TypeScript vs Node.js: What Are the Differences?

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JavaScript has gained the popularity as the most widespread programming language for working with the client side of applications. Thanks to its abundant technical features and flexible nature, it has won the hearts of many developers. Lots of frontend frameworks like Vue, Angular, etc. exist to ease and enhance the everyday work of JS experts.

Moreover, JavaScript is not only suitable for frontend; its robust functionalities can also boost the server side with effective backend engineering. The two instruments that help developers utilize the backend potential of JavaScript are TypeScript and Node.js. Read on to learn what their differences and main features are.

Overview

TypeScript was created with the aim of expanding the technical abilities of JavaScript. It offers static typing and helps discover the problems with coding prior to their appearance in the runtime environment. Node.js is an open-source development framework implemented for JavaScript execution on the server side. JavaScript developers utilize it to simplify the working processes and reduce expenditures on making highly-functional applications. With this technology, frontend developers do not have to master additional language to perform full stack development. In our article, we will consider the peculiarities of both technologies in more detail.

What Is TypeScript?

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TypeScript is a programming language that adds static typing, compiling and OOP to JavaScript. As a JavaScript’s super set, TypeScript is based on JS, so any TypeScript coding can be transformed into ordinary JavaScript with the help of compiler. Firstly, JavaScript was destined to become a robust development language for client side. Nevertheless, in the course of time, software developers discovered that JavaScript can be used for server side as well.

The language was intensely enhanced with new features, but with the evolution and upgrading it also became obvious that JS turned out to be increasingly complicated and heavy-load. That’s why TypeScript emerged. Unlike JavaScript, it is best suited for large-scale projects with global dispersed teams. It offers a number of valuable benefits that can make the development process more efficient, such as high performance and early bug identification at the compilation stage.

What Is Node.js?

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Node.js is a robust free JavaScript-oriented multi-platform runtime environment. It is a great instrument for the development of online chats, video streaming websites, SPAs and APIs, social media and messaging applications, multiplayer games, Internet of Things, embedded systems, real-time collaborative tools, etc. Thanks to its versatility, asynchronicity and event-driven characteristics, it is often preferred by the developers over other similar options.

Among its other major advantages one can find high speed, scalability and efficient performance. However, it is not perfect for CPU-intensive applications. Nodejs is predicted to become more widespread, as according to the statistics, it has shown a stable increase in popularity over the recent time.

Pros and Cons of TypeScript

Among the most prominent advantages of TypeScript one can find quick and transparent identification of code bugs at early stages of the project. Besides, when the software developers specify types, they stay unaltered and have exclusively definite values. Due to this predictability, TypeScript is considered to be a stable and reliable language. As types always function as they should according to the way they were specified, no unexpected emergencies happen. What is more, the language is extremely easy to read and comprehend, as the developer’s intention in the coding is clearly visible to the fellow teammates. This increased level of transparency is achieved thanks to the static typing and adding annotations.

In TypeScript, it is possible to perform the effective application upgrading, which doesn’t require adjustments in the app functioning. The system can catch errors on its own and notify the users if needed, which speeds up the upgrading. With TypeScript, developers can create well-structured code which is organized in a way that assists project growth. This being said, developers can scale the coding when necessary when the project scope expands beyond the initial needs.

Regarding the most significant disadvantages of TypeScript, software developers usually speak of lengthy code that demands more time and monetary investments, which is not always feasible given the project scope and specific customer requirements. Although TypeScript is often considered to be easy to master for the developers who already possess background knowledge of JavaScript, developers still should devote some time and effort to study it. For small-scale projects, TypeScript may be not the best choice. In that case, it is better to resort to JavaScript. But before judging TypeScript too strictly, firstly one should be aware of constant TypeScript’s evolution, as the language doesn’t stay the same during all these years, but always undergoes transformations to meet the current demands of the modern market and solve the problems that the users may encounter.

