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

Keith Irwin keith.irwin@REDACTED
Fri May 22 18:33:37 CEST 2009

How about this use case, for the same question:
A "data warehouse" ETL layer? (Something simple for a small company, not a
big Enterprise Behemoth.)

I'd love to use Erlang to serialize data from various sources into a staging
area (MySQL DB), then have other processes read data out and post to, say,
RabbitMQ queues (one for orders, say, another for users, etc, etc), and have
yet other agents subscribe to those queues and serialize data into
specialized operational data stores each according to the needs of that
particular data store.

The data stores would be queried via scripts, or web apps, or analytical
tools, not necessarily Erlang apps. (IE, a back end, as the original poster

Do you think Erlang would be a good fit for routing big blobs of (probably
XML) data in something like this way?

I'd think that the fact that you could use Erlang binary data structures
rather than XML might be a plus, but I'm not sure if that's going to be the
right way to go for us. One of the advantages of a message bus architecture
is that you can have clients in other languages listen to topics (say) and
add functionality you didn't know you needed at first. (JInterface might
ease that constraint.)

The alternative to the above is to use lots of separate Groovy processes in
much the same way.

Another advantage to Erlang are each of the apps themselves. It's much
easier to support operational concerns, such as metrics, monitoring, and
other sorts of messaging a given app might need to do outside of the main
task. Erlang's safe concurrency is a big plus there.



On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 8:02 AM, Mihai Balea <mihai@REDACTED> wrote:

> On May 22, 2009, at 3:01 AM, G.S. wrote:
> > Nevertheless, no one has really added to the cons and pros of Erlang
> > vs Java, in general, for the development of backend.
> Here's a few things I believe you missed:
> Pros for Erlang that don't come naturally in Java world:
> - fault tolerance
> - hot upgrading
> - On the fly debugging of running systems
> Pros for Java:
> - Huge library base, for pretty much anything you can think of
> - Faster for some categories of problems
> Mihai
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