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 environment

Prerequisites: 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, and install Node.JS for Windows.

Oh my god, it even automatically detects your OS and gives you a 1 click link

Look how simple it is to install Node.JS

Look how simple it is to install Node.JS

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

Node.JS start menu options

Node.JS start menu options

  • 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??)

console.log("Hello World");

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

node hello.js

Node.JS Hello World

Node.JS Hello World

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.

NPPexec - NotePad++ Plugin

NPPexec – NotePad++ Plugin

AJ Bubb

AJ has over a decade of experience leading and managing technical projects. Focused primarily on the .Net stack, AJ has been part of several start ups, and worked with multi-national companies. In his free time, he is a scuba diving instructor, outdoor enthusiast and idea hacker.

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