ZIO: The Most Important Data Type Of ZIO Library

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Overview

In this blog, we’ll understand about the most important data type of ZIO library i.e. ZIO and the type aliases available for it which are very useful when it comes to representing some common use cases.

What is ZIO library used for?

ZIO is a zero dependency Scala library that provides many features for developing concurrent, parallel, asynchronous and resources safe applications in a purely functional and more straight forward way. It can provide everything necessary for building any modern, highly concurrent application.

The ZIO Data Type

The ZIO[R, E, A]is a core data type around the ZIO library and also the basic building block of any application based on this library. This data type lets you solve complex problems with simple, type-safe, testable, and composable code.

ZIO[R, E, A] value is an immutable value that lazily describes a workflow or job. The workflow requires some environment R, and may fail with an error of type E, or succeed with a value of type A.

We can think of a value of type ZIO[R, E, A] as an effectful version of the following function:

R => Either[E, A]

This function, which requires an R, might produce either an E, representing failure, or an A, representing success.

ZIO effects are not actually functions, of course, because they model complex effects, like asynchronous and concurrent effects.

As we have seen above, the ZIO[R, E, A] data type has three type parameters. Let’s understand each of them:

  • R – Environment Type: means the effect requires an environment of type R. If this type parameter is Any, it means the effect has no requirements, because we can run the effect with any value (for example, the unit value ())
  • E – Failure Type: means the effect may fail with a value of type E. Some applications will use Throwable. If this type parameter is Nothing, it means the effect cannot fail, because there are no values of type Nothing.
  • A – Success Type: means the effect may succeed with a value of type A. If this type parameter is Unit, it means the effect produces no useful information, while if it is Nothing, it means the effect runs forever (or until failure).

Example

In this example, we defined an effect of type ZIO[Console, IOException, Unit]. To run this effect will need a Console service, it may fail with a value of type IOException, or may succeed with a value of type Unit.

ZIO values are immutable, and all ZIO functions produce new ZIO values, enabling ZIO to be reasoned about and used like any ordinary Scala immutable data structure like OptionEitherTryList, etc.

ZIO values do not actually do anything, they are just values that model or describe effectful interaction with the external world.

Type Aliases for the ZIO data type

ZIO provides some type aliases for the ZIO data type which you can use in some common cases instead of using the full ZIO type signature:

  • UIO[A]: This is a type alias for ZIO[Any, Nothing, A], which represents a ZIO effect that:
    • doesn’t need any specific environment to run
    • cannot fail
    • can succeed with an A.
  • URIO[R, A]: This is a type alias for ZIO[R, Nothing, A], which represents a ZIO effect that:
    • needs an environment R to run
    • cannot fail
    • can succeed with an A.
  • Task[A]: This is a type alias for ZIO[Any, Throwable, A], which represents a ZIO effect that:
    • doesn’t need any specific environment to run
    • may fail with a Throwable value
    • or succeed with an A.
  • RIO[R, A]: This is a type alias for ZIO[R, Throwable, A], which represents a ZIO effect that:
    • needs an environment R to run
    • may fail with a Throwable value
    • or succeed with an A.
  • IO[E, A]: This is a type alias for ZIO[Any, E, A], which represents a ZIO effect that:
    • doesn’t need any specific environment to run
    • may fail with an E
    • or succeed with an A.

That’s all for this blog. I hope you find it useful.

To read more such blogs related to ZIO or any other technology, visit Knoldus Blogs

References

ZIO Official Documentation

Written by 

Prateek Gupta is a Software Consultant at Knoldus Inc. He likes to explore new technologies and believes in writing clean code. He has a good understanding of programming languages like Java and Scala. He also has good time management skills. In his leisure time, he like to do singing and watch SciFi movies.