This blog post intends to describe similarities and differences between ASP.NET Core (.NET 5+) and NodeJS for server-side web application functionality. I do not specifically intend to discuss technologies such as TypeScript and Deno, which likely address some of these concerns. I also didn’t mention some elements where I consider the technologies to be basically equivalent or where I have no information. This blog post contains my current perspectives based on extremely limited knowledge and experience. I am not an expert in .NET or ASP.NET and I know almost nothing about NodeJS. Hopefully, this post provides the start of a framework for discussion.
In no particular order:
- R&D, Maintenance, Documentation, and Support
- Microsoft is highly committed to maintaining .NET and ASP.NET Core.
- Developer Community
- ASP.NET developers are a subset of web developers.
- Extensive libraries are available to .NET programmers.
- .NET is older than NodeJS and therefore plausibly more mature in the context of security, testing, performance, stability, and other aspects required for enterprise solutions.
- .NET is scriptable via PowerShell, WSL, and the dotnet command.
- Single Technology
- .NET requires C# or another programming language for code that runs on the server (http://blazor.net supports C# on the client).
- Platform Independence
- Historically, .NET required Microsoft Windows and ASP.NET required Internet Information Server. .NET 5 is open source, free, and runs on Windows, Linux, and Apple. ASP.NET Core is open source, includes a web server, and can interoperate with other web servers.
- Serverless Processing
- Both AWS and Azure support .NET and NodeJS serverless processing, which is a cloud computing model in which customers are responsible for processing loads but not aware of or responsible for individual servers.
- .NET compiles into a platform-independent Intermediary Language (IL) that frameworks translate to platform-specific machine language that can remain memory resident after its first use.
- NodeJs uses a highly-tuned server-side scripting engine.
- Compile-Time Error Detection
- .NET requires compilation, automating location of typographical and other errors from reaching source control.
- Strong Typing
- .NET supports strong typing, which has significant advantages and minor disadvantages.
- Developer Tooling
- Visual Studio Community (free) provides incredible developer productivity and satisfaction for .NET developers, with alternatives such as JetBrains Rider.
- Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) (C#) | Microsoft Docs
- LINQ integrates strongly-typed query features directly into the C# programming language most commonly used with .NET, facilitating development, clarifying code to improve maintainability, as well as increasing abstraction and consistency.
If you have additional considerations that should appear in this list or perspectives on any of these points, please comment on this blog post.