Scalable applications

Scalability is a crucial aspect of modern application development. Depending on your platform, scalability can take different forms. On devices and personal systems, applications need to scale up to use multiple cores efficiently in order to deliver a quality user experience. On servers, applications also need to scale out to distribute work across systems.

The Scala programming language is designed around scalability. It gives you the tools you need to spread work across multiple cores with minimal impact on your application design. When combined with the open source Akka toolkit it also allows you to easily spread your application across multiple systems.

Scala additionally offers the advantage of building on the Java™ programming language and platform. Not only can you use all the familiar Java libraries directly in your Scala code, you can also intermingle Scala with existing or new Java code. Akka also works with both Scala and Java code, and although it's been easier to use Akka with Scala in the past the new Java 8 lambdas feature is bringing the two languages to a more equal footing.

The site name emphasizes the Scala language since that's central to my view of developing scalable applications, but the site is actually devoted to helping developers learn about building scalable applications with Java, Scala, and Akka, with other toolkits and extensions to come in the future.

Looking for help with scalability or performance issues, in Java or Scala? Email me to find out about my consulting, training, or mentoring services.

Recent Articles

The first four articles in my IBM developerWorks® JVM Concurrency series have been published (along with a companion article to the second one):

The Scalable Scala blog on this site includes background and added information on the articles.

Recent Presentations

Acting Concurrent: The Akka actor model for Java and Scala is my presentation to the Seattle Java Users Group meeting on 19 August 2014. This starts with a look at Java 8 and Scala concurrency features, then moves on to using Akka actors in both Scala and Java, including discussion of retrofitting existing Java applications to Akka. You can view the full video on Vimeo. Click the image below to view the slide set (use mouse clicks or arrow keys to move through the slides, or scroll with your mouse wheel).

Acting Concurrent

Building on Akka I/O: Using Akka Asynchronous Actor Networking is my presentation to the Scala at the Sea meetup group on 12 August 2014. This starts with an introduction to the UDP and TCP support, then shows how the TCP support can be used to build an SMTP client, including an implementation based on Akka's Finite State Machine (FSM) support. It also discusses the evolving state of the Reactive Streams Akka implementation, which is intended to provide support for higher-level protocols in the future. Click the image below to view the slide set (use mouse clicks or arrow keys to move through the slides, or scroll with your mouse wheel).

Building on Akka I/O