4 min Applications

Lightbend illuminates cloud-native application development 

Lightbend illuminates cloud-native application development 

Building true cloud-native applications is, obviously, not as simple as ‘spinning up’ a cloud instance, realigning an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and programming language toolset for a hosted SaaS-based existence and plugging in a few cloud-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Known for its cloud-native microservices framework technology, Lightbend is hoping to invigorate interest in Kalix, its Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that works in precisely this space.

This is technology built around a programming model explicitly designed to build scalable, mission-critical, stateful applications (i.e. apps capable of saving user data from one session so that it is usable in subsequent logins and/or session connections) in a serverless architecture while focusing solely on the application’s business logic. 

Across the software lifecycle 

Jonas Bonér, Lightbend’s founder and CEO says that Kalix works with underlying cloud infrastructure to mask the complexity of building cloud-native apps based on Kubernetes. Lightbend has revamped its Kalix experience with new capabilities across software application development lifecycle stages including development, test, deployment, and insight into the health and performance of applications and services running on Kalix.

“As the industry continues its transition to cloud-native infrastructure, developer experience has become a critical element for every organisation,” said Bonér. “Kalix now offers an entirely new virtual trial experience [that] enables developers to realize the efficiency, velocity and reliability Kalix delivers in minutes.”

This so-called ‘experience’ is detailed as providing four key elements for developer productivity and velocity. These include the Kalix Workflows, Kalix Container Registry, Kalix Control Tower and new DX functionality.

Kalix Workflows

According to Bonér, the new workflows component in the Kalix ecosystem eliminates one of the biggest challenges faced when developers are attempting to build cloud-native applications on a microservice architecture. In reality, business processes tend to span multiple IT services (or steps) and might require varying ‘compensating flows’ i.e. data services to call or connect to different microservices and other system components to ensure that all dependencies and integration and configuration demands are met. As a result of this workflow technology, the company says that developers at any level of expertise can handle complex business processes easily.

Further here, with the new Container Registry feature, Kalix automatically sets up the container registry for the user. Users can run one command to deploy their code to Kalix. In addition, the Kalix Container registry resides within the Kalix ecosystem. Residing in a fully managed environment results in a more stable, reliable and easier-to-manage container registry than customer-managed Container Registries.

For existing Kalix customers, the container registry becomes one less thing to manage while simultaneously being more reliable. This solution also delivers more control for compliance reasons or for those enterprises that wish to maintain their own container registry.

Transparency & visibility

Kalix Control Tower gives customers real-time transparency and visibility into applications and services running on Kalix. Control Tower can be broken down broadly into two categories: monitoring and metrics. Kalix monitors all services and reports the metrics of every component and functionality of a service. It covers metrics ranging from health to performance to billing. This is said to give software engineers full visibility into their Kalix Services.

“Kalix has implemented multiple new capabilities that, when taken together, dramatically make developers’ lives easier. Kalix now has an all-platform proxy image structure delivering a 6x improvement in testing time and also now supports emulators to test Integrations like Brokers (Kafka) and Kalix service-to-service (S2S) eventing. This means developers can test external brokers and S2S eventing without any effort,” clarified Bonér.

Examples include auto-discovery, auto-reconnect and startup of the Kalix proxy, which means that the software developer now doesn’t have to do any Kalix-specific configuration – instead, they simply write their own business logic as a service and run it.

The team claim that Kalix PaaS with its unifying application layer and “out of the box” cloud native stack can be used to build and deploy event-driven microservices and APIs at the lowest possible cost.

Lead image and above: free use – Wikipedia.