Moving into the JavaScript world…

I’ve been doing web development for a long time now, and I’ve spent the vast majority of that time writing PHP – using it for everything from for simple web sites to large distributed data processing systems. I have, of course, used JavaScript (mainly JQuery) to add UI flare, sprinklings of AJAX, and the like, but up until recently it had only been playing a supporting role.

All that has started to change. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself spending more and more time writing JavaScript. In part because GMG Radio (where I am development manager) has a new CMS with an Ext JS-based interface, but it’s the other places that it is now cropping up that are really interesting.

We needed to build an API that could receive and distribute JSON-based data, with a range of ongoing processes that would manipulate and maintain it. As it is now really starting to turn into a mature platform, Node.JS was not only put forward as an option, it turned out to be our best option and the one that we ran with. By its very design, Node.JS was perfect for this kind of project.

On top of that, we chose CouchDb as our data storage layer, mostly down to its almost limitless flexibility and excellent performance. That means, for an entirely server side¬†project, we’ve been able to run with one language for our API, our data management tools, and our data access (CouchDb views). To top it off, all of the reporting will be done via our JavaScript based CMS platform!

I’m looking forward to seeing where this uprising of JavaScript on the server will go.

If you’re a freelance JavaScript developer, and working on these kind of projects sounds interesting to you, get in touch with me as we’ll have an awful lot of work to share over the course of the year.