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January 18, 2024

AngularJS vs. Node.js: Understanding the Key Differences

AngularJS

While AngularJS and Node.js are both open source JavaScript tools used in web development to build applications, they are not interchangeable. AngularJS is used in developing client-side web applications, while Node.js is used to develop server-side applications. 

In this blog comparing AngularJS vs. Node.js, we'll cover the basics of how each technology works, including key differences in terms of features, common enterprise use cases, and what to think about before deploying separately or together. 

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What Is AngularJS?

AngularJS is an open source JavaScript framework used for developing client-side web applications with rich user interfaces. It is mainly used for single page applications and follows a Model-View-Controller architecture that enables developers to easily create frontend and data-driven models. AngularJS allows developers to easily integrate with HTML to create interactive and responsive web applications compatible with a wide variety of browsers.

However, AngularJS reached end-of-life on December 31, 2021, so it is no longer supported by the community and there will be no further updates or releases.

Explore EOL AngularJS long-term support (LTS) solutions >>

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What Is Node.js?

Node.js is an open source runtime environment for running JavaScript applications on multiple platforms. It is lightweight and fast, with an efficient event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that is useful for developing real-time applications. Node.js also provides a rich library of different JavaScript modules that simplifies web app development.

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AngularJS vs. Node.js: Key Differences 

The main difference between AngularJS vs. Node.js is that AngularJS is a front-end JavaScript framework and Node.js is a server-side JavaScript runtime. In this section, we’ll look at how their features differ across several key areas. 

Architecture

Entirely built in JavaScript and following JavaScript syntax rules, AngularJS was created as a framework for web application development. It can extend HTML syntax for describing the components and elements of the application, and simplifies app development with a declarative approach. AngularJS uses HTML as a template language to streamline the development process.

Node.js was developed as a cross-platform runtime environment built on top of Google's V8 JavaScript engine and written in JavaScript, C, and C++ programming languages. It supports non-blocking I/O API and event-driven architectures. Node.js is also a good fit for microservices-based implementations, where multiple, independent microservices integrate with each other to build a complex application.

Installation

Developers don’t need to install AngularJS on their systems; they only need to embed AngularJS files in the codebase just like any other JavaScript file.

Developers need to install Node.js in their system first while creating the development environment.

Data Handling

AngularJS supports Model-View-Whatever (MVW) architecture and two-way data binding, which keeps the data between visual components and web application synchronized. It does not support writing database queries. Instead, it provides built-in data structures, such as arrays and objects, to manipulate data efficiently. It also supports features like filters and directives to easily work with structured data.

Node.js can write database queries in JavaScript. This helps in developing database queries for all non-relational databases. Node.js inherits JavaScript's data structures and depends on external libraries/frameworks to handle complex data structures effectively.

Programming Language and Paradigms

AngularJS supports JavaScript, CoffeeScript, TypeScript and Dart programming languages, and functional, object-oriented and event-driven programming paradigms.

Node.js supports JavaScript, Ruby, CoffeeScript and TypeScript programming languages, and functional, object-oriented, event-driven, concurrency-oriented, and sub/pub programming paradigms.

Other Notable Features

AngularJS utilizes HTML as a template language and can express different components of a web application by extending the HTML syntax. It makes the development of single-page and dynamic web applications more straightforward through features like scope, directives, data binding, dependency injection, filters, routing and templates.

Node.js is loaded with features perfect for building networking and server-side applications. It simplifies the development process of video streaming applications and I/O intensive web applications. Additionally, Node.js provides single-threaded event mechanism and asynchronous APIs to improve the code execution speed.

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AngularJS Use Cases

AngularJS is not recommended anymore because it is end-of-life and the community no longer provides updates or patches for vulnerabilities (such as CVE 2022-25844). Those who are still running AngularJS should migrate as soon as possible to a different open source framework

Prior to AngularJS EOL, it was frequently used by JavaScript developers to build client-side and single page web applications. Because it is optimal in environments that require rich user interfaces, dynamic content, and real-time updates, AngularJS was popular for developing interactive applications such as chat engines and dashboards.

Read more about AngularJS vulnerabilities >>

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Node.js Use Cases

Node.js is used for developing scalable, fast server-side applications. Node.js is more suitable in server-side development, building lightweight and fast APIs and working with real-time applications. Node.js is also ideal for developing applications that require real-time editing and data manipulation.

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AngularJS vs. Node.js Deployment Considerations

Working with AngularJS is much easier than Node.js. AngularJS simplifies all the tasks and work required to showcase data on the front-end part of a web application. In contrast, working with Node.js on the back-end part requires expertise in programming logic and knowledge of complex integrations with databases and other components.

However, as we have mentioned a number of times, AngularJS is EOL and it is never a good idea to have EOL software in your stack for security and compliance reasons. At this point in time, it makes more sense to deploy one of the many AngularJS alternatives.

Video: Risks of Ignoring EOL Software

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How to Use AngularJS and Node.js Together

AngularJS is associated with the front-end part of the web application, while Node.js is associated with the back-end part of the application. Both technologies work together in the development of complete web applications following client-server architecture.

 

 

 

Additional Resources

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