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Is Lagom the next big thing for 2018? (an overview of Lagom)

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Daniel Scheepbouwer
Senior Java & Scala Specialist

The latest release from Lightbend is Lagom. Designed without of the box usability in mind, the Lagom framework is focused on ensuring any application you build within it fulfils the maximum potential of the reactive programming environment.

What is the Lagom framework?
The title of the Lagom framework is taken from a Swedish word, meaning 'just enough'. This perfectly describes the approach Lightbend have taken when developing the framework. Lagom is an open-source microservices framework based on their Reactive platform which gives users the right-sized service (hence the name).

Offering a fully integrated solution, Lagom gives you the opportunity to solve business problems via both Java and Scala in a way that avoids the need to wire services together. Very easy to work with, one single command builds your project and starts supporting components. If the Lagom framework detects any changes to the source code, it will hot-reload in response.


Advantages of the Lagom framework
When thinking of using the Lagom framework for building your next project, there are a few key advantages to take into account...

1. The ability to build large systems - although Lagom is a microservices framework, one unique feature is how it will let users build larger systems of microservices if required.

2. Asynchronous communication - within Lagom, communication is asynchronous by default and also stream-based. It also includes the choice of using different protocols such as synchronous REST if desired for added flexibility.

3. Scaling up is easy - Lagom has been designed to be easy to scale up production with when working on projects. The development environment is based on the production environment through ConductR for maximum convenience when working. 

 

Disadvantages of the Lagom framework

Although the Lagom framework is a great microservices framework, there are some downsides to using it that you should know about.

1. It should not be the only tool you use - as easy to use and reactive as Lagom is, it should not be the only program you use when working on microservices. Many feel that it works best when combined with other languages or programs.

2. Watch out for concurrency bugs - Lagom makes extensive use of immutable classes. While this is great, it can make mutable classes - if present - a problem. The mutable classes can lead to concurrency bugs if not spotted when developing your project - as we know, these are never fun to spend hours debugging!

What is the future of the Lagom framework?

With reported future plans for increased Scala usability and the way it has answered an issue for Java developers, the Lagom framework look set to retain its popularity in the IT sector. It gives users the chance to not only build individual microservices but also connected systems for increased reliability and deployment. The user-friendliness of its development environment and the ease with which the reactive system it is based on is to work with makes it a framework that will attract many users.