Node.js is Perfect for the Internet of Things, Despite Footprint Issues

| Updated
by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Node.js is Perfect for the Internet of Things, Despite Footprint Issues
Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side Web applications. Photo: Node.js Foundation

The CEO of PaaS company Structure is convinced that the Javascript platform Node.js is the best for building IoT applications.

The use of Node.js is a great option for IoT developers, despite high memory usage, according to Charlie Key, CEO of the PaaS platform provider Structure.

As InfoWorld reported, Key noted during his speech at the Node Community Convention in San Francisco, that the platform, unlike C and C++ languages, is easier to use for programming the IoT.

The IoT lifecycle, Key said, includes four stages –data collection, communicating, analysis and acting on IoT data. “When you look at Node.js and what JavaScript is capable of, it’s actually capable of pretty much all these different pieces,” Key stated.

A toolset for IoT systems that use C and C++ codes, are difficult to utilize, as these languages involve more problems and require much development time.

“IoT-applicable boards, such as Intel Edison, BeagleBone Black, and Raspberry Pi, can accommodate Node.js now, even if smaller units like ARM-chip-based small microcontrollers cannot, thus giving Node.js an entry into IoT,” InfoWorld wrote.

The Node Package Manager (Npm) modules are accommodating IoT communication protocols, including AMPQ, HTTP and MQTT. Such robotics libraries for Node.js as Cylon.js and Johnny-Five are also supporting the IoT development.

“The capability for the ARM chips will get better. So they’ll allow a bigger footprint for things like Node,” Key said. “The other thing that I think is going to continue to happen is compilers for Node to these smaller languages and these smaller byte codes, basically running more compact code without having the full JavaScript engine on the actual chips themselves. That will allow us to still use a single programming technology to program these smaller chips.”

Structure, meanwhile, is not the only company aimed at decreasing the size of JavaScript footprint. Last year, Samsung developed IoT.js, a lightweight version of node.js. The platform, which provides interoperability among devices like microcontrollers, is underpinned by JerryScript, a lightweight JavaScript engine for IoT network. The IoT.js is targeted to run in a wide range of appliances, including resource-constrained devices.

In December, Microsoft announced its plans to release Chakra Core, a version of the Chakra JavaScript engine that is used in the company’s browsers. Microsoft intends to use the new engine in the development of IoT apps.

Node.js is a powerful technology used for developing apps that can run on a wide range of things, including small IoT devices and large-scale cloud-based services. It is well-suited for the IoT, due to the scalability, speed and efficiency of the platform.

Editor's Choice, Internet of Things News, News
Related Articles