What is Reactive Platform?

Reactive Platform from IBM is a JVM-based application development framework and message-driven runtime for building and deploying distributed, data-centric applications. It combines community-hardened open source projects with commercial enterprise capabilities for running your mission-critical systems at scale.

Reactive Platform Development Accelerator, a monthly term license offering, provides developers access to the application management, monitoring, and advanced tools for Reactive Platform, and also connects them with Scala, Akka, Play, and Lagom subject matter experts at IBM and Lightbend.

Reactive Platform Features


Akka is a Java and Scala toolkit and message-driven runtime based on Actors and Streams. It is the foundation of the Reactive Platform.


Play is a Java and Scala development framework built on Akka. It’s your go-to for REST-ful APIs and web apps.


Lagom is a microservices framework built on the Akka and Play foundations. Lagom provides an abstraction layer to allow developers to focus on an event-driven programming model to build a reactive system of microservices.


Java is an object oriented (OO) programming language. All toolkits and frameworks in the Reactive Platform support Java APIs.


Scala is an OO and functional programming language. All toolkits and frameworks in the Reactive Platform support Scala APIs.


Slick is a modern database query and access library. It adds non-blocking backpressure to make database access more Reactive.

 Intelligent Monitoring

Gain deep visibility and ensure the health of your Reactive applications with expert instrumentation for intelligent monitoring and visualization.

 Advanced Tooling

Simulate production environments locally, check configs, receive actionable optimization recommendations, and deliver continuously with advanced tools.

 Application Management

Ease management of Reactive applications with service orchestration, split brain resolution, service discovery, dynamic load balancing and more.

Get started for free with the open source core

Reactive Platform Open Source Core is free to use and contains the essential platform components developers need to get started building reactive applications.

Step 1:

Check your operating system for compatibility. Reactive Platform Open Source Core runs on the following operating systems:

  • x86-64 bit Debian or RPM based Linux system
  • macOS (Developer edition only)

Step 2:

To use the software, download and install the IBM Java SDK for Linux x86_64 (look for Linux on AMD64/EMT64T), or you can use a compatible SDK of your own.

Step 3:

Here comes the fun part! Choose your path and start building.

Have questions or need help? Chat with our experts on Slack.


Deploying an app to IBM Cloud Container Service

Learn how to deploy an application developed within the Lagom framework on IBM Cloud Container Service, a modern container-based Kubernetes infrastructure.

Deploying an app to IBM Cloud Private

Learn how to deploy an application developed within the Lagom framework on IBM Cloud Private, a modern container-based Kubernetes infrastructure.

Scala 101

Learn the fundamentals of the language, the tooling and the development process. Tackle data analysis problems involving Big Data, Scala, and Spark.

Licensing Reactive Platform

The IPLA licensed version includes all of the advanced features — Application Management, Intelligent Monitoring, and Advanced Tooling – you need to build and run reactive applications. Reactive Platform for use in production environments may be licensed either under perpetual or monthly license terms. To learn more or to request a consultation, visit IBM Marketplace.

Reactive Platform Development Accelerator is available under monthly per authorized user terms and may be purchased directly on IBM Marketplace.

Technical Resources

Start learning about Reactive

If you are new to Reactive concepts, a great place to start your education is with the Reactive Manifesto.

Explore Reactive microservices

In this concise O’Reilly report, Lightbend CTO Jonas Bonér explores a microservice architecture, based on Reactive principles, for building an isolated service that’s scalable, resilient to failure, and combines with other services to form a cohesive whole.

Examine the Actor model

In this O’Reilly report, Hugh McKee explains how the Actor model provides a relatively simple but powerful way to design and implement Reactive microservices that can distribute work across clusters of cores and servers.

Related Patterns

Deploy Akka Cluster on Kubernetes

Akka Cluster is a fault-tolerant peer-to-peer cluster membership service. Kubernetes provides multiple features that are a great fit for running applications built with Akka Cluster. Learn how to configure your Akka Cluster application to run on top of Kubernetes, taking advantage of its many standard features.

Create a soccer league dashboard app

Use Akka, React, and IBM Cloudant to deploy soccer league dashboard app on IBM Cloud.

Related Blogs

Lagom application integration with IBM Cloud Object Storage

Normally when we order a persistence service on IBM Cloud, such as Cassandra or MySQl, the storage is already integrated in the service and developers don’t have to deal with it directly. However occasionally we do need to do that. One example would be if you have a local database for developmental convenience but would...

Continue reading Lagom application integration with IBM Cloud Object Storage

Getting started with the Lightbend Orchestration for Kubernetes on the IBM Cloud

Lightbend describe their new Lightbend Orchestration for Kubernetes as “… a developer-centric suite of tools that helps you deploy Reactive Platform applications to Kubernetes. It provides an easy way to create Docker images for your applications and introduces an automated process for generating Kubernetes resource files for you from those images.” As a Reactive Application...

Continue reading Getting started with the Lightbend Orchestration for Kubernetes on the IBM Cloud

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