Typesafe Stack Adds Play Framework
by Jonas Bonér
Earlier this year, we announced the Typesafe Stack, an integrated open source distribution of the Scala programming language, Akka middleware, and supporting development tools. Today, we’re excited to announce a major new addition to the Typesafe Stack: the Play web application framework.
The open source Play framework was created in 2007 by Guillaume Bort, who sought to bring a fresh web development experience inspired by modern web frameworks like Ruby on Rails to the long-suffering Java web development community. Play follows a familiar stateless model-view-controller architectural pattern, with a philosophy of convention over configuration and an emphasis on developer productivity. Unlike traditional Java web frameworks with their tedious compile-package-deploy-restart cycles, updates to Play applications are instantly visible with a simple browser refresh. With its distinctive focus on developer experience, it’s no surprise that the Play framework quickly took the Java web development community by storm, earning a place in the hearts of developers and on forward-looking platforms like Heroku.
In many ways, the Play team’s willingness to challenge the status quo with a fundamentally new approach echoes the spirit of the Scala language and Akka event-driven middleware. So it’s natural that the Play community soon began experimenting with a Scala add-on module in early versions of the framework. These experiments have culminated in Play framework 2.0, the next major version of the framework announced by the Play community earlier this year, which leverages Scala at its core while providing native support for both Java and Scala.
Play framework 2.0 builds on Scala, Akka, and sbt to deliver superior asynchronous request handling, fast and reliable type-safe templates, and a powerful build system with flexible deployment options. Developers can use Play 2.0 to add a simple HTTP layer to existing projects; or can build full-featured web applications that take advantage of the integrated support for database persistence, form validation, testing, authentication, caching, and RESTful web services.
While it adds native support for Scala, Java remains a key focus for Play Framework 2.0. Just like Akka middleware, the Play Framework will continue to provide native Java APIs that allow Java developers to leverage the power of Scala and the Typesafe Stack without writing a single line of Scala code -- though we find that once you’ve tasted Scala, it’s often too tempting to resist.
With the addition of the Play web application framework, the Typesafe Stack becomes a complete web platform. Typesafe is contributing new development resources to the Play framework open source community to work on a common roadmap coordinating Scala, sbt, Play, and Akka into a unified, coherent platform for application development. Our goal is to offer dramatically improved productivity over traditional application platforms, from the lowest-level features all the way up to the web framework.
Typesafe will offer commercial support, maintenance, systems management and deployment tools for Play framework as part of the paid Typesafe Subscription offering. We’ll also be introducing training and consulting services around Play framework, in conjunction with partners including Zenexity, the web oriented architecture consultancy where Play was born.
Finally, we’re honored to announce that Guillaume Bort, creator of Play framework and co-founder of Zenexity, has joined the Typesafe advisory board to ensure a seamless collaboration.
The Typesafe Stack is an open platform, and developers will continue to have many excellent choices for Scala and Java web frameworks including Spring, Wicket, Lift, Scalatra, Unfiltered, and many others. At the same time, we suspect that many of you will find the polished development experience of Play framework, and its deep integration with other components of the Typesafe Stack, as irresistible as we do.
Play framework 2.0 is under active development and will be packaged with upcoming releases of the Typesafe Stack. In the mean time, you can download a beta release at the Play community project site, starting today.
If you are at the Devoxx conference this week, be sure to stop by the Typesafe booth to talk about Typesafe and Play framework, and don’t miss the Wednesday session on Play 2.0 and the Thursday sessions on Akka and Scala.
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