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Node.JS is a powerful scripting engine with a large number of libraries and utilities available at NPM. Simple console applications (for example, working on data in JSON format) require only installing local packages with npm command and running node . A word of caution is needed if you plan to run applications that are network based (i.e., Node.JS-based webservers): it is up to the developer to provide any security for such applications! Normally you would like at least to provide self-signed key auth in your application's config.json and tunnel all the traffic through an SSH tunnel between a Westgrid login node and your local machine. If in doubt on how to do it, contact email@example.com !