Ballerina is open source and free to use under the Apache 2 license.
This native-cloud programming language enables developers to put their energies into creating applications and business logic rather than spending time integrating their applications into a cloud-native infrastructure.
Any full-stack software developer can tell you the importance of having this feature, as you can easily use BPL for writing backend APIs for your frontend use as well.
This is crucial, as web apps consist of three key layers. A full-stack developer is responsible for working on all these layers, which include:
- The server-side or backend of the program involves the scripting languages like PHP, JSP, or others which define what the program or machine needs to do when a particular action is taken. Thanks to the advent of single page applications (SPA), developers no longer have to create separate commands and can easily integrate their server-side scripting language with the frontend using APIs as the backend. This could be done using REST, WebSocket, and others.
- The persistence layer or database, which will include one or more SQL or NoSQL databases. Since data storage is now dynamic and requires multiple aspects since the advent of Big Data, there is no one conventional data store.
Thus, Ballerina is a great option for full-stack developers looking to build applications using backend APIs.
In this blog, we will go over the reasons that make Ballerina a great option for your backend APIs and the many aspects of this relatively new programming language.
Understanding Popular Technology Stacks
A technology stack or solution stack is a combination of technologies and platforms.
These include programming languages, frameworks, databases, frontend and backend tools, and APIs. These are leveraged to create a low-cost and flexible option for full-stack developers to converge both the frontend and backend aspects of a program.
Full-stack developers are experts who can work with both the backend and frontend aspects of a program, and they make use of several technology stacks or solution stacks to build their programs.
These ready-to-use frameworks, databases, frontend tools, backend programs, and functional APIs enable full-stack software developers to build and run applications for the company and focus on the innovation side rather than the technicalities.
However, while stacks are a great alternative to traditional technology, with multiple alternative technologies and different combinations required to develop an application, dependence on stacks is no longer the ideal approach.
Some of the popular technology stacks include:
- MEAN Stack - It uses MongoDB for the data persistence layer, Express for the backend, Angular JS as the frontend framework, or Node.js for server runtime
- MERN Stack- Similar to MEAN stack, it uses Mongo DB, Express, ReactJS
- Ruby on Rails or Ruby - Web applications written in Ruby, which can include Ruby, PHP, and MySQL
Modern Full-Stack Development
Modern full-stack development (MFD) is a software development methodology where developers work together across all layers of the application stack.
Developers collaborate closely with business analysts, designers, and testers to ensure the best user experience possible. MFD is a modern approach to software development and focuses on delivering quality code at a faster pace than traditional methods.
The complications of backend and frontend development are slowly becoming a thing of the past. We are already witnessing concepts like Backend for FronFrontendF) technologies making an entry for application development and deployment.
Concepts like single page applications (SPA), progressive web applications (PWA), and BFF are replacing the traditional framework, enabling web applications (frontend) to work with a backend API and provide the end results to the users.
Any organization can have multiple microservices or legacy services that interact with the frontend modern web applications using a tightly coupled API framework.
BFF helps these microservices and the frontend interface smoothly without allowing the end user to understand what is going on behind the scenes when it comes to mobile applications, web applications, and other services or APIs or third parties.
BFF Modern Full-Stack Architecture explained by Michael Szczepanik on Medium
In the context of full-stack development, backend APIs are developed using BFF to act as an adapter for the UX and microservices or can be written as BFF APIs or as a separate microservice that will be consumed directly or indirectly by the front end.
Which option you should choose is dependent purely on the requirement and feasibility of the code.
How Ballerina Comes Into Play
Ballerina Programming Language (BPL) is one of the newest programming languages out there, created by Google in 2015. It is a dynamic, statically typed programming language that compiles down to native code.
It supports object-oriented, functional, and imperative programming, which uses a type system similar to that of Java. However, Ballerina adds additional features, like generics, traits, and interfaces, and uses the core concepts, including mobile application architecture, UI components, and data flow.
This makes it the ideal language for building applications across Android, iOS, Chrome OS, and other platforms and devices. Ballerina is based on the JVM, but it does not require any runtime environment.
Instead, it runs directly inside the Dalvik VM. This means that Ballerina programs do not need to be recompiled each time they are deployed.
Ballerina Programming Language example from Wikimedia
This intuitive way that Ballerina defines and runs services on the cloud using in-built network primitives is what makes it all the more special for cloud-native development.
The flexibly-typed system, enhanced and intuitive concurrence, data-oriented queries, and other benefits make Ballerina one of the top go-to languages for the cloud.
Other programming languages treat networking as another I/O resource, while Ballerina treats network services as first-class components for network interactions. These include:
- Listeners - Which interface between the networking layer and the service layer
- Services - Which represents the service that showcases the organization’s capabilities to the end user.
- Resource Methods - Which represent a unit of functionality with a microservice
- Remote Methods - Which is a pre-written service that can invoke one of many external or internal services
These in-built network primitives and other language features, such as explicit error handling, flexibly-typed structural types of supporting static typing within a program, in-built JSON or XML support, and intuitive network interactions, make it ideal full-stack development.
The language is also reliable and ensures that developers can tune in their focus on innovation rather than the aspects of transporting a code to be cloud-enabled.
There is an increasing demand for talented cloud and app developers who can help companies bring their offerings and services to a mobile-friendly digital platform.
Ballerina is a language still evolving and will continue to optimize its capabilities for serverless execution, long-term backward compatibility, and large-scale orchestration.
Thus, full-stack software developers need to understand REST APIs in-depth and their use for supporting programming for the front end.
HeroVired’s Certificate Program in Full-Stack Development with Cloud for Web & Mobile is the ideal option for learners who want a comprehensive and the best full-stack developer course online.
It will help you get an industry-first project-centric approach to a full-stack web development course and impart the knowledge and skills for automation and development of applications that can run on cloud infrastructure.
The best part is that our full-stack developer course with placement guarantee includes live online instructor-led classes. It works with industry use cases to help you master the techniques across frontend and backend development and deployment.