The release of Akka.NET 1.0 marked the delivery of the project’s first major milestone and enabled us to commit to preserving long-term APIs for the foreseeable future.

The core Akka.NET team and I have put together a rough roadmap that outlines our development priorities for the next 12-18 months. Our chief objective is to build out all of Akka.NET’s high availability (HA) components and release them.

Here’s what the roadmap looks like in release order:

  1. Akka.NET v1.1 - full release of Akka.Cluster
  2. Helios 2.0 & Akka.NET v1.x - add TLS/SSL support to Akka.Remote and improved performance of networked actor systems. Can be released independently of other changes. Learn more about Helios 2.0.
  3. Akka.NET v1.2 - full release of Akka.Persistence with SQL Server, Windows Azure, and filesystem support built in.
  4. Akka.NET v1.3 - full release of Akka.ClusterSharding.
  5. Akka.NET v1.x - add support for Akka.IO, Akka.ClusterClient. Can happen independently of other changes.
  6. Akka.NET v1.4 - release of Akka.Streams and the initial Reactive Streams specification for .NET.

If you’re not sure what the names of these modules refer to then ask in our Gitter chat!

All of these represent major projects that are currently underway on the Akka.NET project itself. These priorities may change as new things occur in the .NET and Akka ecosystems, but for the time being these are the milestones we’ve committed to based on discussions with end-users.

We’re looking forward to having another great year and working with our contributors to deliver more new modules and tools for you to use! So make sure you follow the Akka.NET project on GitHub and get the latest changes!

Today, we’re going to begin introducing the world to the internals of Akka.NET. These are the advanced technical topics and explain what is actually going on “under the hood” to make the magic happen.

We begin our exploration with Akka.Remote.

What Is Akka.remote?

Akka.Remote is one of the most important modules in the entire framework. Akka.Remote is the module which actually enables a big percentage of the awesome feature of Akka.NET, such as:

  • location transparency (not having to care which process—local or remote—an actor lives in)
  • ability to scale out via configuration, instead of code
  • Akka.Cluster and highly-available clustered systems (built on top of Akka.Cluster)
  • ability to remotely deploy actors from one machine to another

In short: understanding Akka.Remote is a powerful tool to have at your disposal for building distributed systems in Akka.NET.

Akka.NET Remote Connections Explained

The most important piece to understand about Akka.Remote is how remote connections work, and what is the topology of actors responsible for managing remote connections.

The Petabridge team (all two of us) just wrapped up a big two weeks. We launched Akka.NET V1.0 and then traveled to Portland to talk about .NET open source software at .NET Fringe.

.NET Fring logo

One of central themes of .NET Fringe is open source communities - and there’s two sides to this coin:

  • How does an open source project successfully attract contributors and make them effective?
  • How does your typical software developer become an OSS contributor?

I’m going to touch on the former topic in a subsequent post, as that appeals to a more niche audience than the latter.

Why Do Open Source?

All OSS contributors start off like any other typical software developer… So let’s start there.

You work in an office and you’re initially really satisfied with what you do. But engineering is as much a creative endeavor as it is a technical one… And your day job doesn’t really scratch your itch entirely.

You really have the languages, frameworks, tools, and design methodologies that you currently use down cold. At least you think you do. So, in your opinion, there’s not a lot of new or exciting stuff happening at your work place.

After enough time passes, you start to feel unsatisfied. Bored. Unfulfilled.

And thus, you choose one of following:

  1. Switch jobs to someplace else and hope the environment is more stimulating; or
  2. Become complacent (the “default” option) and stop being curious about software development; or
  3. Take matters into your own hands and become responsible for your own happiness when it comes to software development.