Erlang and OTP in Action
Martin Logan, Eric Merritt, and Richard Carlsson
Foreword by Ulf Wiger
  • November 2010
  • ISBN 9781933988788
  • 432 pages
  • printed in black & white

An enormous amount of experience, combined.

FROM THE FOREWORD by Ulf Wiger, Erlang Solutions Ltd.

Erlang and OTP in Action teaches you the concepts of concurrent programming and the use of Erlang's message-passing model. It walks you through progressively more interesting examples, building systems in Erlang and integrating them with C/C++, Java, and .NET applications, including SOA and web architectures.

About the Technology

Erlang is an adaptable and fault tolerant functional programming language originally designed for the unique demands of the telecom industry. With Erlang/OTP's interpreter, compiler, database server, and libraries, developers are finding they can satisfy tough uptime and performance requirements in all kinds of other industries.

Table of Contents detailed table of contents




about this book


Part 1 Getting past pure Erlang: the OTP basics

1. The Erlang/OTP platform

1.1. Concurrent programming with processes

1.2. Erlang’s fault tolerance infrastructure

1.3. Distributed Erlang

1.4. The Erlang runtime system and virtual machine

1.5. Functional programming: Erlang’s face to the world

1.6. Summary

2. Erlang language essentials

2.1. The Erlang shell

2.2. Data types in Erlang

2.3. Modules and functions

2.4. Variables and pattern matching

2.5. Functions and clauses

2.6. Case and if expressions

2.7. Funs

2.8. Exceptions, try, and catch

2.9. List comprehensions

2.10. Bit syntax and bitstring comprehensions

2.11. Record syntax

2.12. Preprocessing and include files

2.13. Processes

2.14. ETS tables

2.15. Recursion: it’s how you loop

2.16. Erlang programming resources

2.17. Summary

3. Writing a TCP-based RPC service

3.1. What you’re creating

3.2. Implementing the RPC server

3.3. Running the RPC server

3.4. A few words on testing

3.5. Summary

4. OTP applications and supervision

4.1. OTP applications

4.2. Adding fault tolerance with supervisors

4.3. Starting the application

4.4. Generating documentation with EDoc

4.5. Summary

5. Using the main graphical introspection tools

5.1. Appmon

5.2. Pman

5.3. Debugger

5.4. TV, the Table Viewer

5.5. Toolbar

5.6. Summary

Part 2 Building a production system

6. Implementing a caching system

6.1. The background story

6.2. The design of your cache

6.3. Creating the basic OTP application skeleton

6.4. From application skeleton to a working cache

6.5. Summary

7. Logging and event handling the Erlang/OTP way

7.1. Logging in Erlang/OTP

7.2. A custom event handler with gen_event

7.3. Adding a custom event stream to the Simple Cache

7.4. Summary

8. Introducing distributed Erlang/OTP

8.1. The fundamentals of Erlang distribution

8.2. Nodes and clustering

8.3. The nuts and bolts of resource discovery

8.4. Summary

9. Adding distribution to the cache with Mnesia

9.1. Distributing the cache

9.2. Distributed data storage with Mnesia

9.3. Distributing the cache with Mnesia

9.4. Summary

10. Packaging, services, and deployment

10.1. Applications from a system viewpoint

10.2. Making a release

10.3. Release packaging

10.4. Installing a release

10.5. Summary

Part 3 Integrating and refining

11. Adding an HTTP interface to the cache

11.1. Implementing a TCP server

11.2. Building a web service from the ground up

11.3. Summary

12. Integrating with foreign code using ports and NIFs

12.1. Ports and NIFs

12.2. Integrating with the parser through a port

12.3. Making a linked-in driver

12.4. Implementing the parser as a NIF

12.5. Summary

13. Communication between Erlang and Java via Jinterface

13.1. Integrating Erlang with Java using Jinterface

13.2. Installing and configuring HBase

13.3. Building the bridge between Simple Cache and HBase

13.4. Integrating HBase with Simple Cache

13.5. Running the integrated system

13.6. Summary

14. Optimization and performance

14.1. How to approach performance tuning

14.2. Profiling Erlang code

14.3. Erlang programming language caveats

14.4. Summary

Appendix A: Installing Erlang

Appendix B: Lists and referential transparency


What's inside

Build apps that...

  • Never deadlock on a shared resource
  • Keep running, even during code upgrades
  • Recover gracefully from errors
  • Scale unchanged from one to many processors
  • Handle many simultaneous connections, and
  • Maintain fast response times

About the reader

This book is written for readers new to Erlang and interested in creating practical applications.

About the author

A core developer for Erlware, Martin Logan has worked with Erlang since 1999. Eric Merritt is a core developer for Erlware and the Sinan build system. An Erlang pioneer, Richard Carlsson is an original member of the High-Performance Erlang group.

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