First released in 2011, Elixir is a dynamic, functional, general-purpose programming language designed to develop scalable, maintainable applications. It has a syntax similar to Ruby on Rails. Since its launch, it has been gaining acceptance because it is scalable, fault-tolerant, and excels at writing microservices and applying cloud computing concepts.
Elixir is a fairly new language, so it may seem unreliable. But Elixir is a proxy to the Erlang virtual machine, which is now two decades old. The Erlang VM was created to support robust, concurrent, and distributed software. Together with the Phoenix framework, we can use Elixir in virtually any industry and for any application and create rich web applications quickly, with less code and fewer moving parts.
Some examples? We have them very interesting in the world of instant messaging. Discord, the digital platform designed to create communities, has used Elixir as the backbone of its chat infrastructure. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have had great success using the Erlang stack, helping them process more than 50 billion messages daily with more than 99.9% uptime. This achievement has helped bring Elixir to the spotlight. Those who adopt it will see the same benefits for applications created for years in Erlang, but with an updated technological stack up to date.
More recently, Elixir has been gaining popularity as enterprise-grade software in Fintech. The reliability and fault tolerance shown in messaging applications by the Erlang virtual machine is attractive for building financial services. And not just small fintech: Goldman Sachs uses Erlang in part of its HF trading platform. The platform is a very low latency (microseconds) market data processing, strategy, and market order execution engine.
In my opinion, we will be hearing about this stack more often with the unstoppable rise of Fintech to the financial market.