Node.js Best Practices – Take your development skills to the next level [2023 guide]
Node is a JS runtime environment built and runs on the Chrome V8 engine. This framework develops scalable & lightweight event-driven apps. Node.js apps are easy to up-scale because they are developed to be future-proof. Developing Node.js apps can be easy in the beginning, but complex while developing large-scale apps. Hence, here’s a specific of primary Node.js best practices for easy app development and better app performance.
Node JS apps are utilised for server-size and also client-side rendering. It’s an open-source platform that helps in developing real time applications. Node.js is also the most popular framework as per the stackoverflow developers survey 2022. But without implementing node best practices, using Node.js is complex. Hence, let’s learn some ‘must-follow’ node js best practices in this article.
Table of Contents
Node.js Best practices to follow in every Node project
- Using NPM init for every New Project
- Error handling
- Using environment variables
- Using a style guide
- Folder structure
- Use throttling
Let’s discuss each of these practices in detail in this article.
Using NPM init for every new project
Npm also known as Node Package Manager is a useful verse while using Node.js for programming. Npm init automatically generates the package.json file for the project that you are creating. This file will contain all the information of your application. Here’s the simple code to run while creating any new Node.js project:
$ mkdir node-demo app
$ cd node-demo app
$ npm init –yes
Error handling can be divided into 2 parts based on the types of error, that are operational and programmer errors. Let’s discuss both in detail.
Bugs are generally called programmer errors. Here’s what a programmer should avoid to do to minimise programmer errors:
- calling an async function without a callback
- cannot read property of undefined
Here are some solutions for programmer error handling:
As these errors are bugs, it is hard to find them and you will also not know the state of your app while programmer error occurs. Hence, whenever such a thing happens, restart the app like monit or supervisored.
Operational errors happen in any application even when they are well-written. This happens because they aren’t bugs. But the problem is with the remote services or the system like:
- system is out of memory
- request timeout
- failed to connect to a remote service
Here are some solutions for operational error handling:
- Based on the type of operational error, try to implement following solutions:
- Try solving the error. If any file is missing, you can create it first
- When network communication is the error, retry the operation once
- Try to crash the complete process during the error is unlikely to change
- Log everything- it can be a true alternative in all of the above operational errors.
Using environment variables
Configuration management is not easy for any language. There are various questions like how to decouple the code from services, databases, etc.?
The recommended way that developers use in Node.js is utilising environment variables and to loop for the values from the process.env in the code. For instance, NODE_ENV environment variable to search for which environment your app is running on:
console.log(” You are running in :” + process.env.NODE_ENV);
The above variable is now considered a standard name that is used for most vendors in cloud-hosting.
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Using a style guide
If there’s a team of developers working on your project, it is obvious that they will have different coding styles. Most of the time developers use a selected style guide for making the code readable.
If there happens a situation where you need to work on a code with different styles, there will be a lot of errors regarding spaces, tabs, and position of brackets. And solving them takes more time.
So, to remain productive, using a style guide for your project is necessary. Developers of your team will work according to that style guide and can avoid silly mistakes in the code.
Here are some of the tools that can be used to enforce the selected style guide on the project:
Automate Format & Lint on Save
Husky & Lint-staged Combined
Maintaining a folder structure is necessary. It helps for easy finding of files and folders that play an important part in your project. It helps the project structure look clean. Generally in Node.js files are distributed in these three layers:
- Controller for API routes & endpoints
- Service layer for business logic
- Data access layer for working with a database
These layers are made to logically modularize the project. This architecture can be further made into a proper structure that has separate modules in separate folders.
This makes it clear which activity is maintained where and enables us to segregate our classes and functions into manageable units. The folder structure shown below is typical (yet efficient) and can be utilised as a model when creating a fresh Node.js project.
├── app.js app entry point
├── /api controller layer: api routes
├── /config config settings, env variables
├── /services service layer: business logic
├── /models data access layer: database models
├── /scripts miscellaneous NPM scripts
├── /subscribers async event handlers
└── /test test suites
In the above structure, /API, /services and /models are the three different layers that we already discussed in the above paragraph. Meanwhile, /scripts stores workflow automation scripts used for building pipelines & the /test stores test cases.
To avoid having your facilities become overburdened with requests and queries, you can throttle access to the services. You can protect your app from a denial-of-service (DOS) attack or a massive influx of users thanks to its obvious advantages
When the input & output rates differ, it is usual practice to incorporate a throttling system. Especially when any service cannot (or does not wish to) handle the amount of incoming traffic that is there.
The node.js best practices that we discussed here will help developers to achieve advancement in their coding skills. Implementing these practices makes handling Node.js code easy. We suggest you follow them every time while working on any Node project.
Smarsh Infotech is one of the top-notch software development service outsourcing companies. Our team of skilled Node.js developers will help you quickly develop your business application. Let’s discuss your app requirements and begin the development process soon.
I’m Bhavik Trivedi, Director of Smarsh Infotech—a leading Custom Software development company that provides offshore developers at competitive rates. I am passionate about implementing the latest technology-related stuff and building profitable tech businesses. I love talking about the futuristic technologies and their usefulness in the world. I am always open to sharing my knowledge and passion about the latest tech things!
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