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Node.js 14 delivers more enterprise-friendly features

Node.js 14 is now available with new features aimed at the demands of enterprise developers, who have increasingly adopted the server-side runtime environment for JavaScript.

The OpenJS Foundation has introduced Node.js 14, the latest version of the JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code on the server side, rather than in a web browser.

Version 14 brings several new features, including some that are particularly suited to enterprise developers, such as the Diagnostic Report and the Async Local Storage API, the foundation said.

"The Diagnostic Report is a significant improvement for enterprises that need to diagnose problems in production, a very common occurrence," said Michael Dawson, IBM community lead for Node.js and co-author of a blog post on the Node.js 14 release.

"Async Local Storage API is experimental, but it provides support for context tracing," Dawson said in an interview. "This is important for enterprise deployments, as it's a key requirement for being able to trace transactions and transaction times across requests. The other features are also 'good' for enterprise developers in that they all improve aspects of the Node.js runtime, which is important to all developers."

Node.js interest mounts among enterprise dev teams

As JavaScript maintains its position as the most popular programming language, more JavaScript developers are adopting Node.js.

Charlotte DunlapCharlotte Dunlap

"Node.js has become an important platform for helping enterprises with legacy systems to populate front-end apps through an integration layer, making it a dominant tool among JavaScript developers," said Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst with GlobalData in Santa Cruz, Calif.

 Moreover, the openness of Node.js serves to attract developers who want avoid possible lock-in to certain platforms.

Cameron PurdyCameron Purdy

"Lots of developers like Node.js, first, because they can use JavaScript, which is the language that they know," said Cameron Purdy, CEO of in Lexington, Mass. is developing a cloud-native programming language called Ecstasy. Still in stealth, the company is building a platform for developing cloud-native apps. "And, second, because it isn't Oracle, despite Oracle owning the trademark. And it isn't Google -- despite the runtime being Google V8. It isn't Apple, and it isn't Microsoft. It's the 'un-platform' platform."

Google originally developed V8, an engine that executes JavaScript code, and made it open source in 2008. Other key features in the Node.js 14 release include a hardening of the Stream APIs and removal of the Experimental Modules warning. Some long-deprecated APIs have also been scrapped.

Lots of developers like Node.js, first, because they can use JavaScript, which is the language that they know.
Cameron PurdyCEO,

Experiment now, but hold off on production

Node.js 14 will be tagged as "current" release for the next six months, and then promoted to Long-term Support (LTS) in October 2020. The OpenJS foundation advises corporate users to wait to upgrade their production deployments until October when Node.js is promoted to LTS. However, now is the best time to start testing applications with Node.js 14 and try out new features, Dawson said.

The diagnostic report feature allows you to generate a report on demand or when certain events occur. This report contains information that can help diagnose problems in production, including crashes, slow performance, memory leaks, high CPU usage, unexpected errors and more, said Bethany Griggs, Node Core Collaborator and Node.js Technical Steering Committee member, in a blog post.

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