Since the introduction of AWS Lambda in 2014, ‘serverless’ offers a new approach in web application development to small startups and large enterprises alike.
The serverless market is forecast to be at a CAGR of 22.7% from USD 7.6 billion in 2020 to USD 21.1 billion by 2025, according to Markets and Markets. The big four companies in cloud computing Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft have already introduced many services and products in serverless technology that have the potential to radically change the way the software is developed.
The term ‘serverless’ doesn’t imply that no server is used. With serverless, it becomes the responsibility of AWS to manage some aspects of the server. You just need to focus on your web application development code instead of devoting any time to configuring, provisioning, and maintaining servers.
What is serverless?
Serverless is a cloud computing execution model in which cloud service providers run and manage servers. With the use of serverless application architecture, web application development teams don’t need to understand or manage the infrastructure required to run the software. You’re just required to code and run it. You may use Serverless Framework, an open-source software, to make programming AWS Lambda easier.
For the following reasons, the use of serverless is in growing demand today:
- You can focus on your app development rather than infrastructure
- It reduces deployment complexity
- You just pay for the resources that you use
- Your overall web application development becomes more agile, which means you can faster develop and launch your product in the market
- It’s cost-effective
- It makes your resources highly available and scalable
- The use of serverless makes your web application development more secure
However, here are the things you should know before starting to work on serverless web application development.
6 things to know before you build your first serverless web app
You can’t use all languages
Before you start your first app development on serverless, you should keep in mind that cloud functions don’t support all programming languages. You should check before what languages you plan to use and whether it’s supported by the vendor.
You have to keep in mind that serverless functions provided by all the vendors are not suitable for long-term tasks. So it’s advisable that you keep watchdog time to handle timeouts.
Make yourself ready for serverless
Serverless tools are not for beginners. You need some experience to work productively on serverless. It’s easy to work out ‘hello world’, but the effective use of monitoring and deployment tools requires that you’ve already worked with production web apps.
Each Lambda function involves a lot of configuration
You have to allow sufficient time for API gateway configuration and Lambda. Take into account the configuration time required for all the functions before you plan your project timeline.
You’ve to do the following tasks for each function:
- Upgrading the code
- Setting up the function
- Creating the API endpoint
- Creating the IAM security role
- Setting up the HTTP request
- Configuring the HTTP response
- Setting up the staging endpoint
- Deploying the API
Don’t rely on Filesystem
You shouldn’t save your data on the local filesystem when you work in a serverless architecture. Being ephemeral, serverless functions destroy everything after the function completes. Rather you should get your data from an external source. Then you can process it into your Lambda.
Create a development workflow
When you work on a serverless web application, you can expect to face many challenges as the environment is different from your standard project. Everything runs on cloud components. Functions need to access and share code without having any one-size-fits-all way to do that. To surmount these challenges you should create an effective development workflow to be known, understood, and followed by everyone on your team.
Serverless architecture offers several benefits including savings in cost and time. It enables greater scalability. It even helps lower deployment risks. Rather than spending time on maintaining and managing, you can just focus on coding, the most important task in web application development. However, for a beginner programmer, it brings with it some challenges. But with the right tools and knowledge, you can overcome the challenges and deliver web apps and other solutions with many advantages. If you have any questions, please contact us.