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Discovering Nest.js: What It Is and How to Determine If It's Right for Me


By Avalith Editorial Team ♦ 1 min read



What is Nest.js? 

Developing and managing large-scale applications can be a difficult feat, but it’s even harder if you don’t have a solid framework in place. This will lead to maintenance issues, among other things. Nest.js was created to help simplify issues related to structure and the strategy of programming and code organization in large applications and make changing the codebase and adding new features less disruptive during the development process. 

Before we really get into what Nest.js is, though, let’s backtrack a little bit. To understand Nest.js, we need to look at Node.js. 

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment. It’s open-source and cross-platform, and it allows developers to use JavaScript to generate web content before the page is sent to the web browser. Node.js works by unifying web-application development and avoids having to use different languages for programming on the server and on the client side. This also greatly minimizes the presence of bugs. 

If you need to update Node.js, one of the best methods is nvm or Node Version Manager. You’ll need a C++ compiler, the build-essential and the libssl-dev packages. Once you close and re-open the terminal you verify that it’s been updated and installed correctly by using the -v nvm command. 

Nest.js is Node.js-based. It's inspired by development frameworks like Angular and Spring, and focuses on building backend applications that are highly scalable and modular. Additional functionality can be added through the use of third-party applications, and it also integrates with testing and debugging tools. 

What Does Nest.js Do? 

Nest.js serves as a platform for developers working on multiple projects. It provides guidelines for each person, ensuring organization and code quality. This means that the results are easy to manage and maintain over time. Some of the basic features provided by Nest.js for creating applications include controllers, services and modules that developers can access through folders. Additionally, developers can begin working on apps and continue developing and maintaining them with extra functionalities through the CLI (Command-Line Interface) from Nest.js and gain even more control over their code while still guaranteeing quality and performance because the platform goes beyond the common frameworks provided by Node (ExpressJS and Fastify). 


The Main Functions of Nest.js

Let’s look at some of the main functionalities of Nest.js: 

  • Flexibility: it can be used for both web and back-end applications

  • Scalability: it’s highly scalable and modulable, so building larger, more complex applications is easier, and they’re easier to maintain

  • Compatibility: developers can use Nest.js to build applications based on microservices. This means that the application can be broken down into smaller components, each of which can then be used on its own and scaled. 

  • Community Access: it has a large community of active developers who can help with troubleshooting issues, framework questions, etc. It also has plenty of documentation to help devs access all of the information they need. 

  • Integration: Nest.js can be integrated with messaging systems that allow applications to communicate with each other; testing tools; performance analysis tools; tools that help devs monitor apps and gather metrics; logging tools to collect and analyze log messages; security and configuration tools to help keep code safe; and analysis tools to help detect issues and guarantee quality. 


Nest.js versus Next.js

We’ve already seen what Nest.js is and what it offers, so let’s take a quick look at Next.js. Next.js handles the front end that users see and interact with on websites, versus the back end of development. Think about what you see when you go on a website: the copy and visuals are all programmed using Next.js. 

Next.js is a React framework that’s also used for building web applications, but React Components are used for user interfaces. Next.js helps developers access more features and optimizations and can also help developers focus on building their applications versus spending time on configuration because it automatically configures the tools needed for React like bundling and compiling. In a nutshell, you can use Next.js to build React applications and work on different front end development projects. If you are not sure about this process, our team of outsourced experts can do it for you!

Thinking About Using Nest.js? Take This Into Account. 

We’ve seen that Nest.js is a powerful Node.js application framework that provides scalability, modularization and security along with a large community of developers and a good amount of resources for learning more about it.

If you’re looking to build high-quality web and server applications, Nest.js could be a good option for you. There are other options out there for building Node.js applications, however, so it’s recommended that you look at all of your choices to make sure that you’re using the one that meets your needs and expectations. 

Performance capabilities and scalability are extremely important when you’re choosing your framework, and since some can be faster than others and provide greater scalability it’s important to take this into consideration and choose the framework that’s right for you. 

Finally, it’s good to note that if you’re working on a smaller, less complex project, there are frameworks that may be more suitable to your needs. Larger projects will require more complex frameworks that will provide you with the tools and functions you need to carry out your tasks. Time will also be compromised, which is never a good scenario in an era where digital works are faster than ever. There is plenty of official Nest.js documentation available so reading up on that and learning about all of its features is definitely recommended. There are also myriad tutorials and projects online for you to practice using Nest.js and start becoming an expert today.