Express js framework is a must-have tool in any developer’s toolbox and you wouldn’t deny it if you saw the amazing features of Express js at work. A large fraction of web apps written in Node.js is using Express as their server framework. But why would you choose to go with Express to create a basic HTTP server with Node when you can use the built-in HTTP module? It is simply because Express is like your friend in need that provides a collection of common settings, utilities, and other tools without any restrictions on how to use them. We’ll extend our discussion to these distinct features and tools:
It is the process of identifying what code needs to run corresponding to a request received by the server. The routing mechanism is achieved by combining the URLs of your webpage and the HTTP method of the request. Using Express js Routing your application will detect requests that can go with a specified route and method, and on finding a match it calls the particular callback function.
An Express application can be considered a series of middleware function calls. It is a part of the program that gets executed during the request/response lifecycle. It has access to the request object (req), the response object (res), and other middlewares which are denoted by the variable “next”. It can carry out a wide variety of operations like bringing changes to request/response objects, completing the request-response cycle, or calling the next middleware in the respective stack.
If you’ve worked with Express js then you might have seen the “req” (client request) and “res” (server response) terms everywhere in the process. These are the two parts that form an HTTP transaction – the request received by the server and the response in return. This feature comes with an extra dose of the ease with Express js. The Node.js http module has a built-in Request and Response object that completes the transaction quickly.
This feature eases the burden of designing an HTML page. The Template Engine in Express lets you use static template files which will later replace the variables in it with actual values during runtime. The end result is a template-transformed HTML file ready to send.
The benefits of using Express.js for backend development are all-inclusive of the features we discussed above and some more general praiseworthy claims that Express enjoys. Most importantly its flexible features like request handling, flash negotiations, and request views make it pivotal in enterprise app development. Imagine, if Express.js can play the right cards for enterprise applications, would it go faulty with apps of other kinds? Here give a glance at the following benefits :
Many a time, the absence of a guideline/rule in Express.js tend to misguide people into thinking that their apps will work as well in any structure. But a growing codebase also burdens you with long route handlers. In that case, It’s not right to find your nose buried in bug fixing and patching most of the time. But the good news is that you can still develop a structure that will grow and also sustain its simplicity. In short, let’s figure out the best way to set up an Express app. This can be achieved gracefully using certain special characteristics of Express as well as some error-handling functionalities. First of all, the MVC architecture will help in parallel development with the view and business logic working side by side. This can be done with the support of all the features we discussed in the previous section- middleware, routes, models, and so on. Before you even begin to think of bug fixing, you need to avoid using synchronous code/blocking code which will increase the response time of your high-traffic website. Now, the first step of exceptional error handling if it exists is by using promises. Substituting promises with callbacks will help you solve errors in asynchronous code blocks. The second is the use of try-catch-the traditional method used to catch exceptions in asynchronous code. Other ways include logging or the use of a module like “debug”. Next is to set the NODE_ENV variable to “production”, specifying the environment in which the app is running. This step brings profound changes to Express.js’s ability to generate fewer error messages, generate CSS files, and cache view templates. The final step comes down to choosing a process manager like PM2, StrongLoop, or Forever and later running the app in clusters of processes so that the load is equally distributed.
Some things are better done than said. In the case of technology, this cannot be agreed more. Since your backend has the capacity to make or break your business, it is important to consider validating how many of the claims made about Express js for backend web applications are indeed true. So, here’s a reality check!
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