Progress, Modulus and the Node.js Opportunity

Progress, Modulus and the Node.js Opportunity

June 09, 2014 0 Comments

Lately there has been a lot of buzz -- more than just buzz, really. The topic has been Node.js. And when companies as well known as Uber, Walmart, Groupon, and PayPal have been putting many of their “eggs” in this new basket called Node.js, it’s time to pay attention.

Node.js can do a lot of things, including making application development much easier. However, its most significant characteristic may be that while it is written in familiar JavaScript, the favorite language of the Web front-end, with Node.js you can now easily run JavaScript on the server – creating highly scalable network applications. This means that millions of developers who know JavaScript no longer need to learn a new language in order to create solutions for servers, and by extension, for enterprise functions.

How does this work? Web-serving techniques have traditionally required that each connection create a new thread. This process takes up system RAM and eventually gobbles up remaining resources. By contrast, Node.js can act as a single-thread, using non-blocking I/O calls, so that it can handle thousands of concurrent connections, without running up against RAM limitations or the complexity of context-switching between threads.

The single-thread approach makes Node.js ideal for highly concurrent applications. It also makes development easier because developers don't have to worry about handling multiple threads in their application. Node.js takes an event-driven focus on the server-side and pushes data to clients only when appropriate, making it hugely scalable!

Naturally, Progress sees Node.js as a powerful option for existing and future customers – the people that are experts at delivering rich and rugged functionality to enterprises around the globe. And that thinking has driven an important business decision for us. Modulus, the Node.js PaaS vendor that Progress has just acquired, is already a trusted name for members of the Node.js community – and its enterprise-oriented technologies make it an ideal entry point for other experienced developers interested in leveraging Node.js.

At Progress, where we have always focused on helping IT professionals move ahead – to do more and be more productive – we see Modulus and Node.js as complementary to many of the things we already do and already provide. In particular, Modulus is a natural fit with Progress Pacific and Progress OpenEdge. It will enable us to expand Pacific to become both a productivity and a control platform. In short, Modulus provides a fresh way to address application challenges – one that can be helpful for any organization that needs to do more and more with less and less...

On a more personal level, having spent much of my career working in open communities (Java, J2EE, Glassfish, Red Hat, MySQL, PostgreSQL), I am very happy to have Progress make investments in the Node.js community. Open source is not just about free software, but is a mechanism by which the smartest people across the planet can collaborate and innovate and that is clearly demonstrated in the growing Node.js community.

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Karen Tegan Padir

Karen Tegan Padir is the president of the Application Development and Deployment Business Unit at Progress, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Phil Pead. Padir, a 20-year software industry veteran, is responsible for the strategy and growth of Progress application development assets including Telerik, Modulus, Rollbase and the Pacific Platform.

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