The backend can be considered as the brain of an application as it is responsible for the business logic and various sensitive operations under the hood. The backend of an application also influences the app’s quality, performance, security and scalability. All of this emphasizes the importance of efficient backend development. And when it comes to backend development, choosing the right tech stack is the key.

There are multiple options to choose from – Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, Go etc. and they are all good; which makes choosing one from the lot quite challenging. This blog is aimed at making this decision easier though we are only taking two options from that list above – Node.js and Go.

Node.js & Go

Before getting into the details, here is a brief introduction of the two.

Node.js is a Google Chrome V8 engine-based JavaScript runtime environment that first popped up back in 2008. The open source tool quickly established a thriving developer community while turning heads as a great tool to create web servers.

Go, which is also known as Golang, is a lightning fast, open source, cross-platform programming language introduced by Google a decade ago in 2009. Its creators wanted a programming language that combines everything good about existing languages in order to solve the most common problems that existing languages experience. They succeeded with Go.

Choosing between the two

To make the choice, we will take various factors into account including performance, concurrency, tools etc. Let’s start with performance.

Performance

A mobile app’s performance is measured by assessing various factors like load time, response time etc. and it directly influences mobile user satisfaction.

And when it comes to performance, Go is as good as C and C++, if not better. There are no virtual machines in Go, and it compiles to machine code which means programs are executed impressively quickly. The built-in garbage collector in Go identifies occupied memory that is no longer required, and frees it up for later use. This effective memory management also lowers the risk of security vulnerabilities considerably due to code encapsulation.

Node.js on the other hand is akin to JavaScript owing to its asynchronous, non-blocking nature. This means, smaller and simpler tasks are performed in the background without impacting the main thread. Additionally, it’s based on the V8 engine – the fastest JavaScript engine available. However, with JavaScript being an interpreted language, code execution takes longer in Node.js compared to Go.

So, performance-wise, Go ranks a bit higher than Node.js.

Concurrency

Concurrency in a mobile app is the app’s capability to efficiently utilize CPU to deliver great performance i.e. the app’s programs organize their execution into separate flows while facilitating communication between them utilizing only enough CPU power required for their execution. Concurrency is vital for apps that handle thousands of requests simultaneously. This attribute also translates to the app’s scalability

And concurrency is one of Go’s major benefits thanks to its lightweight Goroutines. The environment of Go allows developers to run a lot of Goroutines in parallel without using too much RAM while also hiding the complexity of the process.

The single-threaded Node.js may sometimes find CPU-bound tasks blocking the event loop which in turn slows down the program resulting in a slower app. Though this doesn’t always happen, it’s still something worth considering. Node.js already proved itself as a great choice to build super-fast, scalable apps. But the technicality that we just mentioned gives Go a slightly higher score again in terms of concurrency.

Tools

The right set of tools can cut app development costs significantly. When it comes to tools, Node.js is far ahead of Go.

Node.js features a microservices architecture which means that a single app is divided into smaller modules each with their own operational interfaces which makes adding new components to the app much easier and faster. This is complemented by Npm (Node.js package manager) that comprise over 800,000 ready-made ‘building blocks’ or tools that can be installed and used on the go.

Though Go has a smaller number of tools compared to Node.js, it features a great library brimming with features that don’t need third party support. However, the absence of a built-in GUI library drops Go’s scores here even further.

Node.js leads when it comes to the number of useful tools available.

Community

As both Node.js and Go are open source, it’s obvious that they both have communities engaged in improving them in many ways. They have repositories on GitHub as well. However, with Node.js being a more mature tool, its community is much bigger and more vibrant. It has reached 1 billion downloads and 56,000 stars on GitHub. So finding a Node.js specialist won’t be difficult.

The Go community, though smaller compared to Node.js community, keeps growing at a rapid pace every year. With Google offering great support to push Go into mainstream, migrating to Go doesn’t seem like a bad investment at this point.

What big corporates think about Node.js & Go

Netflix, arguably the world’s biggest media streaming platform, has their app built on Node.js, and they are only praise for the open source runtime environment. LinkedIn is another Node.js supporter along with Groupon which can now process more than 425,000 active deals without hassle thanks to Node.js.

