Elixir - Overview


Elixir is a dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. It leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain.

Elixir is a functional, dynamic language built on top of Erlang and the Erlang VM. Erlang is a language that was originally written in 1986 by Ericsson to help solve telephony problems like distribution, fault-tolerance, and concurrency. Elixir, written by José Valim, extends Erlang and provides a friendlier syntax into the Erlang VM. It does this while keeping the performance of the same level as Erlang.

Features of Elixir

Let us now discuss a few important features of Elixir −

  • Scalability − All Elixir code runs inside lightweight processes that are isolated and exchange information via messages.

  • Fault Tolerance − Elixir provides supervisors which describe how to restart parts of your system when things go wrong, going back to a known initial state that is guaranteed to work. This ensures your application/platform is never down.

  • Functional Programming − Functional programming promotes a coding style that helps developers write code that is short, fast, and maintainable.

  • Build tools − Elixir ships with a set of development tools. Mix is one such tool that makes it easy to create projects, manage tasks, run tests, etc. It also has its own package manager - Hex.

  • Erlang Compatibility − Elixir runs on the Erlang VM giving developers complete access to Erlang’s ecosystem.