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12 Reasons to Choose Rust for Innovative Apps

12 Reasons to Choose Rust for Innovative Apps

As an experienced software engineer, I've witnessed firsthand the incredible potential this programming language holds for organizations seeking top-tier performance and robustness in their applications, particularly in developing efficient Microservices. In this blog post, we'll embark on a journey to explore the world of Rust, delving into its history, its unique features, and why we at PRODYNA use it for our projects.

The not-so-new kid on the block

Rust debuted in 2010 but needed time to mature like all innovative programming languages. Fast forward a couple of years, Rust is now a mature and powerful language that stands as a formidable alternative to challenge all established programming languages for developing, e.g., microservices in the cloud-native world.

Maturity meets innovation

Unlike experimental languages, Rust is robust and continually evolving on a safe and backward compatibility path. Its versatility shines through its multi-paradigm approach, offering concurrency, functional programming, generics, imperative coding, and structured programming support. Rust follows a different but equally powerful path, unlike traditional object-oriented languages, making it a prime choice for building business applications due to its expressiveness.

In the recent Stack Overflow survey, Rust emerged as the most loved language overall. While it might take some time to appreciate Rust truly, I'm here to guide you through its intricacies and show how it elevates our projects for our clients.

Rust is the most admired language; more than 80% of developers want to use it again next year.

- Stack Overflow survey

A strong foundation for an efficient future

Rust comes with an open-source MIT license and an Apache license. Supported by major industry players like AWS, Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla, it has gained significant attention, with companies increasingly embracing Rust for their needs for a memory-safe and efficient language. It’s a striking testament that these leaders chose Rust to modernize their applications landscapes.

The module system of your dreams

Rust's module system is a standout feature, offering a high level of control and organization that's unmatched by other languages. This robust module system and the high-level expressiveness of Rust makes it the best choice for any scale of modern cloud-based software development.

Demystifying Rust's technical jargon

Rust introduces a few technical terms; let's start with an overview of the tools and how they interact smoothly.

Rustup: This tool helps manage Rust versions, a crucial feature as Rust is continually evolving to meet the demands of high-performance computing.

Cargo: Rust's dependency management tool relies on TOML configuration files. Cargo is also the main frontend for the compilation process - Simply type cargo run or cargo build --release. With Cargo Watch, developers can leverage the most innovative iterative workflow.

TOML (Tom's Obvious, Minimal Language): It is a configuration file format commonly used for specifying settings in Rust projects. It’s the central place where all dependencies are defined.

Rustc: Rust's compiler isn't just a compiler; it's also a static code checker and transpiler. It generates intermediate code passed to LLVM for optimization, a critical aspect of making applications efficient and performant.

LLVM: LLVM is responsible for translating Rust source code into optimized machine code for specific target architectures, handling the linking process, and debugging. It optimizes the code for performance during compilation, generates machine code for the target platform, and manages the linking of external libraries. Additionally, it produces debug information essential for debugging Rust programs, making it a vital component of the Rust compilation process.

Crates: Rust's library format encompasses both binary and library crates. Despite the library crates features, Rust is always compiled from source code. This makes the Rust ecosystem trustworthy for any project on any scale. Docker provides the functionality for multi-target images, so Rust does not need to handle this.

Binary: In Rust, it refers to an executable program that can be run independently. The binary code is highly optimized for the target architecture. 

Library: It is a reusable collection of code that can be linked to other Rust programs. Rust’s ecosystem of libraries is comparable in size and maturity to different ecosystems like Go, Python, or Java.

A Glimpse into Rust code

Rust's code might initially appear unfamiliar, but it offers many powerful features. Traits, generics, references, and macros are elements you'll encounter in your journey to Rust.

Memory control is the heart of efficient and safe code

Rust's claim to fame is its unparalleled memory safety, a crucial consideration in any software development. While values are immutable by default, mutability can be explicitly enabled, ensuring your applications are fast and secure. I love to say that the Rust compiler acts like a "complainer," catching potential issues very early at compile-time, sparing you from runtime headaches in your production environment.

The Borrow checker for the rescue

In cloud-native applications, efficient memory management is non-negotiable. Rust's borrow checker ensures your values remain in use, preventing memory leaks and ensuring optimal resource utilization without any noticeable overhead.

The power of Enumerations

Enumerations in Rust, often called enums, are a versatile and powerful language feature. Enums allow us to define a type that can have a finite set of values, making our code more expressive and error-resistant. They're the fundament of Optional and Result, where strict control over datatypes and values is crucial. With Rust's enums, we can create custom data structures tailored to your needs, ensuring safety and efficiency in the code.