All devices that utilize JavaScript can work with TypeScript in a similar way regardless of the platforms and browsers they use. These multi-platform and browser-agnostic nature allows versatile approach as with TypeScript it becomes possible to convert all the code in one go. What is more, TypeScript is supported by an active community of users. With more than 11 million JavaScript developers, the potential number of its adherents is even bigger, while TypeScript is substantially based on JavaScript both syntactically and semantically, making it easy for JavaScript developers to grasp it. Therefore, it is unlikely that businesses that decide to try TypeScript will ever experience lack of the proper technical developers.

Pros and Cons of Node.js

Thanks to Nodejs capacities, developers can create server-side applications with JavaScript. This platform is easy to utilize as it has clear and simple structure, so it’s possible to set it up and start using quickly. Additional advantage is a large number of developers who are eager to constantly contribute to the creation of new Node.js toolkits, databases, etc. in order to improve the instrument. Thanks to event-driven asynchronicity in Node.js, it is possible to handle requests concurrently. Besides, it shares single pieces of coding equally with the server- and client-side. The streaming of large heavy files is also possible with Nodejs. As Nodejs utilizes user-friendly JavaScript language, it is considered to be easy to learn and start working with.

Nevertheless, Node.js has some drawbacks too. Regarding the most noticeable ones, Nodejs developers often mention instability and frequent changes in API. This can lead to multiple issues for developers so they would need additional time to identify and eliminate bugs. Large number of Node.js users can create some problems as well. A plenty of libraries emerged that have not been properly tested before release, and they can cause issues for Node.js software developers in the long run. Another drawback is that Nodejs is not scalable enough. If you decide to use relational databases and Nodejs, you are likely to meet hurdles as well. The association with JavaScript implies the necessity of in-depth expertise in the language, so Node.js is not the best choice for novice developers who have started their careers in the industry.

Nodejs offers the possibility of efficient high-performant development in comparison with such languages as Java, PHP, etc. The main peculiarity of Nodejs in this regard is its speed of development. Another huge benefit of Nodejs is its ability to cache data, i.e. to provide safe data storage on the client’s machine with quick access to it when necessary. It becomes especially beneficial when you own a website that has high traffic, as Node.js makes the work on it notably faster. If there is a possibility to cache the files, servers don’t have to send requests to databases as often as they need these files. As a result, the performance of websites is better as the response time is decreased, which influences customer experience in a positive way.

What is more, the projects that are powered by Node.js are really cost-effective as there is no need to find developers in many languages, the knowledge of JavaScript is sufficient both for frontend and backend development. This approach may be a perfect choice when you want to improve collaborative efforts of the teams on the project and save resources. Besides, thanks to fastness of Node.js, the programs are produced in comparatively quicker period.

Pros-and-Cons-of-TypeScript-vs-Nodejs

Difference between TypeScript and Node.js

When we consider these two options, and have to choose, which one is the best for your enterprise, we should evaluate each of them regarding numerous markers. We have made a table to compare them and make the choice easier for you. First of all, bear in mind that there exist no solution equal for all the companies, and pay attention to the peculiarities of your enterprise. Next, identify the needs of your company and which technology will better meet all the demands you have.

FeatureTypeScriptNode.js
TermA programming language. As a subset of JavaScript, it was initially designed to resolve the problems JavaScript had. It is great for the development of large-scale applications.An open-source, multi-platform, backend JavaScript runtime environment. It can execute JS coding outside browsers and was created to develop highly-scalable applications.
Year of creation20122009
Examples of implementationLarge-scale projects with huge codebase, web pages with interactive and dynamic visuals, web applications, websites, server applications, web servers, games, mobile applications, embedded software, robotics, etc.Backend APIs, eCommerce, crowdfunding, IoT, payment processing, browser games, web applications, websites, data collection programs, mobile apps, real-time applications, social media applications, CRMs, video streaming applications, etc.
Major advantages
  • High speed of development
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Amazing libraries
  • Early bug detection
  • Rich IDE
  • Easy to learn
  • Caching
  • Cross-platform
  • High-performant
  • Full-stack development
Major disadvantages
  • Not bulletproof, can not fix all the issues JavaScript has
  • Not great for small-sized projects
  • Unstable API
  • No strong library support
Companies that use itSlack, Walmart, Accenture, Trello, CircleCINetflix, Reddit, Tumblr, PayPal, AliExpress

