Node JS vs Java: Which One to Choose for Your Next Backend Project?

Node JS vs Java: Which One to Choose for Your Next Backend Project?

Quick Summary:
NodeJS and Java are the two most popular programming languages for app development. So, what is more relevant for app development- Node JS vs Java? What's the difference between the both? What are the pros and cons of each of them? Get all your answers with an in-depth look into the main characteristics of the two programming languages and what is the best choice for your next backend project. 


Node.js and Java are widely used general-purpose programming languages developers use worldwide. The languages are preferred owing to their command line interfaces, data access, and scientific applications. However, one of the most significant distinctions between these programming languages is that Node.js is a runtime environment, whereas Java is a programming language. 

Keep reading this article to learn more about these two programming languages. In this post, we will compare the principles behind Java language and Node.js, their pros and cons, and what could be the right choice for your next backend project.

Before moving to the pros and cons, let's understand what Node.js and Java are:

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What is NodeJS?

Node.js, an open-source platform, allows you to write Javascript on both the client side and server side. It was created in 2009 by Ryan Dahl by combining C, C++, and JavaScript to enable access to numerous libraries written in other languages and interaction with I/O devices via APIs. The main aim of executing javascript code outside the browser. This runtime environment is best suited for Javascript developers.

The "JavaScript everywhere" paradigm in NodeJS emphasizes using a single programming language for server-side and client-side scripts when developing online web applications. With its node package manager, you can store a number of libraries in one line.

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What is Java and Java virtual machine?

James Gosling developed Java, a popular object-oriented programming language, in 1995. It is renowned for having a class-based architecture, being high-level, and supporting various platforms. Its speed, security, and potent capabilities are the main reasons for its appeal among developers. With the added benefits of having excellent community support and being simple to learn, this programming language helps lower development costs.

The Java ecosystem consists of the Java Development Kit, Java Runtime Environment, and Java Virtual Machine, improving Java performance, security, usability, cross-platform compatibility, and resilience.

Java's source code is converted to byte code with the Java compiler. It is a popular option for creating applications, and 96,037 websites and over 51,346 domains utilize it.

Recommended Read: Top 10 Java Development Companies

Pros and Cons of Node Js and Java

Developments constantly search for the most efficient and practical tools to build web applications as technology evolves. 

Now let's dive into the pros and cons of each language to help you make an informed decision:

Advantages of using Node JS for backend development 

Node JS provides faster development time and increased productivity due to its event-driven, non-blocking I/O model. 

Node JS has a large and active community with plenty of resources and modules for developers. 

Node.js includes a long-term support (LTS) policy specifying release dates and a time limit for supporting a particular version. It is simple to migrate to Node.js for server-side programming if a developer is proficient in JavaScript.

The fact that Node.js's javascript runtime environment itself is reasonably simple to understand draws new developers to begin studying it.

Disadvantages of using Node JS for backend development 

Node JS may not be the best choice for CPU-intensive applications due to its single-threaded nature.

Callbacks are frequently utilized in multiple threads in Node.js.This method allows other code to execute in the background while waiting for a job in the queue to complete.

Node.js implements changes frequently connected to API. The problem is that most of those improvements are incompatible with earlier versions.

Advantages of using Java runtime environment for backend development

Java is a highly scalable language that can handle large-scale applications with ease. 

Furthermore, Java has strong community support and a vast array of libraries and frameworks for developers.

Java has long been the preferred language for creating software tools like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans IDE, and others, as well as desktop apps such as Web and Android applications.

Java is a "Write Once, Run Anywhere" (WORA) language as it is platform-independent.

Recommended Read: 20 Reasons to Choose Java for Backend Development

Disadvantages of using Java for backend development

Java can have a steeper learning curve for beginners and may require more time to set up compared to Node JS.

Compared to native programming languages like C and C++, Java uses more memory.

When it comes to GUI, Java is well behind. Java's GUI builder needs to be improved and able to create complicated user interfaces.

Node JS Vs Java programming language: An In-depth Comparison

Node.js provides a game-changing solution for web development. Node.js allows the developer community to use familiar syntax for client- and server-side tasks. This enables the deployment of a more agile workflow compared to traditional methodologies. 

