What’s the Difference Between Node.js and AngularJS and Why Should You Learn Them?

Since the internet and mobile usage keeps rising, there is a corresponding increase in the demand for more applications. This higher demand has, in turn, spawned a host of tools and resources dedicated to web application development.

And while it’s always great to have choices, the sheer volume is daunting. Which one of the many frameworks, utilities, and platforms is best for you?

We’re here to help you make those tough choices. Specifically, we are focusing on the Node.js and AngularJS frameworks—describing them, comparing them, and making it easier for you to choose. Once you’re done, you will better grasp the difference between AngularJS and Node.js and better understand when to use them.

Now before we look into the Node.js vs AngularJS differences, let us first understand Node.js and its advantages.

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What is Node.js? What Are Its Advantages?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment, library, and development framework used to create server-side and networking JavaScript applications. It also provides developers with a vast library of JavaScript modules that simplify coding.

Node.js offers developers the following benefits:

  • It’s open-source
  • It’s scalable. Developers can use it either for horizontal scaling or vertical scaling
  • It supports out of the box unit testing. Developers can use any JavaScript unit testing framework to test their Node.js code
  • It features built-in application programming interfaces (API) that helps developers create different types of servers
  • It is a high-performance tool, thanks to incorporating non-blocking I/O operations. It employs the JavaScript V8 engine to execute code, increasing its speed
  • It supports scripting languages like Ruby, CoffeeScript, and TypeScript
  • It enables rapid development suitable for applications that require frequent changes

To strengthen our learning on Node.js vs AngularJS, let us next understand what is AngularJS and its advantages.

What is AngularJS? What Are Its Advantages?

AngularJS is an open-source structural framework developed and maintained by Google. It lets developers use HTML as a template language, and is used to create dynamic, single-page client-side web applications.

AngularJS gives developers the following advantages:

  • It’s open-source
  • It’s easy to use, thanks to decoupling Document Object Models (DOM) manipulation from application logic
  • It provides built-in features like filters, directives, and automatic data binding
  • It provides a smooth, dynamic Model View Control Architecture, making it easier for developers to create client-side web applications
  • It uses the Plain Old JavaScript Objects (POJO) data model, producing spontaneous and clean code, ideal for interactive, user-friendly web-based apps
  • It supports object-oriented, functional, and event-driven programming paradigms
  • It makes unit testing easy, thanks to its built-in test runner (Karma)

Now that we have understood what Node.js and AngularJS is, let us next look into the Node.js vs AngularJS differences.

What Are the Differences Between Node.js and AngularJS?

As you can see by the benefits listed above, both tools have a lot going for them. However, it may serve us better to line up both offerings in a side by side comparison to best illustrate their primary differences. We present to you the following chart:

 

AngularJS

Node.JS

Core Architecture

Developed by Google as a framework for web application development, written entirely in JavaScript, and following JavaScript syntax rules.

Developed as a cross-platform runtime environment based on Google's V8 JavaScript engine, and written in several programming languages, specifically JavaScript, C, and C++.

Web Framework

AngularJS is a web framework. The framework automates everyday development tasks, freeing up the developers to perform other tasks.

Node.js is not a web framework, but programmers have their choice of several different Node.js-based frameworks, including Socket.io, Hapi.js, Meteor.js, Express.js, and Sails.js.

Programming Language and Paradigm Support

AngularJS supports CoffeeScript, TypeScript, and Dart.

It supports object-oriented, functional, and event-driven programming paradigms.

Node.js supports Ruby, CoffeeScript, and TypeScript.

It supports object-oriented, functional, event-driven, concurrency-oriented, and sub/pub programming paradigms.

Installation

Programmers and developers need not install AngularJS on their systems. Instead, they need only embed AngularJS files in the code base, like any other JavaScript file.

While developers can write Node.js applications in JavaScript, those applications need a runtime environment such as Windows, Linux, or macOS. Developers must therefore install Node.js on their system while creating the development environment.

Usage Cases

Best for creating highly active and interactive web applications. Ideal for client-side and single-page web applications.

Best for developing smaller projects. Suitable for building fast, scalable, server-side, and networking applications. Suitable for video streaming sites and I/O intensive web apps.

