NodeJS Backend for your React Native App

Developing and maintaining a server is one of the most challenging tasks that any developer can do. Mobile and web development is one of the most important bases of computer science. The web design market is $20.1 billion in the US alone, whereas the web development market far exceeds this number.

Two of the essential components in modern app development are Node JS and React Native. Similarly, a service known as BaaS is becoming popular nowadays.

Here is a summary of this article:

  • NodeJS | What is? What are the advantages?
  • React Native | What is? What are the advantages?
  • BaaS Backend | What is? What are the advantages?
  • The Best 5 NodeJS Backends for your React Native App

Want to know more? Keep reading:

What is Node JS?

Node JS or Node JavaScript, is one of the most popular environments for developing server-side and networking applications. It is also known as Node.js. It was initially developed by Ryan Dahl in 2009 and has received countless iterations and updates ever since.

Server-side and networking applications are extremely important for countless businesses out there. They considerably improve the functionality of a website more and help provide a platform for applications of any type to take advantage of networking functionality.

All Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, which is also the most popular language in the functional programming world. Node.JS is an open-source, cross-platform environment that is supported on OS X, Microsoft Windows, and all mainstream versions of Linux.

Advantages of Node JS:

We have compiled a list of using Node JS development environment that anyone can take advantage of even right now:

Easy to scale

One of the best advantages of using Node JS is that it gives its users a lot of scalability. Whether you are a small-time developer or working in a company with a dozen other people that have to develop an application for millions of users, Node JS has your back. You can easily scale your applications with minimal effort through Node JS’s dynamic management. 

More effective for learning

Node JS is written in JavaScript, which is the most popular programming language globally, making it easy to learn. When you start learning Node JS, you will notice how easy it is to create objects and applications. Because JavaScript offers a dynamic update of content and does pretty much anything you will ever need on an interactive website, Node.js is even more worth learning. You will find countless tutorials on YouTube on basically anything too. 

Amazing Performance

Node.js interprets JavaScript code through Google’s V8 JavaScript engine that directly compiles JavaScript code into machine code. For all non-CS students out there, this means that the application made is considerably faster and consumes fewer resources to run. Any company would be willing to spend countless resources to make an efficient website that works as intended. 

Large & Active Community

Node JS has, by far, one of the most active communities of any development environment we have seen. Their massive community is not only active but are always willing to help. If you run into any issues, the chances are that someone on Stack Exchange will already have provided a solution for that.

What is React Native?

Just like Node JS, React Native it is written on JavaScript. However, where Node JS is a complete environment, React Native is a cross-platform framework. React Native is based on Facebook’s React project, and the company intends to pursue this framework further.

It plays a significant part in developing applications for many popular operating systems like Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Windows, and Universal Windows Platform.

Advantages of React Native:

Here are some of the biggest advantages of using the React Native framework that you should know about:

Improves delivery time

One of the biggest struggles as an application developer is making deadlines meet. Applications that use React Native’s hybrid application support are easier to develop and faster to deploy.

A hybrid application can reuse much of the web application code, making it even easier to develop Android and iOS applications for web versions of such applications. 

Helps save precious resources

React Native can help save precious resources by using a cross-platform framework. It means that if you develop the application for one platform, the same code can be used for developing the application on another platform.

Better code reusability

Exactly what we said earlier, because of the cross-platform development, React Native offers some of the best code reusability.

  • Apart from platform-exclusive functions, everything can be reused to React Native. 
  • In fact, even an iOS-only developer would be able to develop an application for Android with minimal help & changes. 

This also means that if a developer wants to update or change the code, it won’t be difficult to do so, as the same changes can be pushed to every platform. 

Provide a native experience

Many people despise hybrid applications because they think that they are nothing more than websites taking space. This is also partially true because many hybrid applications work the same way as websites: not using the capabilities of the platform they are on. React Native provides a much more fluid and native experience. 

This is especially more important since both iOS and Android are focusing most of their efforts on User Interface and User Experience. 

What is a Backend as a Service?

Backend as a Service or BaaS is a service that allows businesses to save a considerable amount of time to develop an application by handling the backend themselves. The development of an application is usually broken down into two parts: frontend and backend. 

  • The frontend is the part of the application that the user sees: the user interface.
  • Backend is everything that is being done behind the scenes. 

Some of the examples of what includes in a backend are running servers, maintaining and filling databases, fixing security, providing cloud and various other functions such as push notifications, and so on. 

Advantages of Backend as a Service:

Here are some of the advantages of Backend as a Service (BaaS):

Save considerable time

One of the biggest advantages of BaaS for developers is that BaaS provides considerable time savings. This is because BaaS provides all of the backend development themselves. 

Backend development is an integral part of a program and it won’t function without it. By using pre-made backend code using APIs or just handing it off completely to a service, developers will save a considerable amount of time. 

Helps developer focus on UI/UX

Another great advantage of Backend as a Service is that it helps the developer focus more on the User Interface and the User Experience of the application. Because experience is the trend right now, focusing more on the program’s user experience helps developers create powerful applications that can get them hundreds of thousands of downloads.

Scales easily

Backend as a Service (BaaS) scales easily depending on the scope of the application that it builds. Because it automates the process of running servers and databases, developers don’t need to spend countless hours optimizing the servers and increasing/decreasing the size of databases to match the different size of their application. 

Best NodeJS Backends for a React Native App

Now that you know what React Native, Node JS and Backend as a Service (BaaS) are, we have compiled a list of the best backends for Node.js that you should know about:

Back4App

Renowned as one of the most popular platforms for developing applications effectively, Back4App is an open-source solution for developers to develop their applications. Through the use of relational queries and GraphQL APIs, Back4App easily makes the list as one of the most effective platforms for handling backends.

Firebase

Firebase is developed and maintained by Google, but unlike its various other projects, this one is getting a lot of love and updates. Firebase provides real-time database and support for both analytics and hosting, making it one of the most powerful tools for any developer. 

Backendless

Just like the name suggests, Backendless intends to remove the overhead stress of backend for the developer. Backendless is powerful in its own right, giving the developers a virtual development environment, several APIs and a UI builder to effectively make any application run with ease. 

Kinvey

Kinvey may be the last backend on this list, but it may be one of the most versatile. Kinvey is used by many games and applications that require microservices. It may also be very expensive, depending on the business model.

Conclusion

We hope that this article was able to help shed light on everything you needed to know about both Node.js, React Native and Backend as a Service (BaaS). Many people frown away from web development because they think it is tough.

 By combining the knowledge from all these three platforms, it should be easy enough for any developer to develop an effective web application in mere days. If you have any queries, do let us know. We will try our best to help you. 

FAQ

What is NodeJS?

Node JS or Node JavaScript, is one of the most popular environments for developing server-side and networking applications.

What is React Native?

It’s a cross-platform framework based on Facebook’s React project, and the company intends to pursue this framework further.

What is a BaaS backend?

Backend as a Service or BaaS is a service that allows businesses to save a considerable amount of time to develop an application by handling the backend themselves.

What are the best Node backends for your React Native app?

– Back4app
– Firebase
– Backendless
– Kinvey


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