The Node.js Foundation Releases Update Aimed at the Enterprise

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    Looking to spur increased adoption of Node.js as the dominant form of JavaScript in the enterprise, The Node.js Foundation this week announced the release of Node.js 6, a version that is considerably faster and more secure than its predecessor.

    Mikeal Rogers, community manager of the Node.js Project, says Node.js running on both servers and clients is driving a Node.js Everywhere trend because organizations don’t have the time or patience required to support multiple programming languages. That doesn’t mean other programming languages are going to disappear. But for new applications involving, for example, the Internet of Things (IoT), Rogers says there is now a marked preference for Node.js.

    In fact, a recent survey of 1,726 IT professionals conducted by The Node.js Foundation found that 45 percent of them are already using Node.js. Those organizations may not be using Node.js to the exclusion of all other programming languages just yet, but Rogers says it does show how much momentum there is behind Node.js.

    Performance improvements in Node.js 6 center on module loading, which The Node.js Foundation says is now four times faster than it was in Node.js v4. Node.js v6 also makes use of v8 JavaScript engine 5.0, which has improved ECMAScript 2015 (ES6) support. A full 93 percent of ES6 features are now supported in Node.js v6, up from 56 percent for Node.js v5 and 50 percent for Node.js v4. New features provide by ES6 include default and rest parameters, destructuring, class and super keywords.

    Node.js v6 also includes support for a new Buffer application programming interface (API) that is designed to reduce the risk of bugs and vulnerabilities leaking into applications through a new constructor method used to create Buffer instances. There is also a zero-fill-buffers command-line flag and an improved, more secure implementation of Math.random().

    Going forward, Rogers says, The Node.js Foundation is looking at adding support for a wider variety of virtual machines. In the meantime, Rogers says, Node.js specifically and JavaScript in general are making programming more accessible. As that continues, the number of applications being created by enterprise organizations should increase considerably.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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