Definition

AngularJS is a client-side framework.

Node.js is a cross-platform runtime environment.

Data Interaction

AngularJS supports two-way data binding but cannot support database query writing features.

Node.js allows JavaScript-generated database queries.

Important Features

  • Supports MVC architectural pattern
  • Use HTML as a template language
  • Offers data binding, scope, directives, filters, templates, routing, deep linking, and dependency injection
  • Supports MVC architectural pattern
  • Employs API and single-threaded event mechanism (web requests are processed and run on the same thread)
  • Web applications can deliver data without buffering.

Node.js vs. AngularJS: Which is Better?

As you can tell by their features, both Node.js and AngularJS have a lot to offer developers and programmers. But since both tools have so many advantages, developers and programmers may wonder which is the better choice.

Although this may sound like a cop-out, there is no definitive answer. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. You may as well ask, “Which screwdriver is best? A flat-head or a philips-head?” Any competent carpenter or handyperson would reply, “Depends on what kind of screws you’re working with.”

The same principle applies to these tools. Your definition of the best tool depends on the kind of application or web page that you want to design. Are you building a client-side, highly active, and interactive web application? If so, you should use AngularJS. Do you want to develop a data-intensive, real-time, server-side application meant to run across distributed devices? Then you need Node.js.

Therefore, developers should first decide what kind of application project they are working on, then make the appropriate choice.

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Why Should You Learn Either One?

There’s no such thing as learning too many things, the easy answer to that question is, “Learn both!” Practically speaking, however, you may be in a situation that requires you to choose one tool over the other. So, under which conditions should you learn AngularJS or Node.js?

  • AngularJS

    If you’re developing web applications meant for frequent interaction with users, then you should learn AngularJS. Also, if you’re not a fan of coding, you’ll find this too much to your liking. AngularJS is well-suited for the less technically inclined. If you’re designing web pages and you want them to really pop, learn AngularJS
  • Node.js

    For starters, Node.js is extremely popular, used by large organizations such as LinkedIn, Netflix, PayPal, and Uber. This popularity also means that it’s well-supported by the online community. If your projects involve elements such as the Internet of Things (IoT), real-time chats, real-time collaboration, or heavy streaming, you want to learn Node.js.

However, irrespective of the differences between Node.js and AngularJS, if you get the chance to learn them both, then take it!

And after we've looked into the Node.js vs AngularJS, since we’re talking about learning more:

Do You Want to Increase Your App Development Knowledge?

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Considering how widespread Java use is, you should take the Java certification training course. This all-in-one training course gives you a firm foundation in Java, the most used programming language in software development. You will learn about Core Java 8, operators, arrays, loops, methods, and constructors while you gain hands-on experience in JDBC and JUnit framework.

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Now You Can Be an App Developer!

Today’s digital world needs more apps than ever, and that means the industry needs more application developers and designers. Simplilearn has the resources you need to jump-start your new career as a developer, whether you decide to focus on AngularJS or Node.js.

The AngularJS certification training course helps you understand single-page application design and how Angular facilitates their development. The course provides training in concepts such as TypeScript, Bootstrap Grid System, dependency injections, SPA, forms, pipes, promises, observables, and Angular class testing.

If Node.js is more to your liking, there’s Simplilearn’s Node.js certification training course.  The course trains you in Express.js, Node Packet Manager (NPM), shrink-wrap, NPM Vet, REST, Express.js with MongoDB, and SQLite CRUD operations. The training not only focuses on the essential concepts of Node.js but also provides hands-on experience in building an HTTP server.

According to Glassdoor, applications developers can earn an annual average of USD 70,613, and software developers can make an average of USD 76,526 a year, with a maximum pay in the range of USD 107,000.

So, if you want an exciting career that combines staying power and great compensation, then let Simplilearn help you take those first steps to a better future!

About the Author

John TerraJohn Terra

John Terra lives in Nashua, New Hampshire and has been writing freelance since 1986. Besides his volume of work in the gaming industry, he has written articles for Inc.Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well as software reviews for ZDNet. More recently, he has done extensive work as a professional blogger. His hobbies include running, gaming, and consuming craft beers. His refrigerator is Wi-Fi compliant.

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