My first NodeJS service by Maarten Smeets


clip_image002Microservices implemented in JavaScript running on NodeJS are becoming quite popular lately. In order to gain some experience with this, I created a little in memory NodeJS cache service. Of course statefulness complicates scalability, but if I would also have implemented a persistent store to avoid this, the scope of this blog article would have become too large. Please mind that my experience with NodeJS is limited to a NodeJS workshop from Lucas Jellema and a day of playing with NodeJS. This indicates it is quite easy to get started. In this blog I’ll highlight some of the challenges I encountered and how I solved them. Also I’m shortly describing what Oracle is doing with NodeJS. Because the JavaScript world changes rapidly, you should also take into account the period between when this blog is written and when you are reading it; it will most likely quickly become outdated. You can download the code from GitHub here.

Choosing an IDE

In the Java world there are several popular IDE’s such as JDeveloper, Eclipse, Netbeans, IntelliJ. For JavaScript, the IDE’s I’ve heard most about from JavaScript developers (as a newby it helps to talk to people with experience) are Microsoft Visual Studio Code and Jetbrain’s WebStorm. Netbeans also has JavaScript support and is the IDE of choice for Oracle JET development. I have not looked into Netbeans yet. I decided on Microsoft Visual Studio Code since WebStorm requires a paid license.

NodeJS package manager

The NodeJS package manager is npm. npm can install modules globally and locally. Supporting tools like ‘mocha’ for testing and ‘typings’ for TypeScript support are good candidates to install globally. Do keep track though of your globally installed modules since if you want to reproduce your environment somewhere else, these modules could be dependencies (especially in your build process). You can configure local dependencies in a package.json file. When you do a ‘npm install’, modules mentioned in that file are installed locally in the node_modules folder of your project. If you want to also update the package.json, you can do ‘npm install –save’. This allows you to easily update versions of modules. When your node_modules directory is corrupt because you for example interrupted a module download, you can just remove the node_modules directory and rebuild it from the package.json file.

Code completion

As a spoiled modern developer, I need code completion! This especially helps a lot when you are unfamiliar with a language and want to explore what you can do with a specific object or how to use standard libraries/modules. JavaScript is not strongly typed. You need type information to provide code completion. Microsoft has provided the open source TypeScript to help with that. Read the complete article here.

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