As for Go, the list is impressive and growing. Uber, that used to rely on Node.js, migrated to Go in 2016 in order to improve the performance of their geofence lookup microservice. But there were other reasons too which is a topic for another time. In addition to Uber, Google, Docker, BBC, Intel etc. all use Go highlighting Go’s simplicity.

Conclusion

By now, you might have realized the fact that Go has great potential. Even so, it’s not possible to definitively say that one is better than the other. Making a choice between the two depends on type and traits of the app that one wants to build.

Go is great for microservices and enterprise-grade app development but Node.js has a plethora of ready-made solutions that significantly reduce custom software development time. If you still can’t choose between the two, drop us a line and talk to the experts at AOT.


Most mission critical systems and processes in enterprises are now driven by software. As a matter of fact, powerful software now power mobile applications and various other digital touch points enhancing business efficiency and agility, streamlining operations, improving customer satisfaction, and presenting enterprises with new opportunities to grow.

Off-the-shelf solutions?

As soon as software started dominating, vendors popped up to cater to the trend by providing ready-made software solutions, from ERP suites to CRM applications and collaboration tools, covering pretty much all business processes. The rapid growth of cloud computing accelerated this further, giving more options for enterprises in the form pay-as-you-go cloud solutions with practically unlimited resources.

Despite being easy to set up and great performance, an off-the-shelf software is still restricted in terms of functionality and flexibility primarily due to the fact that it is designed specifically for certain scenarios to execute specific tasks. Essentially, in the present day dynamic business ecosystem, such software may leave critical gaps to core processes, leading to a counterproductive result that decelerates business growth.

Hence custom software…

A digital solution specifically tailored to cater to an enterprise, custom software are designed for specific functionalities as well, like their off-the-shelf counterparts. However, the difference is that they offer more benefits compared to the latter. Custom software is not meant for just a specific functionality. It accommodates the client’s preferences and meets their expectations required in the software.

Present day custom software development generally adopts Agile practices, build iteratively taking all hidden risks into account with an opening wide enough to add functionalities not stated in the software requirement specifications (if necessary).

Because every business is unique and runs in a fluid environment, custom software is seen as the ideal way to fit in to that uniqueness.

Custom software adoption and benefits

Enterprises, especially larger ones, use custom software for many functions including content management, human resource management, inventory management etc. Though larger enterprises adopt custom software more, it’s still a much preferred option for SMBs and startups.

Because for startups, seamless integration of the software across their critical systems, secure transactions, effective data capture for analysis etc. to name a few, are vital factors that influence their success while also facilitating proactive response to events and changing environments.

That said, to go full custom can often be quite daunting for startups. Nevertheless, the choice does bring about a number of benefits. Here are a few to take note of.

Better equipped to handle issues

For businesses, should any technical issue arise on a software they use, they’ll have to rely on ‘the IT guy’. This can be particularly challenging when they are using off-the-shelf software. If something goes wrong, they may need to seek help from experts, and then wait for the support to fix it at their convenience. This consumes funds.

When it’s a custom software they are using where they’ve taken part in the development, they would know how the software was designed to function. This means they’d be better equipped to handle problems effectively. And because it’s a custom software, the developers would be keen to respond faster so as to make sure that their product functions effectively.

Effective cost control

Off-the-shelf software come with a fixed price tag, and are generally not negotiable. There could be features in that software that a startup won’t need, but they will still have to pay for them. Or they may not get exactly what they need for that price.

However, when it comes to custom software, they pay only for what they need. The software development company can present a suitable software that fits within the budget. This amount of control over the budget also gives them the flexibility to chip in more money should they require more features or augment the ones they already get from the product.

Streamline critical processes

Even if the business cannot find an off-the-shelf software that can effectively streamline critical processes, they can have one custom made for that purpose. No matter what kind of process it is, they can have a custom software to streamline it without restrictions, and made the way exactly how they want it to be at a comparatively cheaper cost.

