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Building a Web Server with Node.js

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Introducing Node.js

Most people have heard that node.js allows you to run JavaScript outside of the browser, and even allow you to write a web server in JavaScript. But why? Why not stick to the server-side techniques that we know? This module explains the what and the why of node.js. You'll see that even for a PHP or an ASP.NET developer, node.js will become an indispensable tool.

  • Why Node.js?
  • Event-driven and non-blocking execution environment
  • Understanding and using asynchronous control flows


Just as famous and useful as node is npm, the Node Package Manager. Npm manages your libraries and metadata of your application.

  • Importing and exporting CommonJS Modules
  • Installing external modules with the Node Package Manager

Creating a basic HTTP server

In this module you'll build your first HTTP server with node.js. You'll also learn why just having node is not enough.

  • Hello World
  • Understanding HTTP/1.1
  • Middleware

Connect Middleware

There are a lot of little things that need to happen with every incoming request: check some cookie, do some logging, authenticate, set up a session, ... With connect you can build a pipe of middleware components that each have their own responsibility without interfering with the rest of your code.

  • The need for middleware
  • Creating middleware components
  • Connect’s middleware components

Creating web applications in node.js using Express

Express goes further than Connect, and next to providing middleware, it sets up an MVC-based mechanism. This includes routing and working with view engines. In this module, you'll use Express primarily in a server-centric approach to create views.

  • Setting up a project with Express
  • Routing
  • Using a View Engine

Creating Services with Node.js

When adopting a more client-centric approach, Express also has us covered. You can use Express to set up a REST service that you can consume from your client.

  • Rest services
  • Building a Service with Express

Real-time communication with

REST is great for pull-scenarios, where your client knows when to fetch data. But what if your server wants to tell the client something? Then we can use WebSockets. This module covers which is both a server and client-side API to do real-time communication.

  • Web Sockets
  • Introduction
  • Namespaces
  • Broadcasting

With Node.js the power and flexibility of JavaScript comes to the server side. JavaScript turns out to be the best language for scablable, IO-focused server tasks. This allows us to go beyond what's possible with classical thread-based IO we know from other server-side technologies. By using JavaScript both server and client-side, we only have to know one language and libraries are easy to re-use.

Participants of this course need to have a solid understanding of JavaScript and Web Development.

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