Erlang developments

for the manufacturing and IoT industry

This summer we got a task from one of our clients to develop an SMS sending service using Erlang, which was challenging as Erlang is not a widely used language and it's used in very specific domains and industries.

About Erlang

The language was invented in 1986 by Joe Armstrong, at Ericsson. As a big telecommunication company, Ericsson initially used Erlang for the telephony switches system and to improve the development of telephone applications. Erlang's full potential wasn't obvious yet at that time. The situation changed much later.

In 1998, Erlang became open-source, which greatly expanded its use. Erlang was used, for example, to code Whatsapp and to support the development of GPRS, 3G and LTE mobile networks. Armstrong once said that Erlang is "write once, run forever", he wrote:

"Erlang uses concurrent processes to structure the program. These processes have no shared memory and communicate by asynchronous message passing. Erlang processes are lightweight and belong to the language, not the operating system. Erlang has mechanisms to allow programs to change code "on the fly" so that programs can evolve and change as they run."

This greatly explains Erlang's growing popularity right now. The technology that had been unnoticed for such a long time, turned out to be a great solution for many modern applications.

Use Case

Our client is a known industrial pump manufacturer. They wanted to develop a module that would send SMS alerts automatically to their customers when a device gets dysfunctional or broken.

The service we developed was based on Twilio API and coded in Erlang. Eventually, the SMS module was successfully implemented into the client's software stack.