Node.js has been used by many renowned companies for creating their web applications. You probably don’t realize how many of these you are already dealing with in your everyday life. Node.js is a mature technology for web application development, one full of advantages, that can be - and has been - used in huge commercial projects. Let’s take a look at which ones exactly - and why these famous companies decided to move their apps to Node.

We’re willing to bet that you aren’t fully aware of just how many products, applications or webpages - based on Node.js - that you are using everyday. Node.js is behind many useful, innovative and versatile ventures, and Node.js in commercial usage is gathering more and more traction. So, we set out to collected the most famous, the most popular, big companies using Node.js - and their stories. Want to know why these companies decided to develop their software with Node.js? If your business wishes to join this impressive list - consider relying on Node.js.

PayPal

Paypal is one of the most widespread and largest online payment systems, one that operates in over 100 currencies. PayPal uses Node.js to deal with the customer side of its web application. In 2013, PayPal moved its web app from Java to JavaScript and Node.js. The company decided to unify engineering specialties under one team. Previously, they had a team coding for the browser and a separate team using Java for the application layer. With Node.js, they could have both browser and the underlying application written in JavaScript. Development of the application with Node.js, according to PayPal’s programmers, proved to be much more efficient when compared to the original Java version:

  • It was built almost twice as fast, with fewer people
  • It was written in 33% fewer lines of code
  • It was constructed with 40% fewer files

(as per their blog post on the Node.js migration process)

For some time PayPal had both a Java app and a Node.js app, so they could easily measure both versions’ performance. The results? The Node.js web application had:

  • Double the requests per second versus the Java application.
  • 35% decrease in the average response time for the same page, which resulted in serving time for the pages to be 200 ms faster.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s biggest social media platform for professionals and businesses. LinkedIn used Node.js to upgrade the server side of its mobile application. The entire server side powering mobile app is Node.js-based only, which is an unusual decision for the company - otherwise they rely on a lot of different technologies in their apps. They decided to switch to Node.js because of its scalability and compatibility with other platforms. LinkedIn mobile also mentions that they conduct huge data analytics and noticed that using Node.js gave them astonishing performance gains. It simply fit their needs better, as compared to previously relied on Ruby on Rails. The LinkedIn mobile team ditched running 30 servers with 30 instances on each machine to just three instances (virtual servers). Those four managed to handle twice as much traffic.

Voxer

Voxer is a Walkie Talkie application for iOS and Android that was launched in 2011. Since then it has become the fastest growing mobile voice application in the world. They rely on Node.js as a server for its application. Data store is based on Riak.

Originally developers were coding in C++, then they moved to Python, but eventually they decided to ditched both of those languages in favor of Node.js. Why? First of all, it proved faster then its predecessors for low-latency VoiP app. Secondly, they were amazed by Node as an event-driven system, where software architecture is not built around threads, but events. It is relying on heavy I/O, which means that it doesn’t need to wait before one task is completed before moving on to another one. It is a perfect solution for Voxer, an low-latency app with a huge number of open connections.

Groupon

Groupon is a global e-commerce marketplace, where local companies can offer their products, services, trips, special activities, and value discounts to subscribers of their web and mobile applications. In 2015, the company migrated its whole web and mobile app backend from Ruby on Rails to a Node.js environment; their entire web layer was rebuilt on top of Node.js. In February, the company mentioned they had 70 production Node apps at that moment in time, that were used to support traffic in 30 countries plus 4 data centers that they run.

Why did they choose Node.js for such a large and complex project? Well, their previous app was monolithic and outgrew itself to the point where it was hard to control and maintain. They knew it was time to rebuild it with a different technology. Node.js, being close to JavaScript, seemed like a perfect choice - it was easy to learn and use by all the people involved in their front-end works; they already knew JavaScript very well. Another reason to go with Node.js was its scalability. Early tests showed also that the Node.js web app performs extremely well - and later on that was confirmed when everything was up and running. Groupon’s engineers noticed performance improvements.

eBay

eBay is an Internet sales website where consumer-to-consumer and business-to-business transactions take place; in fact, it is the biggest sales marketplace website in the world. eBay developed its first app with Node.js all the way back in 2013. Now, its whole front-end ecosystem is powered by Node.js.

Why Node.js? Since JavaScript is the preferred language of many web developers, sticking with Node.js seemed like an intuitive and obvious choice. Development tools, testing and automation libraries and many other useful components are all distributed as Node.js modules. eBay also noticed they were finding reusability profits, as sharing and distributing common components with Node.js is a walk in the park. eBay’s developers acknowledge that this technology might not be perfect for every other big platform such as theirs, but for their needs, it is working splendidly.

Join the giants

As you can see, various businesses are taking advantage of Node.js and building their apps using this performant JavaScript runtime environment. Whether it is an online sales platform, an e-commerce marketplace, a serious Internet payment system, or so much more - Node.js can be helpful in any venture. The same way, we at iRonin can be helpful to any client in creating their desired web application built with Node.js. There is a long list of Node.js pros and migrations to Node.js are becoming more and more prevalent. Contact us with your ideas to be put in touch with our Node.js developers and join the likes of eBay, Groupon or PayPal!