Lightbend has announced the latest version of the Akka platform, which is a platform for developing concurrent, distributed applications. With the introduction of Akka Edge, developers will be able to unify applications across cloud and edge environments. 

Akka Edge allows developers to build something once and then have it work across multiple environments. It keeps code, tools, patterns, and communication the same regardless of where the application is living. 

“Where something will run—on-prem, cloud, edge, or device—should not dictate how it is designed, implemented, or deployed. The optimal location for a service at any specific moment might change and is highly dependent on how the application is being used and the location of its users. Instead, the guiding principles of Akka Edge evolve around data and service mobility, location transparency, self-organization, self-healing, and the promise of physical co-location of data, processing, and end-user—meaning that the correct data is always where it needs to be, for the required duration, nothing less or longer, even as the user moves physically in space,” Jonas Bonér, CEO and founder of Lightbend, wrote in a blog post

It uses gRPC projecting to allow for asynchronous service-to-service communication. It also has active entity migration that can be defined programmatically, as well as temporal, geographic, and use-based migration capabilities. 

The company also introduced several new features that enable Akka applications to run more efficiently in environments with limited resources, which is common at the edge. These include support for GraalVM native images and lightweight Kubernetes distributions, support for multidimensional autoscaling, and lightweight storage at the edge. 

Other new features include Active/Active digital twins, easier methods for network segregation, and placing more of an emphasis on business logic and flow over tool integrations. 

“As the line between cloud and edge environments continues to blur, Akka Edge brings industry-first capabilities to enable developers to build once for the Cloud and, when ready, deploy seamlessly to the Edge,”  Bonér added.