Simplify cloud-native app development with Ballerina – The New Stack

For six years, WSO2 has been developing Ballerina, an open-source programming language that streamlines writing new services and APIs. It aims to simplify the process of using, combining, and creating network services and to make highly distributed applications work together toward a determined outcome.

In this episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, Eric Newcomer, CTO of WSO2, explains how the company created a new programming language from scratch and plans for it to become a predominant cloud-native language. Darryl Taft, editor of The New Stack hosted this podcast.

Simplify cloud-native app development with Ballerina

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Based on the idea that it was too difficult to do development with integration, Ballerina was created to program in highly distributed environments. “Cloud computing is an evolution of distributed integration computing. You’re talking about microservices and APIs that need to talk to each other in the cloud,” Newcomer said. “And what Ballerina does is she thinks about what’s working outside of the program that needs to be talked about,” he added.

With Ballerina, developers can easily use it to create cloud applications. The language design is informed by TypeScript and JavaScript, but with a few additional features, Newcomer said. “Developers can create records and schemas for inbound and outbound JSON payloads to support APIs for mobile or web applications in the cloud, and it has concurrency for concurrent transaction control processing multiple calls, but in a very familiar syntax, like TypeScript or JavaScript.”

WSO2 uses Ballerina in the company’s low-code type offering, Choreo, which includes features such as the ability to create diagrams. “The long-standing challenge in the industry is how to represent your programming code graphically. [Sanjiva Weerawarana, Founder of WSO2] solved this problem by putting syntax elements into the language from which you can create diagrams. And he did it in a way that you can modify the diagram and create code,” Newcomer said.

Engineering for the cloud requires a programming language that can reengineer applications to achieve autoscale, resilience and independent agility, Newcomer said. WSO2 continues to advance its work to address this challenge. “We think Choreo will help us because it harnesses the magic of Ballerina to help people get their jobs done faster. Once they see this, they will see Ballerina and benefit from it,” Newcomer said.


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