[erlang-questions] What are the cons and pros of using Erlang rather than java to develop server backend?

Joe Armstrong <>
Fri May 22 16:17:08 CEST 2009


You have to tell us more about your problem in order to get sensible
feedback. So far you have said

"develop a server back-end software with a large user base" - that's
not much to go on.

Languages are good/bad fits to specific problems - I'd like to know

- how many users are simultaneously connected?
- how long is a session?
- what are the latency requirements?
- how much data do you store per user?
- what are your  requirements on scalability - fault-tolerance?
- is it permissible to stop the system for upgrades?
- what protocols are used between the clients and servers?
- do you want hot stand-by fail-over etc
- do you want load balancing, quality of service?
- what is your cost/user budget (both fixed and dynamic costs)
- how long do you want to store user data and how reliably
- do you want to run on a VM in the cloud or on a physical machine or machines
- do you want to integrate with other systems (mysql, soapy things, ... etc)
  if so what ...

The more detailed you are the better recommendations you will get -
note that these are all
"non functional" requirements - IMNSHO most projects start with a good
grasp of the functional
requirements (ie what the system should do) but fail miserably when
regarding non functional
requirements.

Cheers

/Joe





On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 1:49 AM, G.S. <> wrote:
> Hello fellow Erlangers,
>
> I have to make a decision on whether to develop a server back-end software
> with a large user base (millions) in Erlang rather than Java. My personal
> choice is to develop the software in Erlang, but I'm wondering whether any
> of you could come up with good reasons why Java should be used instead, thus
> far my reasoning is as follows:
>
> Erlang Pros as apposed to Java:
> Erlang is highly scalable,
> The code is much shorter and therefore easier to maintain,
> The software would be with a lot less bugs, and be much more robust,
> Erlang provides a high throughput.
> Prototyping is faster, and in general serverside, Erlang has been much more
> capable in my previous projects.
> With Erlang I can use Mnesia, which in it self is much more robust, and
> scalable rather than for example SQL...
>
> Cons:
> Less number of developers than Java (but I think the Erlangers are usually
> much more skilled, and it would be easy to find coders by for example
> posting an add on this mailing list).
> Security (but Erlang is also very secure I think, there are high profile
> websites that deal with banking/money written in Erlang, exp: Kreditor)
>
> -End,
> ps, anyone ever had more problems interacting with APIs using Erlang as
> opposed to Java?
>
> I appreciate any responses and contributions to the Cons/Pros list,
> -Gene
>
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