1. About

Note

BEAM stands for Bogdan/Björn’s Erlang Abstract Machine.

1.1. Introduction

This project is an attempt to make the Erlang/OTP framework more approachable and re-programmable in a manner which otherwise is complex. Although, Erlang supports hot code-loading and many of the advanced constructs, but using that correctly is not without complexities. This project tries to take some simple decisions thereby making the life of developer easy in realising dynamic code patching and reprogrammability. This project can be used as a standalone engine or can be embedded in another Erlang project, while much of what will be demonstrated is based out of its standalone deployment.

Note

Documentation and testing is lacking, but you will see some action both of these fronts. Till then happy hacking around. Additionally, you are most welcome to make contributions.

1.2. Motivations

1.3. Architecture

The websocket interface is provided to train the system, while Google LevelDB is used for storing and retrieving Erlang functions. Additionally, the functions are cached in memory, so subsequent invocation shall be much faster.

At present there is no restriction on function execution, so anyone with access can simply run any function available within this framework. Having said that there is HTTP Basic authentication both at websocket and HTTPS REST interface for simple checks. But once you are authenticated all the functions are available for execution.

1.3.1. Components

The framework has the following components:

  • core - Set of utilities for running Erlang/OTP functions.
  • websocket - A simple websocket interface to train beampacket and tell it about functions.
  • https rest - A HTTPS REST interface, where the functions defined through the websocket interface are served as endpoint (HTTP POST with application/json body).
  • storage - There is a local Google leveldb which is extensively used primarily to meet the time-to-market requirement. This shall change as time progresses towards a better strategy.

1.4. The Future

It is very hard to predict where this project will move on. This is a very humble beginning, where it is not entirely clear how this project shall find use in the larger audience.

1.5. Similar Projects

We are not aware of projects which tries to do this as-it-is, but then intenet is too vast for us to comment. Do leave a comment in case you find any similar open source or commercial projects.

1.6. Deployment

1.6.1. Software Dependencies

This framework supports Gnu/Linux and MacOSX operating system, but with little change it can be made to build on any of the POSIX compliant operating system when Erlang/OTP is available. This project depends upon a lot of open source dependencies, which are listed in rebar.config.

1.6.2. Development Environment Setup

Although the installation for various GNU/Linux distributions differ but the dependencies are easily available on any one of them.

1.6.2.1. Ubuntu or Debian

The following commands were tested on Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 9 but things should be similar (if not same) on other releases and Debian.

The following commands needs to be as a system administrator or with sudo (as shown below) so that the relavent packages are installed in the system.

If your system is not updated then probably it is a good idea to do that before installing anything else.

sudo apt-get update

Install the build essential and deps for Erlang/OTP

sudo apt-get install -y wget build-essentials libsctp1 libwxgtk3.0

Get Erlang/OTP 20+ from ErlangSolutions at https://www.erlang-solutions.com/resources/download.html

Say you downloaded Erlang/OTP 20.1 then install it for ubuntu as follows:

Alternatively, you can install the erlang from Ubuntu or Debian repo as well.

1.6.3. Build and Test

After you are done setting up the development environment the build is pretty straight-forward (see below).

git clone https://github.com/beamparticle/beamparticle cd beamparticle make release

In case you want to build a package then use the deb-package makefile target towards the same (see below).

make deb-package

1.7. Browser Support

  • Chrome
  • Firefox

Note that Safari do not work due to bug#80362. The request from Safari do not include the Authorization header, which is the source of an issue.

1.8. Thanks

Thanks for evaluating and contributing to this project. Hope you find it useful. Feel free to create issues for bugs or new features.

Erlang/OTP is a very old programming language and a very powerful one as well (though under utilized). The objective of the framework is to try to leverage some part of the power and give back to the community a reprogrammable engine with the power of BEAM.

A special note of thanks to redBus for being the first in integrating it within its production environment and allowing github:neeraj9 to introduce this to a much larger audience.

1.9. Authors