New Lightbend Survey of 2,000 Java and Scala Developers Reveals Shake-Up In Enterprise Application Architecture

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lightbend_logoFindings show “Fast Data” and Cloud as major catalysts replacing legacy Java EE application servers with microservices and containers

Lightbend (formerly Typesafe), the company behind the Reactive Platform that includes the Akka, Play and Lagom Frameworks as well as the Scala programming language, announced the results of a new survey of 2,151 Java Virtual Machine (JVM) developers and IT professionals. The survey — conducted in summer 2016 — was launched to discover:  correlations between development trends and IT infrastructure trends, how organizations at the forefront of digital transformation are modernizing their applications, and real production usage break-downs of today’s most buzzed about emerging developer technologies.

Among other key findings, the survey found that:

  • Developers are Driving Agility at the Infrastructure Level too – the old way of deploying applications (12-36 month release cycles) does not meet the new requirements for scaling modern applications built with Agile methodology for distributed computing.
  • Microservices are Taking Hold – Teams working in Continuous Development / Continuous Integration pipelines and releasing within sprints are finding great success with Microservices.
  • Enterprises are Actively Exiting Off Decaying Java EE App Server — JVM developers are moving off of traditional Java application servers and favoring containers as the new way to package and deploy.
  • Data is the Lifeblood of Modern Software – Machine Learning and Analytics are the initial killer apps, but the entire nature of app dev is transforming based on data use cases.
  • The “Fast Data” Era has Arrived – Speed and performance has supplanted data volumes (i.e., “big” data) as the key concern. Low latency and resilience are key requirements for applications built for fast data, and are further driving the Reactive agenda.

Developers and Datacenter Operators are pursuing similar concepts in parallel today,” said Mark Brewer, CEO of Lightbend. “While the Reactive movement encapsulates the sort of flexibility and resilience that the modern application is required to achieve, actually running these applications in production is pushing operations to become more elastic and lighter weight as well. Fast Data and Cloud flexibility are two trends that are driving this renaissance in converging Dev and Ops and driving new patterns into application architecture.”


The survey captures both Java and Scala adoption patterns around:

  • JVM language use
  • Microservices adoption
  • Fast Data adoption
  • Data processing technologies in production
  • Real-time vs. batch processing workload break-down
  • Container adoption
  • Java EE App Server usage
  • “Cloud-Native” priorities
  • Cloud vs. On-Prem vs. Hybrid workload break-downs
  • Average #’s of concurrent users for apps in production
  • Popularity of big data frameworks like Spark, Kafka, Cassandra, Akka and others
  • Data streaming adoption patterns


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