Getting started in developing Node.js in Windows
As a Microsoft Stack engineer (Windows Server, IIS, SQL, .Net…. WISN?) my tool kit normally consists of SQL Server Management Studio, Visual Studio 2013, IIS, and a Windows workstation. But recently, I wanted to play a bit with Node.JS and see what the hype is about. In short, it’s pretty cool, I was able to set up a Node application in almost no time, thanks to a wonderful Dev Day session during Philly Tech week, From Zero to 80: Your First Node.js Web Application led by Andrew Theken of NodePhilly.
Of course, the session was led in OSX, and I had to scramble to get some tools together, but I found some neat options.
Setting up your environmentPrerequisites: I’m using a Windows 8.1 machine, which has never had Node.JS installed, at all. I have VS2013 installed, but I will be foregoing it for now.
Step 1: Install Node.JS
Node.JS isn’t native on any environment, so to begin, let’s head over to http://nodejs.org/, and install Node.JS for Windows.
Oh my god, it even automatically detects your OS and gives you a 1 click link
Step 2: ???????????
Normally, if you are familiar with creating a .Net application, you create a new project/solution, write some code, or look at the sample, and hit play.
Yea, this isn’t happening……..
Well, let’s look at what you have
- Clicking Node.js brings up a blank command prompt with a >
- Clicking Node.Js command prompt brings up a command prompt
- The next two link to documentation
- And finally you can uninstall, walk away, and cry.
Let’s assume you aren’t ready to cry yet.
Step 2.1: Hello World
I’m going to go on a limb, and create a sample project directory, and try to spin up a hello world application.
I began by creating a folder for my project, and opening up my trusty Notepad++ editor and creating hello.js (I assume that since we are working with Node.JS, the files being executed are .JS, am I right??)
Ok, I have a file, hello.js, and inside I am writing Hello World to the console. If this is new to anyone, I suggest you check out some beginners guides, I love Tizag Tutorials, that is where I got started,
Step 2.2: Execute
How do I…? Where’s the play button?
Perusing through the Node.JS documentation, I see that in order to execute a Node application, I open the Node.JS command prompt, navigate to my file, and type
Step 2.3: Configure Notepad++
Notepad++ has tons of extra goodies, especially when you start adding plugins.
One such plugin I came across was NppExec, which allows you to execute commands/scripts within N++. Sounds like just what we need.