Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers

#33: From Dev to Deploy with Helidon, the lightweight Java microservices framework

July 28, 2021 Otavio Santana, Chad Carlson, Dmitry Kornilov, Dmitry Alexandrov Season 1 Episode 33
Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers
#33: From Dev to Deploy with Helidon, the lightweight Java microservices framework
Show Notes

Introducing Oracle Helidon

Helidon is an open source, microservice framework for writing applications. As our two Oracle guests today, Dmitry Kornilov and Dmitry Alexandrov explain, Helidon is named after the Greek symbol for a swallow, a bird that’s extremely fast and maneuverable; just like Helidon. 

Helidon helps developers with two “flavors”

Helidon has two development experiences, which our guests like to call “flavors”: Helidon SE and Helidon MP. While both are extremely fast, there are differences between the two.

  • Helidon SE features three core APIs to create a microservice—a web server, configuration, and security—for building microservices-based applications.
  • Helidon MP is an Eclipse MicroProfile implementation that allows the Java EE and Jakarta EE communities to run microservices in a portable way.

Performance and support in one package

Helidon is a great choice if you are focused on a fully supported, performant application. Dmitry Alexandrov says, “Speed plus standards are the two key factors for us. That’s my definition of Helidon.”

  • Performance: Helidon is small and light, so the memory footprint, startup time, and disk usage are also small. “We’re talking megabytes,” says Dmitry Alexandrov. The reactive APIs are what contribute to making Helidon so small and intuitive.
  • Support: Helidon has full support for cloud native APIs, including health check metrics, tracing, and console availability. The tools you can use with Helidon include:
    • Docker
    • Kubernetes
    • Prometheus
    • OpenTracing
    • Etcd

Use cases for Helidon

Dmitry Kornilov says the most common use cases they receive are organizations upgrading from monolithic applications to microservices, and are looking at different microservices frameworks. “Helidon is often their choice, mainly because of the strong standard support, so it’s guaranteed to work the same way on your application server and in your Helidon micro container. It guarantees that the behavior you had will be the same,” he adds.

For these use cases, what’s the benefit of using Helidon over Spring Boot or Quarkus? For one thing, Helidon is not an application server, it’s primarily focused on microservices. For another, Quarkus doesn’t have the support compatibility that Helidon has, and it tends to be more affordable than Spring.

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