Here’s Why You Should Build Scalable and Concurrent Applications with Elixir

In today’s world, when dealing with high levels of system requests, you need applications that can handle them without slowing down. Here’s where Elixir comes in. Elixir is a programming language that is designed to create highly scalable and concurrent applications. Built on Erlang’s virtual machine (BEAM), it has been used for decades to build highly reliable and scalable systems.

7 min read

In today’s world, when dealing with high levels of system requests, you need applications that can handle them without slowing down. Here’s where Elixir comes in. Elixir is a programming language that is designed to create highly scalable and concurrent applications. Built on Erlang’s virtual machine (BEAM), it has been used for decades to build highly reliable and scalable systems. 

Keep reading and I’ll explain what makes Elixir so useful for businesses and the benefits there are to such a scalable system.

A bit of background on Elixir

Elixir was created in 2012 by Ruby developer Jose Valim. The Ruby programming language had long been considered the standard for developing enterprise apps because it is well-built and has a great framework. But Ruby was built at a time when we didn’t have the same system demands compared to now. Today, applications often run into issues with concurrency and scaling up applications. 

Valim wanted to enable higher extensibility and productivity for use in building large-scale sites and apps. For this, he turned to the older Erlang programming language. Erlang was built as a telecom solution with massive concurrency and the ability to handle millions of phone call connections. Building on top of Erlang and combining all the benefits of Ruby, led to the high-concurrency, low-latency language we know today. Elixir is now used by a wide variety of companies, including Discord, Pinterest, Moz, and more.

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Why businesses are adopting Elixir

So why are businesses making the switch?

Elixir-based development produces services that can handle substantially more traffic. You’ll have a platform that can expand and scale swiftly without compromising dependability, all while enhancing overall performance. More customers, more sales, and a higher return on investment (ROI) have proven to be big benefits.

But don’t just take out word for it, have a look at some of our clients who are thriving after moving their systems.

Building scalable and concurrent applications with Elixir

Scalability and concurrency are crucial aspects of modern-day applications. With Elixir, you can build applications that can handle a large number of requests, without compromising performance. 

Its ability to run multiple processes concurrently enables developers to build highly scalable applications. The concurrency model also allows developers to create lightweight processes that can communicate with each other seamlessly. Elixir also provides a distributed environment, which allows developers to build applications that can scale horizontally -ideal for accommodating rapid business growth.

More about the Actor Model

Elixir’s concurrency model is based on the Actor model, which provides a message-passing system between processes.

Source: Lightbend

The “Actor Model” is for doing many things at the same time. It works by using actors as the basic building blocks. Think of them as little machines that can do things independently of each other, who talk to each other by sending messages. Each of these little machines are called “processes”.

This way of working makes it easy to build systems that can handle multiple things happening at once, even when issues occur.

Leveraging Elixir’s ecosystem for scalable and concurrent applications

Elixir has a vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks that can help developers build scalable and concurrent applications. One of the most popular frameworks is Phoenix. It provides features such as real-time communication, web sockets, and channels, which make it an ideal choice for building scalable and concurrent web applications. 

Elixir also has libraries such as GenServer, which provides a simple and powerful way to build concurrent applications.

Other ecosystems also include Mix, a build tool that automates many of the tasks involved in creating Elixir applications. Mix provides tasks for creating new projects, testing, and deploying applications. Mix is also extensible, allowing developers to create their own tasks and plugins.

Fault-Tolerance

Elixir’s supervisor mechanism allows developers to build fault-tolerant applications that can recover from failures automatically. Elixir’s processes are isolated from each other, which means that if a process fails, it does not affect the entire system. Developers can also use Elixir’s built-in error handling mechanisms to handle errors gracefully.

Fault tolerance systems. Source: Finematics 

Elixir is easy to learn

A major draw to Elixir also lies in its simplicity. It has a simple, easy to learn syntax hat is again, a big plus for developers. It is also a productive language, it can accomplish a lot with just minimal code.

The Elixir community

Despite the relative newness of Elixir when compared to other languages, the fast growing Elixir community is very supportive, continually creating libraries and code to remain solid and robust. 

The Elixir revolution

As digital transformation continues to reinvent business models, Elixir has become a growing choice for businesses looking for ways to differentiate themselves in complex technology markets.

We are now in the age where companies are eager to find cutting-edge technologies that will revolutionise how users interact with their applications. If you’re looking to build scalable and concurrent applications, Elixir is definitely worth considering.If you’d like to learn more about Elixir, check out our page.

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