Asynchronous vs Synchronous Programming in Node.js Explained

Asynchronous vs Synchronous Programming in Node.js Explained

Tasks are accomplished one at a time in synchronous operations, and only after one is completed is the next unblocked. To put it another way, you must wait for one task to complete before moving on to the next.

On the other hand, asynchronous operations allow you to switch to a new task before the previous one completes. As a result, asynchronous programming allows you to handle several requests at the same time, allowing you to do more jobs in a shorter amount of time.

Introduction to Node js

It is an open-source organization and it provides a runtime environment for running JavaScript code beyond your browser. It is not a framework neither it is a programming language. It is mostly used in the backend for building  API services, accessing databases, etc. The Node js runtime is based on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node js is a lightweight and scalable network-driven app framework built on an asynchronous event-driven JavaScript runtime. The development of Node js applications can be readily scaled in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Both client-side and server-side apps are built with Node js. It has an open-source JavaScript runtime environment/model that allows single modules to be cached.

Node js helps developers build large complex applications with ease by using microservices. It can handle thousands of requests coming to the server without slowing down the system. Using microservices in Node js, one can easily scale a large-scale system and can divide it into different chunks for feature updates. It helps add independent features to the application without changing other services.

Features of Node:

  • Easy to learn as it uses JavaScript
  • Used for agile development and prototyping
  • Provides fast and scalable services
  • Asynchronous nature
  • Uses “Single-threaded-event-loop” architecture

When Should Asynchronous Programming Be Used?

As I mentioned at the outset, asynchronous execution isn’t the ideal option for every use case. Only utilize it if you’re dealing with self-contained tasks. So, while building a system, the first step is to identify process dependencies and determine which activities may be run independently and which must be executed as a result of other processes.

As a result, while dealing with independent activities, you can use parallel computing and asynchronous programming to complete them much faster than synchronous execution because they are conducted at the same time. As a result, precious resources are released early, and your system is ready to run additional processes that have been queued.

It is largely used by developers in the backend of an application. Due to its non-blocking I/O and asynchronous nature, it has become the primary language used on the server side. Tech giants like Netflix, PayPal, Linkedin, and Uber use it for building API and servers. 

Asynchronous Capabilities

Timers: Timers are used to do normal operations such as sending emails on a daily basis, such as a digest, as well as long and heavy processing jobs. If you wish to prepare data for usage after publishing an app, you may use timers to perform bootstrap logic. They’re also recommended for processing big amounts of data that take a long time to process (20-30min).

Business Process Technology (BPT): This feature allows you to define and execute business processes using OutSystems apps. System-to-systems and human-to-systems interactions are performed by BPT. It can also do numerous tasks per process and supports business workflows. These actions can be automated or performed by humans.

Light Processes: Light processes are triggered by external events. They can be thought of as “triggers.” Light operations, such as event brokers that require scalable database queuing, are designed to handle thousands of events per day. They only support one activity inside each process, and it must be an automatic activity, as opposed to BPT.

Important Points to Remember

I hope this post answers any queries you might have regarding when to utilize asynchronous versus synchronous programming. To summarise, the following are the most important points:

Use asynchronous techniques that are better appropriate for the end result.

Scale the number of front-end servers and configurations to meet your requirements. Keep in mind that as your database grows to millions of records, you’ll require more front-end servers to meet your demands.

Avoid hard-coded numbers or site attributes by designing with flexibility in mind. Consider the case where you employ hard-coded values for bucket control; if your claims validation process slows down for reasons you’re not aware of, you’ll experience timeouts. You’re now in an even worse condition because you need to publish the modifications rather than go into the backend to make the adjustments.

Keep your system and architecture as simple as feasible.


This was the difference between synchronous and asynchronous in Node js. If you have any queries, do drop a text in the comment section. If you want to learn Node js, check out Codedamn courses and the developer section if you like reading articles. Do join our community at Codedamn!

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