InfoQ Article: Interview with Tim Fox About Vert.x 3, the Original Reactive, Microservice Toolkit for the JVM

posted Jun 22, 2015, 11:37 AM by Rick Hightower   [ updated Jun 22, 2015, 11:42 AM ]
Rick Hightower, founder of Boon, QBit and Mammatus Technology, interviewed Tim Fox on behalf of InfoQ.

Vert.x is a reactive, microservices toolkit for the JVM, that provides an asynchronous, scalable, concurrent services development model. It supports polyglot language development with first class support for JavaScript, Ruby, Groovy, Scala, and of course Java.

InfoQ got a chance to catch up with Tim Fox, the creators of Vert.x and the Vert.x lead architect to get his thoughts on Vert.x in general and the upcoming Vert.x 3 release.

Tim explains how Vert.x compares to Java EE, Spring, Akka, and explains how Vert.x is a good fit for microservices, reactive development.

InfoQ: What is Vert.x and why would someone pick it instead of a traditional Java stacks like Servlets or Java EE or Spring?

Tim: Vert.x is a toolkit for writing polyglot reactive applications on the JVM. Unlike the traditional stacks its been designed from day one with microservices in mind, and it's also been designed with scalability in mind so it's almost completely non blocking (OS threads).

This is critical for many modern applications that need to handle a lot of concurrency - e.g. process a lot of messages or events, or handle a lot of connections.

Also, unlike the traditional Java stacks, Vert.x supports other languages than Java - e.g. JS, Ruby and Groovy so we don't force you to always use Java and can use the best language for the job at hand or for the skill-set of your team.

Another important point is that Vert.x is toolkit, not a container or "framework". That means you can use it within your existing application to give it the Vert.x super powers. For example you can use it within your Spring application, and many users do.

Here is some content that did not quite make the editorial cut. I can see why, but it was fun so I include it here:

Rick Hightower: You get to pick one super power and only one of the following. Invisibility? Flight? Tim Fox: Flight for sure. I've had lucid dreams of flying throughtout my life and it would be great to do it for real. RH: You get to pick one super power and only one of the following. 10x stronger than the strongest man? Live 10x longer than the average man? TF: I don't really see the point of being 10 times stronger, unless you want a career as a strongman, but that doesn't interest me. Live 10 times longer for sure.