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10/6/2021 2:51:13 PM
wasmCloud platform updates
wasmCloud 0.50,Updates,Cosmonic
App Developer Magazine
wasmCloud platform updates

Open Source

wasmCloud platform updates

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Brittany Hainzinger Brittany Hainzinger

Cosmonic has announced wasmCloud platform updates including an improved developer experience, new runtimes, command-line tooling, a web-based dashboard, the adoption of Smithy, combined Elixir and OTP abilities, a self-healing lattice network, and much more.

WebAssembly pioneer Cosmonic has announced the 0.50 release of wasmCloud. The distributed application framework and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Sandbox project was created for building universally portable cloud-native applications with WebAssembly that can plug into multi-cloud, multi-edge, and now far-edge environments directly inside the browser.

The proliferation of over 21 billion internet-connected devices, diverse CPUs, and endless combinations of operating systems and browsers means that truly portable applications are required to meet the imminent demand for secure, highly concurrent, real-time systems. WasmCloud 0.50 introduces a stronger, faster, more scalable foundation using proven Elixir/OTP technologies, which frees up the community to focus on core feature development. The 0.50 release further enhances wasmCloud's boiler-plate-free developer experience and introduces support for deploying and executing actors in the browser.

"Today's development and operations teams face significant challenges delivering distributed real-time systems like WhatsApp or Discord that are designed to serve millions of concurrent users. Compounded further by diverse CPU architectures, development efforts are inhibited and desired benefits are not easily achieved. We're ruthlessly focused on simplifying these challenges. Our goal is to enable developers to deliver truly portable applications, both in terms of where the applications execute and the capabilities they deliver thus bringing the joy back to distributed application development," explained Liam Randall, Cosmonic founder and CNCF Cloud Native Wasm Day Program committee chair.

wasmCloud platform updates and key product features include:

Hybrid Elixir/Rust Foundation

  • Combines Elixir's and OTP's ability to run scalable, highly available distributed applications with Rust's ecosystem for safe systems-level functionality (e.g., memory, thread, and data safety). 
  • Supports more actors, and capability providers are written in any language, giving developers freedom of choice with less boilerplate. 
  • Embraces NATS JetStream technology to introduce a durable, persistent cache for managing lattice metadata across multiple disparate infrastructures.
  • A self-healing lattice network can recover from catastrophic situations, even the termination of every host.

Improved Developer Experience

  • Replaces wasmCloud's command line Read-Eval-Print-Loop (REPL) with a web-based dashboard allowing developers to view and administer their entire lattice from a single browser tab.
  • Introduces command-line tooling that enables developers to generate new actors, providers, and interfaces automatically with ready-to-use scaffolding, so developers can go from concept to running actor in seconds. 
  • Adopts Smithy, an open-source language for defining services and SDKs that have been widely used within Amazon to model and generate code for over 250 APIs. Smithy is used to define wasmCloud's capability contracts and remote interfaces and supports wasmCloud's contract-first design philosophy, which is essential for reliable, planet-scale distributed services. Interface-driven code generation avoids boilerplate and eliminates unnecessary friction from the development process.
  • Improves the developer experience for creating actors and providers with better code generation and interface definition support.

Support for New Runtimes

  • Introduces preliminary support for a new JavaScript wasmCloud host. Establishing support for over 3 billion Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox browsers as a deployment target for wasmCloud's portable actors brings the project closer to delivering a universal computing substrate where actors can be deployed anywhere, including at the far edge in IoT devices too small for Linux or K3s.


"We have a keen intuition for emerging technologies that change the way we do things for the better. Having designed a proof-of-concept future state architecture for one of Europe's largest banks, we recognize that the combination of Kubernetes, service mesh, wasmCloud, NATS, and GitOps is a gamechanger for enterprises with complex multi-cloud, resiliency, security, compliance, and portability requirements. wasmCloud 0.50 is where proven cloud-native technologies come together to make magic happen," said Stuart Harris, founder, and chief scientist, Red Badger, a London-based digital consultancy working with blue-chip companies on their most challenging digital projects.

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