Vital Node.js 8 Features for Developing Scalable Network Application


For all those of you who had been anxiously waiting for the launch of the Node.js 8, there is some good news! Yes, you guessed it right! Node.js 8 has been on the 30th of May, 2017. Although, the launch has been delayed by one month, but the exciting and unique features will definitely take you by surprise. Wait! It’s not over yet. If you are a network application developer, then you get ample opportunities and have also come up with various other improvements.

Come October i.e. within a span of just four months the Node.js 8 will be armed with the Long Term Support with its codename ‘Carbon’. This LTS shall be maintained for a couple of years until 31st December 2019.

Now you must be pondering as to what the Node.js 8 has in cards to offer? Well, to commence with, it has Node.js API, which will not only assist for the developers but even for the async_hooks, zero filling buffers, WHATWG URL parser, JS Binding for inspector and so on.

After a brief introduction about the Node.js 8, it is time to throw some valuable light on its most essential features and emphasize on it:

1. Info on the All Important Async Hooks API

The Async Hooks earlier regarded as the AsyncWrap, is indeed one of the most distinguished features of the Node.js 8. With the help of API you can get an updated info on life of handle objects by structural tracing. In addition to that the node.js developer can control the Node.js event loop function. Some of its other features include:

  • You don’t need third party library to implement readable control flow which was in the case of co.
  • It can solve the purpose of continuation-local-storage npm package, in the hub.

2. The Advantage of Having N-API

One of the biggest advantages of having the N-API is that it can be used for the development of native add-ons. It is one of that features that remains free from underlying JavaScript and separates add-ons from changes in the underlying JavaScript engine. This allows the native add-ons to run on different Node.Js versions minus recompilation.   Besides that the Application Binary Interface (ABI) also remains stable in various Node.js versions. The add-ons will be able to function against Microsoft’s Chakra-Core with the help of API.

3. Node.Js 8 is enabled with npm 5

Another asset which provides distinctiveness to the Node.Js 8 is the presence of npm 5. Since the default now option saves it, therefore the users can use it without any hindrance whatsoever. The other point to note is that if there is no npm-shrinkwrap.json, the package-lock.json automatically gets developed. One of the benefits that you get is that you don’t have to search for the network, in case there is no internet connectivity or it gets lost. Apart from that, npm 5 will install the latest registry which you have chosen. For instance, if you have selected registry B, npm 5 installs that package and not some other one.

4. Enhancement in the Buffer Security

There are two numbers, the first the zero filling Buffer and the second is a new Buffer. Both are added by default. However, earlier, the memory space was not initialized with zero because of which one had to face security issues as the Buffer instance had sensitive information.

The upgrading of the new version has enabled people to secure their privacy. However, it is advisable for the Node.js 8 users to first be aware of the risks factor involved in function and only then use to avoid the leakage of secured information. Though, there is an also a problem that you have to take performance hits. But it is better to move on to buffer.allocUnsafe ().

5. TurboFan and Ignition- A Major Change

There is no denial to the fact that the introduction of the TurboFan and Ignition has been one of the significant changes in the latest version of Node.js 8. The combo of the TurboFan pipeline and Ignition has been the process of development for approximately close to 3.5 years. It is vital to know that while the TurboFan acts as an optimizing compiler, the Ignition is known for V8 interpreter. One of the pros of the TurboFan is that uses less memory and provides quicker start-up in Node.js developed apps.

Read also: Benefits Of Node.js And Why Startups Are Switching to It? (Infographic)

Moreover, it has also solved the issue related to the FullCode Generator and the Crankshaft bringing in a lot of improvements. And with the help of this arsenal you can easily optimize the JavaScript language for several years. It has also resolved many technical aspects which wasn’t possible earlier. But one of the drawbacks is that you have to implement the language in various parts of pipeline for which much development is required.

6. Implementation of the WHATWG URL

The version 8.0 of the Node.js offers implementation of the WHATWG URL and as such been added for non experimental API complete support in Node.js. It is interesting to note that it was added in the Node.js 7 on experimental basis in the previous year. One of the advantages available is that it matches with the URL implementation and API, accessible in the popular web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari etc.  The code can be shared across different environment using the URLs.

7. Changes Brought in Console

Earlier because of the errors while trying to write the console output to the underlying stream, the Node.js app would collapse. But all thanks to the latest Node.js 8.0 version, this major problem has been sorted out to a great extent as the errors have been rectified by repressing the issue events with the help of console process. Thus, it secures API.

8. Pending Depreciations

The Pending Depreciations is one of the handy features which help the Buffer num users to easily understand an app when developing time and testing in the CI environment. The Node.js can send depreciations and warnings when the Buffer num is used.

Please keep in mind not to make use of Buffer() and new Buffer() constructors for security reasons. Instead the new Buffer.alloc(), Buffer.allocUnsafe(), or Buffer.from() are recommended.

Read also: Node.js Brings Revolution in App Development

9. Debugging in the Variations

Node.js 8 offers the facility of debugging in the variations with command line debugger. The node-inspect has been added to the new version for substituting the command line. The V8 debugger inspector has been upgraded to support the feature.


We have just gone through the most vital features of the Node.js 8.0 version which will assist in fulfilling various requirements. It offers advanced and upgraded platform and most of the prior shortcomings have been removed. It has helped to enhance the performance. Node.js is proud to associate with world renowned companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Netflix, LinkedIn etc as its esteemed clients. Lastly, it can be said that it has a prospering future.

Written by Mehul Rajput

Mehul Rajput is the CEO & Director of MindInventory. With a visionary mindset, he harnesses his techno-commercial skills and extensive industry experience to empower cross-functional teams. Under his exceptional leadership, the team consistently delivers cutting-edge digital solutions that not only meet but exceed the expectations of global clients. His commitment to operational excellence has positioned the company as a leader in the field of Digital Transformation, driving innovation and success in every endeavor.