White Paper (PDF Version)

Reactive Programming vs Reactive Systems

Jonas Bonér, Co-Founder & CTO, Lightbend

Viktor Klang, Deputy CTO, Lightbend

Expanding upon the O’Reilly Radar article originally published by Jonas Bonér and Viktor Klang of Lightbend, this extended white paper defines and clarifies the different aspects of “Reactive” by looking at the differences between writing code in a Reactive Programming style, and the design of Reactive Systems as a cohesive whole. Aimed at Architects, Dev Team Leads and Managers, the main takeaways include:

  • Since 2015, and particularly in 2016, there has been a huge growth in interest in Reactive—from both commercial middleware vendors and users.
  • Reactive Programming is a distinct subset of Reactive Systems at the implementation level.
  • Reactive Programming offers productivity for Developers—through performance and resource efficiency—at the component level for internal logic and dataflow management.
  • Reactive Systems offers productivity for Architects and DevOps—through resilience and elasticity—at the system level, for building “Cloud Native” or other large-scale distributed systems.
  • It is highly beneficial to use Reactive Programming within the components of a Reactive System.
  • It is highly beneficial to use Reactive Systems to create the system around the components written using Reactive Programming.

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About Author(s)

Jonas Bonér, Co-Founder & CTO, Lightbend

Jonas Bonér is a co-founder of Lightbend and creator of the Akka event-driven middleware project. Previously he was a core technical contributor at Terracotta, working on core JVM-level clustering technology, and at BEA, as part of the JRockit JVM team. Jonas has also been an active contributor to open source projects including the AspectWerkz Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) framework and the Eclipse AspectJ project. He is an amateur Jazz musician, passionate skier and holds a Bachelors of Science from Mid Sweden University.

Viktor Klang, Deputy CTO, Lightbend

Viktor “√” Klang, is a distributed & concurrent programming enthusiast, former Tech Lead for the Akka project, a founding member of the Reactive Streams Initiative and a principal contributor to scala.concurrent—concurrency utilities for the Scala Standard Library.

About Lightbend

Lightbend (Twitter: @Lightbend) provides the leading Reactive application development platform for building distributed systems. Based on a message-driven runtime, these distributed systems, which include microservices and streaming fast data applications, can effortlessly scale on multi-core and cloud architectures. Many of the most admired brands around the globe are transforming their businesses with our platform, engaging billions of users every day through software that is changing the world. For more information on Lightbend, visit: lightbend.com