In the fair amount of decisions to make for the new Simpleview CMS product, one of the first and most important choices we made was the runtime environment. The runtime environment sets the denomination of all code for the life of the product. In the past decade, amazing trends have emerged and just as amazingly died on the vine. Some trends introduce great and radical lingual and structural differences, with radically challenging ramp-up times and limited resources. Some trends aren't radical enough, carrying legacy issues into this forward and distant commitment.

And then there is Node.js, offering the truly radical idea of empowering the skills, knowledge and talent that is already a universal industry success.... and literally sitting in front of you, probably pondering lunch.

What is Node.js

Node.js is an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run within the Node.js runtime on OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, NonStop, IBM AIX, IBM System z and IBM. Node.js has a very high buzz-factor; and as industry trends go, this is a hot one. However, with a closer investigation, this trend begins to look more like a conjunction of existing industry successes.

Universal Language

The core language of Node.js is JavaScript, and the reason this matters is that JavaScript / CSS / HTML are the three universal languages on the internet. Some sites use php, some use rails, some use ColdFusion, some use node, but every site uses JavaScript. While the ubiquity of JavaScript is central to Node's creation and success, another attractive fact is that it is built on the Google V8 JavaScript engine. The root-level engine that powers Node websites is the same engine that powers Google Chrome. Nearly every Node release incorporates the latest version of Google V8, so as Chrome gets better, so does Node.

Universal Talent Pool

Node was created with that idea of leveraging technologies that already exist and talent that's already trained. JavaScript appeared over 20 years ago, which means that today all web developers are quick candidates. Node.js not only empowers talent acquisition, but also contribution. Our environment can now be the client-developer's playground. While we maintain the powerful core, our client-developers can join in creating powerful tools and applications using the JavaScript language.

Universal Support

Node.js also hooks into one of the most powerful dev communities currently existing. Its work is hosted and supported by the Node.js Foundation, a Collaborative Project at Linux Foundation. There are tools and libraries maintained by professionals all over the globe for nearly any problem. The system comes packaged with a tool called Node Package Manager (npm) which was designed to solve the fundamental problem of dependency which plagues other languages.

Beyond a Trend 

Simpleview makes a commitment to forward thinking technologies as a means to deliver the best possible products to our customers. Node.js is a tool for achieving this commitment. Node.js presents itself as a universally attractive technology because it capitalizes on existing industry successes. Previously-trending platforms are experiencing a decline after a few short years because they lack universal integration or require proprietary languages and libraries.

Node.js is based in one of the most universal programming languages available. It offers higher performance and a growing foundational support community. Combine these with its gaining adoption by industry mega-leaders such as IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Wal-Mart, Groupon, SAP, LinkedIn, PayPal, and GoDaddy, and it becomes apparent that Node.js should and will outlive the "trend factor."