Conclusion

Both TypeScript and Node.js are noteworthy modern technologies based on JavaScript. Their nature is essentially different, as the first one is the language, and another one is the runtime environment. When deciding to resort to any one of them, the main thing you should pay attention to is the specifics of your project: for example, Nodejs is proved to be really great for payment processing systems and IoT industry. TypeScript, in its turn, is great for creating web pages abundant with interactive and dynamic imagery.

Besides, TypeScript in combination with Nodejs can show outstanding results. So you can enjoy the benefits of both instruments at the same time. If you have any questions regarding which technology to choose, please don’t hesitate to contact SaM Solutions. Developers at our company would be glad to give valuable advice and help with your projects.

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FAQ

Is TypeScript better than Node.js?

The choice regarding which technology is better for your team depends on the peculiarities of the projects you are working on and your personal preferences. If your priorities are high intuitiveness and safety, then you can rely on TypeScript, as it is user-friendly for anyone who have prior knowledge of JS and it’s easy to find and resolve errors in it. In the case you are interested in powerful libraries, npm and utilizing particularly JavaScript, than Nodejs is your choice.

Is TypeScript frontend or backend?

It is possible to compile TypeScript to JavaScript. It is a subset of JavaScript and basically has a lot of in common with it. Consequently, software developers can use it everywhere JS can be used, regardless of whether it is front- or backend. However, TypeScript hasn’t built a very congenial image as a backend language, but it is mostly popular as a frontend one. There are cases when using TypeScript can save development time – for example, instead of using lengthy Java code for creating applications, developers can write a short and concise TypeScript code and achieve the same aim with it.

Is TypeScript performance better than Node.js?

Node.js and TypeScript both are the instruments that are used for the creation of server-side applications. These technologies help enhance the ability to carry out effective complicated operations that involve several developers and unite their efforts on the project. The tools let the developers perform full stack activities on the basis of JavaScript knowledge they already possess. Nodejs and TypeScript instruments can operate smoothly in combination with one another and can make the app building easier. Nodejs can transpile TypeScript coding into the native JS one that is suitable for server-side applications.

About the author

Maryia Shapel
Maryia Shapel

As a content writer, Maryia strives to create enlightening blog posts and technical articles based on the latest technology trends and established best practices. Her aim is to tell more about SaM Solutions and promote the company’s expertise.

7 Comments

  • My team and I are using TypeScript on our current project. It’s better suited to large-scale projects and helps detect errors earlier.

  • I agree that Node.js is a really great technology. With Node.js, I can build highly performing applications. And I found it easy to learn, and it facilitates fast delivery of the product.

  • It was not difficult to learn TypeScript for me. I had practiced JavaScript for years already, and when I needed to master TypeScript for my new project, it didn’t take much time for me to learn it.

  • I really appreciate the thorough comparison of the technologies in this blog post. I think that in the modern world it is important to keep up with the latest trends in order not to miss the opportunities that the IT industry can offer. So, I think it’s great to utilize both TypeScript and Node.js.

  • Although I do enjoy the benefits of TypeScript, I wouldn’t say it would one day replace JavaScript. As far as I am able to judge, it is certainly not such a bulletproof technology that some people may claim it is. However, I couldn’t negate the advantages it may bring to your development practice.

  • As for the JavaScript frontend developer, for me it was really advantageous to study Node.js as well. Thanks to this technology, I can use my JavaScript expertise to deal with backend tasks on my projects.

  • Thank you for the article. Now I have a better understanding about these two tools. I am interested in both and am thinking about learning them.