in its latest versions. It has also introduced elements like a just-in-time (JIT) compiler to deliver high-performing applications written in Java.

6. Application architecture – Node vs Java

When selecting a framework, it’s vital to choose flexibility and avoid strict implementation of architecture and guidelines. So let’s compare Node.js and Java with one other and check whether or not they are flexible in architecture.

What kinds of architecture will Node.js support?

Under the cover, Single-threaded Event Loop architecture enables it to handle multiple concurrent requests with better performance. Nodejs also allows you to use MVC/ MVP architecture patterns, eases separating and boarding issues in the application code-base. Plus, it creates multiple views for the same data and supports asynchronous communication between many components.

Here’s how the async architecture of Nodejs advantages you:
  • Processes multiple synchronous requests at the same time and offers high performance.
  • Guarantees faster and flexible development of modules.
  • Decreases time-to-market of applications.


What Types of architecture will Java support?

Developers like to use the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern to develop applications in Java programming language where the Model is objects in Java, and the design pattern seems like the inner architecture of the language. You will easily maintain the code and have trouble-free testing of applications.  Development teams will categorize individual roles and work on the various functionalities in large applications.

So, changes in one module don’t affect the whole application. Instead, it will increase development teams’ productivity and result in faster time to market apps.

7. Testing – Node.js vs Java

Your application development project needs high testing to confirm submission with the UI standards, compatibility, and usability to work without a bug under constant high load and growing market expectations. Here’s how Nodejs and Java show up in comparison with testing apps.

How easier is the Testing of Node.js applications?

With its amusing ecosystem of third-party packages, Node.js offers competent testing and debugging capabilities. Lab, Code, Jasmine, and AVA are various automated testing tools/frameworks which create a sound testing ecosystem for Node.js Apps. In addition to this, you can use testing libraries like Chai, Mocha, and Jest to give your users a seamless, bug-free experience.

How easier is the Testing of Java applications?

Java is a programming language that permits developers to write their test cases for each functionality. So, your testing teammates can write flexible tests with sequencing, grouping, and data-driven features.  Also, it allows developers to write parallel tests in java. It supports various testing frameworks and tools such as JUnit, Selenium, TestNG, Apache JMeter, and Fitness. It also gives support and compatibility to several popular IDEs and builds tools such as IntelliJ, NetBeans, IDEA, Eclipse, Maven, and more.

8. Scalability – Difference between Node.js and Java

How scalable is Node.js?

We can build highly scalable apps using Node.js. It can handle multiple concurrent requests by its non-blocking I/O and event-driven models. Also, its event-loop mechanism lets the server process the highest requests. If you distribute the various services to separate work servers, different development teams can divide the tasks and build applications more quickly and scalable with node.js. This way, it increases Nodejs’ efficiency and scalability.

How scalable is Java?

Java is vastly scalable, which makes it more outstanding in performance for enterprise applications. The EJB (Enterprise Java Beans), known as development architecture, is attended by an application server that simplifies multiple requests. This way, it offers fair scalability. You must implement some best practices to improve, like vertical scalability to add more computational resources such as CPUs and RAM. Here are some additional techniques you’ll be able to follow:

  • Horizontal Scaling
  • Vertical Scaling
  • Introduce a Single point of failure
  • Use a one-size-fits-all architecture


9. Micro-services Compatibility

Is Nodejs compatible with Microservices architecture?

Nodejs and Microservices each will build smaller elements of services and code modules. In addition, Node.js is efficient at handling multiple concurrent requests. Thus, Nodejs is appropriate for developing scalable apps. So, it makes a complete combination for building enterprise-grade complex applications with higher scalability.

Is Java compatible with Microservices architecture?

Java is compatible with microservices for its:

1) Annotation Syntax

2) Java Frameworks like Spring Boot

Annotation Syntax: It provides easy development of microservices as it’s more readable in complex systems. It also offers better connectivity to backend resources for isolated apps and modules of microservices and model components.

Java Framework- Spring Boot: It is specified in building microservices and offers better compatibility for iterating small modules.

10. Database Support

How good is the database support for Nodejs?

Nodejs supports all types of databases like relational and NoSQL databases. First, though, it is good to use a NoSQL database like MongoDB. It stores data in JSON objects, which gives more availability for JavaScript-based backends like Nodejs. You can also use “mongoose” to manage relationships with data. Nodejs and MongoDB have the object data-modeling library built for them. Also, increasing code readability, maintaining code flexibility, and modeling applications’ data boost productivity.

How good is the database support for Java?

Java supports multiple databases. It uses standard database connectivity called Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) to access data in applications. Some of the commonly used databases are MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite. In addition to these, Oracle, Redis, IBM-DB2, Sybase, and even the pure Java “Java DB” come with the JDK (or Apache Derby).

In addition to JDBC and relational databases, there are few customised APIs for each NoSQL database– Cassandra, MongoDB, LevelDB, Oracle NoSQL/BerkeleyDB,  Riak,  etc. Developers use built-in Java Database for simple projects. And also, if you need a relational database, there’s an excessive selection of JDBC-supported databases.


11. Community Support – Nodejs vs Java

Community support Nodejs and Java

How big is the community around Nodejs?

Nodejs has a well-supported and robust community. Nearly 51.4% of professional developers, according to Stackoverflow, use Nodejs for frameworks, libraries, and tools. In addition, tech titans such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google have made noteworthy contributions to the Nodejs environment to make the technology more reliable.

There are some community forums for Nodejs Like,

How big is the community around Java?

The Java programming language has robust community support for any complicated queries or issues. A giant community means frequent updates, bug squashing, and innovation.  Within the active software developer’s community, Java grips its place in the top three programming languages.

some of the most popular Java communities are:


12. Hiring Developers

How appropriate is it to hire Nodejs developers?

Node.js has a large community of developers, so it makes it very easy to hire Nodejs developers. In Asian countries like India, the average range for hiring Nodejs developers as dedicated or freelancing resources varies from $20 to $40 per hour, $70 to $90 per hour in North America, $50 to $70 in Eastern Europe. Therefore, with a few thoughts in mind, such as the portfolio and fundamentals of JavaScript, one should hire the right Nodejs developers for their development projects.

How appropriate is it to hire Java developers?

Java is simple and easy to learn, even for beginner developers and teammates. It is critical to figure out the key functionalities and long-term goals for your application when hiring developers for Java. The average cost of hiring java developers is $61-80 per hour.

You can get reasonably priced yet quality services by approaching professional teams of Java developers. So, hiring Java developers is not an expensive matter.


Whether or not to use Java or Node.js for your development project could be an eternal argument. To compare Java vs Node.js based on the points listed above, it finally depends on the objective and purpose of your application development. Depending on that, developers require specific libraries and frameworks. On the other hand, you can build agile applications with Java, and event-driven I/O bound applications can be made in the Node JS framework.

To conclude, developers’ requirements and their hands-on knowledge make helpful technology for everyone. I trust you had a wonderful time reading this article, and i hope that it was of a lot of help for any Java or Node.js Developer.

Choose Node.js

If You would like to

  • Build a performant single-page application.
  • Make a web application to stream content.
  • Web applications with efficient data processing capabilities.
  • A real-time multi-user web application.
  • Browser-based game applications.


Choose Java If

You would like to

  • Build a highly scalable application
  • Make enterprise applications
  • Power a matured framework with rich community support
  • Build eCommerce and large Data applications.
  • Create a cryptocurrency app with advanced safety features


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