But this doesn't end here. 

Node.js also has an event mechanism that blocks non-server responses, resulting in higher scalability than other technologies. Apart from this, developers prefer Node.js for its lightweight nature, increasing its usability.

Both technologies have vibrant communities, distinctive libraries native languages have to other programming languages, and resources for pros and newbies. However, it is difficult to determine how popular they are because they often come in different categories of the programming world.

Java is a computer language that distinguishes itself from its rivals, especially Node.js, by being extremely dependable and safe. Java's support for multithreading, which permits the concurrent execution of several processes and effective utilization of CPU resources, is one of its main advantages.

Moreover, Java's bytecode compilation ensures that the source code can run on any computer or operating system without modification. This facilitates easy portability and platform independence of machine code. Strong memory management and concurrent accumulators, two more standout Java characteristics, enhance the efficiency and dependability of the application.

The existence of various external libraries written in both Java and Node.js dramatically simplifies the life of developers.

Node JS vs Java: Stability

When it comes to stability, Node.js and Java have fundamental distinctions. Java has a reputation for stability because of its tried-and-true in-flexible structure. However, Node.js is meant for dealing with APIs, which frequently change and result in instability difficulties for applications written in this environment. 

Java's interfaces, on the other hand, are quite reliable. This also makes the java based apps more efficient.

Node JS vs Java: Scalability

Node.js is a robust tool for creating highly scalable apps. Moreover, it is suitable for handling significant traffic because of its non-blocking input and output system and event-oriented paradigm, which allows it to manage several concurrent requests.

Due to its scalability and excellent performance, Java is a preferred choice for developing corporate applications. However, to realize its full potential, developers must follow best practices when incorporating computing resources like RAM and CPUs into byte code.

Node JS vs Java: Documentation

Documentation pages are crucial for learning new languages and comprehending their capabilities. The Node.js documentation page thoroughly explains the language, including guidelines, ES6 features, and API reference documentation.

This gives programmers a thorough grasp of Node.js's mainstream and specialized features. Java's documentation is similar in that it contains a sizable collection of all language-related knowledge, making it a valuable tool for Java developers of all levels.

Node JS vs Java: Community Support

Community support is a crucial area where Node.js and Java diverge. According to enterprise apps today, Node.js is used by more than 6.3 million websites in the US. Also, Node.js has acquired legitimacy due to the significant contributions made by tech behemoths like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Java, in comparison, has a more robust and more established community. Like Node.js, Java has a vibrant and large community that encourages solving challenging problems. Due to the size of the community, there are frequent updates, speedy problem patches, and continual innovation.

Java is one of the world's top three programming languages. It has a thriving developer community supported by websites like Coderanch, StackOverflow, Java World, and the Oracle-Java Forum.

Node JS vs Java: The talent pool

According to the enterpriseapptoday Survey, there were 23 million developers of Android apps for mobile phones around the globe in 2018. By the end of 2023, there will be about 27.7 million developers, according to researchers.

Node.js is ranked first in the "most sought" category and seventh in the "most liked" class for frameworks, libraries, and tools. However, Java does well in the study, ranking 5th for "most utilized" languages and 10th for "most liked" languages.

Node JS vs Java: Easy to Learn

The Node.js ecosystem provided a streamlined and effective writing experience thanks to its straightforward grammar and interpreted code. 

It is comparatively simple to acquire, particularly for coders who are already skilled in the JavaScript environment. Java, in comparison, has a more intricate background and a more demanding learning curve. As a result, Java can be difficult to grasp completely, but it is not impossible to master.

Node JS vs Java: Speed of coding

Developers' lives are made simpler by the large frameworks and reusable parts repositories that both Java and Node.js have. In this case, Node.js has a slight advantage. 

According to Jeff Harrell, a former PayPal director of engineering and chief architect, Node.js applications require 40% fewer files and 33% fewer lines of code. 

As a consequence, Node.js app development typically requires less time. However, it is essential to remember that the development time may change based on the project's nature, the team's size, and the team's linguistic proficiency.

