Big release for Scala fans

Typesafe Stack 2.0 is here, welcoming Play Framework in the fold

Chris Mayer

Typesafe announce the second major version of their commercial offering – marrying together Scala, Akka, Play and a brand new console.

Today, Typesafe announced the release of the latest version of its open source software stack Typesafe Stack 2.0, proclaiming itself as a comprehensive platform for building highly scalable applications in Java and Scala. The significant addition to the open source version and commercial offering this time round is the inclusion of the innovative Play web framework for the first time, which Typesafe announced back in November.
The distribution brings together the three big-hitters from the company – the increasingly popular programming language Scala 2.9.1-1, middleware framework Akka 2.0 and the aforementioned Play Framework. Alongside that, there’s commercial support, maintenance and deployment tools on offer through Typesafe Subscription. This includes exclusive subscriber access to the new Typesafe Console, a monitoring and management tool for the Typesafe Stack. The console complements the Typesafe Stack with an enterprise-grade dashboard for monitoring and administering applications.

Typesafe CEO Donald Fischer told us what sets Typesafe Stack 2.0 apart from other distributions.

He said: “The Typesafe Stack is all about building applications in Java and Scala that can scale to the largest workloads in cloud computing and virtualized datacenter environments. Our emphasis on scalability permeates every layer of the stack from the Scala language to the Play framework. Aside from scalability, the Typesafe Stack also emphasizes developer productivity at every layer — with fewer lines of code, less boilerplate, and better tooling all around.”

Martin Odersky, Chief Architect and Chairman at Typesafe spoke of how the stack is reacting to developer wants and needs as the landscape changes.

He said: “Requirements for developing applications that can handle today’s multicore and parallel computing workloads are changing rapidly.” He added: “We’ve seen increased demand from enterprise customers for a comprehensive developer stack to help them solve these challenges.”

The inclusion of the Play Framework certainly adds calibre to the offering, and recognises a growing demand from developers for a Java/Scala hybrid when it comes to web frameworks.

Creator Guillaume Bort spoke of the logical decision to include it in this latest version, saying that “[f]rom its inception, the Play Framework was created to bring a fresh web development experience inspired by modern web frameworks like Ruby on Rails to the Java web developer community.” 

Typesafe Stack 2.0 also includes key new enhancements to Akka middleware. Akka 2.0 features improved performance scalability with up to 2.7 million actors per GB of memory. Actors are more transparent too, so actors may reside locally or on a remote node, without any change in application code or semantics.

Scala seems to be over the stage where everyone left, right and centre was savaging its flaws, rather than praising its strengths. Fischer has indeed noticed the upward trend, at least commercially for using Scala and that it has certainly permeated the Java landscape and into the mainstream.

He said: “You can see it in the metrics — job listings mentioning Scala, testimonials from large scale users like The Guardian and Klout. And you can feel it in the air at developer gatherings like Devoxx and JFokus.”

Fischer seems to think that Scala and Java can be bedfellows for the time being. He said: “We’ve always considered it essential to cater to both Java and Scala developers. For example, Akka has always had native APIs for both Java and Scala, and the Play framework continues that tradition…It’s hard to predict the distant future, but in the near term, we see Java and Scala co-existing nicely in the commercial software environment.”

Typesafe Stack 2.0 is a big step for the company and the Scala language in general. With some big companies putting their faith in the complex language, the future is indeed looking bright for Scala.

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