Node.JS + Flutter Combinations Possibilities
Table of Content
Programmers often have favorite development tools to work with and even favorite combinations. In this article, we’ll focus on one of these combinations by delving into what Node.JS and Flutter can do together. But first, we’d like to get some background on these two tools: what they are, why you should use them, and what you can create with them.
Is Node.JS a framework?
You may have come across this question while looking into Node.JS or even asked it yourself. The answer is no. Node.JS is not a framework, it's actually a runtime environment. What is the difference? Well, a runtime environment is just a platform in which to execute commands; it processes code to produce results. Meanwhile, a framework focuses on the way you should write code; it makes the code more streamlined and standardized. If you're interested in languages and libraries, you can check our contents on TypeScript and React.
Why is Node.JS used?
• Easy to learn
• Vertical scalability
• Reusable code
• Improved performance with Chrome’s V8 engine
• Works with plenty of frameworks
• Rapid development
• Native support in AWS
• Cross-platform and mobile-friendly
What is Node.JS used for?
Web apps are the main use case for Node.JS, but certainly not the only one. Here are some other Node.JS uses.
Real Time Applications (RTA)
Node.JS’ increased speed and performance make it a great choice for RTAs, like messaging or chat apps.
If you combine Node.JS with HTML5 and Socket.IO, for example, you can create incredible single and multiplayer games. The benefits of using Node.JS for browser games are its EventEmitter and the ability to share code between client and server.
Node.JS can handle large amounts of data, it can be easily integrated with IoT protocols, and its Node Package Manager (NPM) includes quite a few IoT modules. These features make it a great tool to develop IoT apps.
Data Streaming Apps
Client and server communication is also a great asset when it comes to data streaming apps. Along with the ability to handle large amounts of data and asynchronous non-blocking I/O capabilities, this makes Node.JS perfect for apps such as Netflix.
Most large organizations use custom-made command-line apps and Node.JS’ great set of libraries (such as commander and oclif) makes developing these apps easy, fast and cost-effective. As you can see, Node.JS can be quite versatile. In addition to the ones we’ve mentioned, other projects carried out with Node.JS include e-commerce apps, online payment systems and blogs. If you want to take a look at a project developed with Node.JS, you can do so here.
Flutter is a UI framework released rather recently, in 2017. As defined in its website, “Flutter is an open-source framework by Google for building beautiful, natively compiled, multi-platform applications from a single codebase”. This framework is fast, reliable, productive and flexible. Flutter’s main features include simplified and agile development, native-like performance, and cross-platform development. Some of the companies that use Flutter include eBay, Google, Groupon and BMW.
Why is Flutter used?
Flutter is quite useful when it comes to app development as you don’t have to write in a different codebase for every platform. The framework is powered by Dart, a language optimized for fast apps on any platform, which makes it possible to create web and desktop apps, in addition to mobile. Here are some other reasons to use Flutter:
What is Flutter used for?
eCommerce and Retail Apps
Groupon decided to integrate Flutter with its existing solution and eBay chose it to build eBay Motors due to its awesome UI and faster development. You can take a look at the eBay Motors project here.
Banking and Finance Apps
Nubank is a mobile-first fintech startup that chose Flutter for its digital savings account due to its speed and efficiency. You can find out more about the project here. Birch Finance, Cryptomaniac Pro and Platypus Crypto are other examples of finance apps developed with Flutter.
Health and Fitness
There are quite a few Health and Fitness apps that have banked on Flutter. Reflectly, a journal and AI diary, was rewritten in Flutter so it could be easily available for both iOS and Android. You can take a look at their Flutter journey here. Moreover, Insight Timer and Coach Yourself are two popular meditation apps built with Flutter.
Flutter is no stranger to AR (augmented reality) and was used to develop this Wallace & Gromit game called The Big Fix Up. The developers thought Flutter was the perfect tool as it allowed them to use various media and integrate real-time storytelling components into the game.
What can Node.JS and Flutter can do together?
We’ve covered what Node.JS and Flutter are, the benefits of using these tools and what you can develop with each of them. Now it’s time to focus on what they can do together. If you are wondering you should use them together, we’ll cover that first.
Why use Node.JS with Flutter?
Minimal Client-Server Interaction
Starting with the basics, you can have Node.JS and Flutter interacting as server and client, respectively. You will need to install and set up Node.JS for your server app using your editor of choice. Then, you’ll set up a Flutter app to test the server. You can take a look at exactly how it works here.
Create Real-Time Apps
Instant messaging is definitely a popular way to communicate, both for personal and business matters. You have most likely used a real-time messaging app such as WhatsApp or Messenger. Well, if you are thinking about building your very own real-time chat app, you can use Node.JS, Flutter and the Socket.IO library to do so. To do this, you need to set up Node.JS for your server (remembering to install the Socket.IO package) and Flutter for your client-side (remembering to add and initialize the Socket.IO client package). You can find more details on how to build this type of app here.
Create Blog Apps
This is another type of app that can be developed using Node.JS and Flutter. You’ll be using Flutter for UI development, Node.JS for the Rest API, then connecting the Rest API with the Flutter app, and carrying out the database handling through the MongoDB Atlas Server. You can find the GitHub repos and tutorials to create this type of app here.
Authenticate and Log In Users
You can also use a Node.JS REST API backend to authenticate users from a Flutter app. You can find more details about this here.
Node.JS and Flutter are both outstanding development tools in their own right. They have countless features that make the development process more efficient, not to mention incredible communities behind them that are more than willing to share resources and offer support to other developers. It’s no surprise that they can also offer some excellent results when working together. If you haven’t combined these tools before, we hope this article has sparked some curiosity in you to do so in your next project!
With Node.JS and Flutter, you can create beautiful, high-performance apps with minimal effort. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your product exceeds your expectations. Schedule a consultation with us!