A concurrent and distributed programming language developed by Ericsson.


Erlang is a prominent programming language and an excellent runtime environment. It’s an asynchronous language that completes tasks quickly and has built-in functions for distribution and fault tolerance. Engineers use Erlang to build real-time systems and software. It’s a robust and dynamically typed language with high scalability. 

 Erlang uses OTP (Open Telecom Platform) libraries to accomplish its tasks. Users can create event-driven triggers through the event manager. Distribution is implemented through TCP/IP, and the language offers real-time tracking of data. It’s also easy to upgrade and maintain with standard release handling principles. 

Erlang Developers Hiring Guide

  • How to choose the best
  • Interview questions
  • Job Description

When was Erlang invented?

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What is Erlang used for?

Messaging applications

Due to its concurrency distribution properties, engineers can use Erlang to develop instant messaging applications. Many modern messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook use Erlang.

IoT products

Erlang is also used to develop Internet of Things (IoT) products and services since it can communicate directly with application-level Pmods. Network engineers can use it to solve traffic and data congestion problems for edge systems.  

Telecom and eCommerce

The main purpose of developing Erlang was to use it in telecommunication services. That’s why it includes a sophisticated runtime environment and OTP libraries. The applications and systems developed using Erlang and OTP are more adaptable and result-oriented.

Blockchain development

Erlang has many high-level features that you can use to design blockchain applications with ease and flexibility. Blockchain applications need to scale while maintaining the decentralized nature of the nodes and data. Erlang can easily provide that since it has inherent fault tolerance and increasing uptime of the system. Blockchain also requires transactions to be uninterrupted and generate real-time responses for those requests, both of which can be programmed easily with Erlang. 


Because of its high availability, developers can use Erlang to create online banking solutions. Erlang can also be used to leverage multicore technologies, and development can be done rapidly. Fintechs also use it to deliver elaborate financial tools like hedge fund platforms that require low latency, high accuracy, and detailed order submission. 

What makes Erlang unique?

  • Concurrency

    The best part about Erlang is that it has a vast potential for concurrency. It has several lightweight threads that can be handled simultaneously. Each thread runs a different process, and the Erlang VM schedules these processes.

    These concurrent threads improve communication and efficiency. These have a very low memory footprint, i.e., Erlang VM can run millions of threads simultaneously without overloading the system.

  • Distributed programming

    An important aspect of Erlang is that it allows you to effectively use distributed programming. It has message parsing that allows data transfer without using shared memory.

    Hot code loading allows you to change service code without affecting the execution of other services. Even Erlang’s built-in database, Mnesia, is a distributed database.

  • Scalability

    Another great advantage of Erlang is its scalability. You can add more machines/CPUs to handle traffic or add more cores to the existing CPUs. And the servers built through scaling these machines are TCP non-blocking, i.e., you can use them for different applications such as e-commerce apps, digital messaging applications, or telecom systems.

  • Reliability

    Erlang has outstanding fault tolerance. Its supervisor and gen-servers easily start lightweight failed tasks. It can also self-heal, i.e., manage bugs on a smaller level.

    An engineer can set a supervision strategy to define the restarting process, threshold setting, and corner cases. The language can also perform trace capturing for root cause analysis. You can also do live debugging, logging directly into nodes to troubleshoot them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs on Python Development Services!

Erlang doesn’t have shared memory. Message passing allows Erlang processes to communicate with each other. The sender process sends a generalized object to the receiver process. The receiver process is responsible for understanding the general object sent by the sender process and then invoking subsequent code. Message passing in Erlang is Asynchronous.

Erlang is a versatile language, and there are many things that you can accomplish through it. However, Erlang shouldn’t be used for tasks that constantly require performance optimization. It should also not be used for low-level processes like parsing and string transforming (You can use it, but it will be inefficient).

The examples of applications that you shouldn’t develop via Erlang are GUI desktop applications, large-volume models that require high computation, and applications that don’t require real-time updates.

These are the few predefined macros in Erlang 

?Module: Returns the name of the existing module

? Module_String: Returns the name of the present module as a string

? File: Returns the present file name.

? Machine: Returns the current machine name

Yes, there are a lot of online documents and references available that can help you get started. Since Erlang is an established language, there is a lot of community support that you can get online. 

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