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Akka vs Orleans: What are the differences?

Introduction: Akka and Orleans are two popular frameworks used for building distributed applications. While both frameworks provide similar functionality, there are key differences between Akka and Orleans that developers should consider when choosing a framework for their application.

  1. Programming Model: Akka follows an actor-based programming model, where actors are lightweight concurrent entities that process messages asynchronously. Orleans, on the other hand, uses the concept of virtual actors, which are similar to actors but provide transparent and automatic scaling and distribution of the actor instances.

  2. Language Support: Akka is primarily built for the Java and Scala programming languages, although there are also unofficial ports for other languages. Orleans, on the other hand, is built specifically for the .NET platform, with support for languages such as C# and F#.

  3. Fault Tolerance: Akka provides a hierarchical supervision model that allows for the monitoring and recovery of actors in case of failures. This model provides fine-grained control over fault tolerance strategies. Orleans, on the other hand, provides a more simplified fault-tolerance model, where the runtime system handles fault detection and recovery transparently.

  4. Dynamic Reconfiguration: Akka supports dynamic reconfiguration of actors, where actors can be added, removed, or modified during runtime without requiring a system restart. Orleans also supports dynamic reconfiguration, allowing for the addition or removal of actor instances without downtime.

  5. Data Persistence: Akka provides built-in support for event sourcing and persistence, allowing actors to store and recover their internal state. Orleans, on the other hand, does not provide built-in support for data persistence, although it can be integrated with external data storage systems.

  6. Community and Ecosystem: Akka has a larger and more established community with a wide range of libraries and tools available. It has been used in production by many companies and has a strong ecosystem. Orleans, while growing in popularity, has a smaller community and ecosystem compared to Akka.

In summary, the key differences between Akka and Orleans lie in their programming model, language support, fault tolerance strategies, dynamic reconfiguration capabilities, data persistence support, and the size and maturity of their respective communities and ecosystems.

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Pros of Akka
Pros of Orleans
  • 32
    Great concurrency model
  • 17
    Fast
  • 12
    Actor Library
  • 10
    Open source
  • 7
    Resilient
  • 5
    Message driven
  • 5
    Scalable
  • 5
    Akka.net alternative
  • 5
    Async/Await
  • 4
    Open source
  • 4
    Distributed ACID Transactions
  • 4
    Scalable
  • 4
    Distributed high-scale computing applications
  • 4
    Virtual Actor Model
  • 3
    Objects
  • 3
    Cross Platform
  • 3
    Distributed Locking
  • 2
    Fast

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Cons of Akka
Cons of Orleans
  • 3
    Mixing futures with Akka tell is difficult
  • 2
    Closing of futures
  • 2
    No type safety
  • 1
    Very difficult to refactor
  • 1
    Typed actors still not stable
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    What is Akka?

    Akka is a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications on the JVM.

    What is Orleans?

    Orleans is a framework that provides a straightforward approach to building distributed high-scale computing applications, without the need to learn and apply complex concurrency or other scaling patterns. It was created by Microsoft Research and designed for use in the cloud.

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    What companies use Akka?
    What companies use Orleans?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Akka or Orleans.
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    What tools integrate with Akka?
    What tools integrate with Orleans?
    What are some alternatives to Akka and Orleans?
    Spring
    A key element of Spring is infrastructural support at the application level: Spring focuses on the "plumbing" of enterprise applications so that teams can focus on application-level business logic, without unnecessary ties to specific deployment environments.
    Scala
    Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.
    Erlang
    Some of Erlang's uses are in telecoms, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony and instant messaging. Erlang's runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution and fault tolerance. OTP is set of Erlang libraries and design principles providing middle-ware to develop these systems.
    Kafka
    Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
    Spring Boot
    Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.
    See all alternatives