Building an enterprise-scale app is tough. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never done it (nor have any desire to), but even for the most seasoned developer, ensuring that an app operates efficiently at scale is no small task. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with some of the folks from Lightbend, creators of the Akka platform, to talk about how Akka is changing the way enterprises deliver their applications, and how they envision the product moving forward. Here’s a taste of what we learned.
App Development at Enterprise Scale
For many IT practitioners, a major sore spot is managing their infrastructure, whether on-premises or cloud-based. In theory, however, infrastructure is only half the problem. When your business relies on delivering a high-performance application to your customers, ensuring that the app is well-architected proves to be a crucial part of any business operation.
Unfortunately, building apps at an enterprise scale can be incredibly difficult if you’re just starting from scratch. Although solutions like AWS offer development platforms, they still require developers to mess with integrations, potentially even across platforms. Add on top of that the inclusion of proprietary data, app security, and other requirements, and, put simply, building a high-performance app in the enterprise is no walk in the park.
Enabling Solutions through Akka
Lightbend’s Akka platform is purpose-built to help enterprises get their app up and running in the cloud, and fast. Having recently announced their integration into Google Cloud alongside existing integrations with AWS and Azure, Akka provides a toolkit for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications that scale.
Using Java or Lightbend’s proprietary Scala programming language, developers can create their app from scratch on the infrastructure of their choice — be it cloud or on-prem. Akka itself is open-sourced, but using the built-out Akka platform, Cloud Platform, and Data Pipelines, organizations are equipped with all the building blocks they need to make an app that scales to meet nearly any need, including AI-driven and streaming apps.
Akka in Lightbend’s Own Words
We at Gestalt IT sat down with Brad Murdoch, Lightbend Executive VP of Strategy and Product, as well as Jay Nichols, their Principal Communications Coordinator, to discuss Akka and its place in the industry. In his overview of the product, Murdoch informed us that part of the beauty of the Akka platform is the fact that it’s almost entirely self deployable, giving developers the tools they need from square one to build a scalable, cloud-native application.
Specifically, Akka enables the use of microservices in real-time, leveraging data for advanced decision-making that allows apps to engage with users in mere moments. Such agility in app development provides a slick end-user experience, letting them function as they will without anything under the hood slowing them down.
Murdoch went on to list a few of the top real-world use cases of the Akka platform by their customers. Big names like Disney, Starbucks, CapitalOne, and more have all used Akka to deliver top-tier applications to keep their streaming and e-commerce operations running at the level you would expect from some of the world’s top companies.
One caveat that was broached in our conversation, however, was the platform’s usability. Naturally, given the inherent complexity of building an enterprise-scale app, the Akka platform has a barrier of entry including a working knowledge of app development and the language(s) required to do so. I am pleased to announce, or tease rather, that in the near future following our conversation at the end of April, that Lightbend will be making the Akka platform incredibly accessible, giving nearly anyone (even me) the ability to build an application at scale. How exciting!
Enabling enterprise app development at scale is one thing; democratizing the ability to do so is an even bigger boon to the industry. I, for one, look forward to more details surrounding the upcoming release from Lightbend and am eager to hear more about the ways their customers use Akka to accomplish great things. Heck, I might even dabble in making my own app through Akka, so look out, world, or rather, “Hello, World! ;)”
To learn more about what Lightbend is all about, what Akka can do for your enterprise, and what things they have in store for the future, check out their website. Additionally, stay tuned here at GestaltIT.com and over at TechFieldDay.com for more exclusive coverage of amazing companies and technologies.