Update without limits

When relying on off-the-shelf software, a startup will have to wait till the vendor releases updates to sustain the software’s functionalities. This may not be the priority for the vendor as well. What if the vendor decides to stop supporting the software package out of the blue due to some reason? What if they don’t release updates when there are still bugs that need to be fixed?

This could be detrimental to a startup eyeing on rapid growth opportunities. Though there are rare exceptions to this scenario, it’s a fact that off-the-shelf software eventually ceases support.

With a custom software on the other hand, the startup itself would technically be the manufacturer. They just pay developers to craft a software they have in mind. As they won’t be relying on a specific manufacturer for updates and patches, they can continue to support the software themselves. Even if it requires hired help from tech experts, it’s still a better situation than having to rely on a single vendor who may have other priorities.

Conclusion

These are but just a few benefits of custom software for startups. A personalized software solution for startups is essentially an investment. Not a cost. It also provides startups with an easy approach to leveraging latest technologies to accelerate the growth of their business.

However, the true impact of custom software can only be realized if the developer or development company is experienced and reliable when it comes to crafting a software solution that meets enterprise requirements. Proper implementation of the software ensures the flexibility that startups require to utilize opportunities the right way.

Such a task is best outsourced to a professional development company for whom this is a core service. If you seek custom solutions that cater to your startup’s ambitions, AoT can help you out. Feel free to drop us your queries.

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The 2016 Ericsson Mobility Report predicts that there will over 28 billion connected devices by 2021.

That’s how fast IoT is growing, which is evident from the way it transforms various sectors of IT in innovative ways. Custom software development is one of those sectors where IoT will have an impact, positively of course. The effect of IoT integration will be notable in various areas of custom software development including software R&D, web services technology, architecture, UI design etc.

Here are a few ways how IoT adoption and integration will transmute custom software development.

Reimagined security policies

Considering the rise of IoT, Forbes predicted IoT specific cybercrimes in the future. As a countermeasure, developers and IoT experts will have to learn new, efficient ways to handle protocols like DNS. This can help them conceive better security policies against future threats.

IoT updates and maintenance

When IoT finally presents itself everywhere, the software teams should be ready with refined IT skill sets so as to guarantee updates and maintenance of IoT products. They should be able to keep up with the innovations in the field, and constantly learning about it is the best way to do it.

Network connectivity

IoT integration with various devices means the developers will have to consider network connectivity as well while developing IoT software. They will be working on networks wider than what they are used to, and will have to implement measures to safeguard these networks, and ensure that the connection remains stable from the technical side.

Project/QA Management

The project & QA management teams will also have to adapt post IoT adoption so they can come up with new QA and project management methodologies facilitating actionable data outcomes. This may even require tweaking the development environment itself, and finding effective methods of interaction and coordination between the teams.

Support for IoT solutions

People will expect the best support services for IoT solutions. This support will span across various IoT devices, migration, networking, and third party applications. There will also be new technologies in this space. The technical support teams will have to adapt to IoT as well, and prepare in advance.

Big data and analysis

IoT devices and sensors would be generating a lot of data in many forms and of varying nature. This data can be analyzed for deep insights that could help leverage the technology in innovative ways. Not only does it mean that data scientists and analysts have their job cut out for them, it also means software developers will have to take responsibilities when it comes to processing the data and storing them. There would have to be successful coordination between both teams.

Improving skill sets for the future

The field of IoT is constantly evolving. The presence of various trends like machine learning, cloud, artificial intelligence and blockchain means this evolution will only be accelerated, subsequently reimagining IoT in different ways.

That said, this calls for developers to broaden and improve their skill sets, and add a few new tech know-hows to their repertoire.

Conclusion

These are but a few ways how IoT will influence software development in the near future. Nevertheless, the technology is on its way to becoming a megatrend that will trigger radical changes and transformations in almost every IT sector, though there will also be inevitable vulnerabilities. The beginning will be paved with mistakes obviously, but it will only serve as critical data to improve the standards to adopt IoT. For this reason, every IT guy should be prepared for what’s coming.

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