Node JS vs Java: Database support

NodeJS is compatible with various NoSQL and relational databases, but it is especially well-suited for use with a NoSQL database like MongoDB. This is because MongoDB allows for the storage of data in JSON objects, which enhances accessibility for backends that are JavaScript-based, such as NodeJS.

Java is more strict than Node.js APIs regarding stability measures. Vulnerabilities follow a similar pattern, and Java'sJava's architecture is more secure.

Additionally, Node.js has a specialized object data-modeling library specifically designed to work with MongoDB. It also improves developer productivity by making the code more readable and flexible.

Java underpins numerous databases and utilizes the standard database connectivity known as Java Database Connectivity for both accessing data and application data. Some of the commonly used databases are MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.

To build simple projects, developers and programmers utilize built-in Java databases. Moreover, JDBC-enabled databases can solve the problems of relational databases.

Node JS vs Java: Cost of development

According to Glassdoor estimates, Java programmers in the US earn an average income of around $90,000, while Node.js developers make an average salary of about $105,000. A Senior Java Developer makes $10,496.16 per year in India. 

Thus, Java is typically more reasonably priced in the Indian industry. However, costs can differ significantly when dealing with independent contractors or delegating development. 

Cost projections are impacted by several variables, including project complexity, intricacy, management, and possible disadvantages, making a precise number challenging to provide. I suggest acquiring quotes from numerous Java and Node.JS web development firms to understand the expenses more precisely.

A cheat sheet for Node.js and Java developers

Determinant NodeJS Java
Performance Operation speed is extremely high. Deliver high-performance capabilities to the server.
Application Architecture Uses a single-threaded MVC/MVP architecture Java developers opt for MVC architecture for app development.
Installation Requires an archive file on the system Requirement of setting the JavaFX environment to execute the JavaFX apps.
Testing Provides competent testing and debugging abilities. Enables testing with Fitness, JMeter, Selenium, and Apache.
Scalability Boasts scalability and efficiency. Offers vertical & horizontal scaling which works as a single solution for all the architecture needs.
Microservices Compatibility Better compatibility with code and services modules. Compatibility with microservices architecture. 
Database support Supports all the NoSSQL and relational databases. Java uses MySQL, and SQLite databases.
Community support Great community support from Facebook, Google, and Amazon. An extended community allows for frequent updates and innovation.

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When to choose Node.js?

NodeJS developers can be hired for the following reasons:

  • Developing web apps for content streaming
  • Multi-user web applications development
  • Building web apps for better data processing capability
  • Creating high-performing apps

When to choose Java?

Java developers can be hired for the following reasons:

  • Enterprise application development
  • Creation of eCommerce applications
  • Development of big data applications


Let's quickly review everything.

The two different technologies, Java and Node.js, have advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, it is essential to comprehend them before starting up your upcoming project in the finest possible way.

Due to its absence of buffering and distinct code execution, Node.js tends to perform better overall when compared to other Java libraries when it comes to performance. However, due to Java'sJava's lack of integrated scalability capabilities, Node also wins in this category.

The advantages and disadvantages of Node.js point to its applicability for e-commerce, streaming, Android apps, large big data projects, and real-time applications. Web applications, scientific software, Android apps, trade applications, and e-commerce are where Java performs best.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Node JS vs Java

Is NodeJS easier than Java?
NodeJS is simpler to write and execute than Java code. As a result, this tool is deployed explicitly for software development.
Is NodeJS Replacing Java?
No, Node.js is not replacing Java. Likewise, Node.js is not a substitute for Java as both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Is NodeJS still relevant in 2023?
As the number of web applications increases, many businesses and startups still use Node.js, and the trend will continue in 2023.
Is Node better than Java?
In several ways, Node.js is better than Java. It has simpler syntax and helps to write quick code.

Ashwani Sharma

Ashwani Sharma

A Technology Architect with a deep-rooted passion for System Design and development, he specializes in steering Digital Transformation initiatives for businesses. His expertise in AI/ML technologies empowers him to design intelligent systems that drive innovation and efficiency. Beyond his professional pursuits, he's a Proud Teacher, nurturing the next generation of tech enthusiasts and problem solvers.