Mastering pattern matching

In Rust, the "match" functionality is a powerful control structure used for pattern matching. It allows us to compare a value against a series of patterns and execute code based on the pattern that matches the value. Each pattern can include literals, variables, or more complex structures. It's somehow similar to a "switch" statement in other languages but offers more flexibility and expressive power. "match" is commonly used for tasks like handling enums, deconstructing structs, or managing control flow based on different conditions. It ensures exhaustive checking, meaning you cover all possible cases, making your code safer and more reliable.

Null is not welcome here

In business applications, reliability is paramount. Rust eliminates null values, reducing the need for extensive error checking and bolstering the robustness of your code. It employs Option and Result to gracefully handle the absence of values, ensuring that our code runs smoothly.

Macros for efficient code

Unlike conventional functions, Rust macros operate during compile time, allowing for code transformations and generation before the program is even executed. This capability grants us a high degree of flexibility and expressiveness in crafting complex code. Whether creating custom abstractions, defining domain-specific languages, or streamlining complex code patterns, macros in Rust are a critical feature that significantly contributes to the language's reputation for safety, performance, and expressiveness. Understanding and harnessing the full potential of Rust macros can dramatically enhance the development process and lead to more concise, maintainable, and efficient code.

The power of Generics in Rust

Generics in Rust provide a powerful way to write code that works with different data types while maintaining strong type safety. They allow us to write functions, structs, and enums that can be parameterized by types, making your code more reusable and flexible. Generics in Rust are defined using type parameters, which enable us to write generic code that works seamlessly with various data types without sacrificing safety or performance. This feature is fundamental to Rust's ability to write efficient, safe, high-performance code.

Traits, contracts that matters

Traits are crucial in Rust because they enable code reuse, polymorphism, and safe abstraction without relying on traditional inheritance. They define a contract that types must fulfill, promoting predictable behavior and maintaining code integrity. Traits also facilitate extensibility by allowing third-party implementations for types, making Rust's type system both powerful and flexible. Overall, traits are fundamental to Rust's approach to abstraction, ensuring safety and expressiveness in a statically typed language.

Fearless concurrency

Tokio, the most powerful library for async development, simplifies asynchronous programming in Rust. This library is crucial for Rust because it provides a highly efficient asynchronous runtime for building scalable and performant applications. It enables concurrent operations without the overhead of traditional threads, making Rust a strong choice for networked, I/O-heavy applications and microservices. Tokio's ecosystem of libraries and tools simplifies asynchronous programming, making it easier to write complex, non-blocking code while leveraging Rust's safety guarantees. Overall, Tokio empowers Rust developers to create high-performance, concurrent software with ease and reliability.

Unveiling the possibilities of Rust

WebAssembly: Rust is the only programming language for combining efficient and high-performance WASM development with business needs.

Systems Programming: Rust's capabilities for system programming make it an excellent choice for cloud-native applications and microservices.

Data Science: Rust emerges in data science due to its unmatched combination of fast development cycles, fearless concurrency, and high memory efficiency without sacrificing performance or memory safety.

Machine Learning: Rust's rising popularity in machine learning is evident, with seamless integration into Python as a frontend language. Rust becomes a serious player in the IOT world.

Major Players using Rust

Google, Microsoft, AWS, Linux, Cloudflare, and GitHub recognized Rust's potential. They are actively integrating Rust into their projects, showcasing its growing influence and role in shaping the future of highly efficient and safe computing.

In conclusion, Rust's ascent in the world of Computing is undeniable. It's a language that prioritizes safety, performance, and control without compromise, making it a game-changer for almost every demand in the IT World.

As an organization, embracing Rust for your projects could unlock new possibilities, ensuring that your software is at the forefront of performance and reliability. Rust is not just a language; it's a revolution waiting to be harnessed in a world that demands efficiency, performance, and safety.

PRODYNA excels in delivering efficient computing applications using Rust for various industries. Whether it's financial services, machine learning, data analytics, or high-frequency trading, we harness Rust's capabilities to create efficient, lightning-fast solutions. With cloud computing and microservices expertise, we cater to diverse needs and ensure top-notch performance and reliability for our clients.

Contact us to learn more about PRODYNA services.

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Frank Ratschinski
Frank Ratschinski
Software Architect
Frank is a Software and Cloud Architect, as well as a dedicated GO Evangelist, and has been contributing his expertise to PRODYNA for 23 years.

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