Serverless architecture

Serverless apps, serverless services, serverless computing — it’s all anyone (or at least developers) talks about. Going serverless seems to be the modern way to go for many innovative organizations. But what does it mean to be serverless and why should you care? By reading this article you will learn why serverless is the way forward for modern web development.

What is serverless architecture?

First things first: Serverless architecture does not mean that your code will run without servers. There’s always a server somewhere—but in a serverless framework, the server that runs your code won’t be your server. So the technology around serverless architecture is nothing new, but the pricing model and business logic model is game-changing. You will save money by letting someone else operate the server for you. This is because you’ll only be charged you when your code is actively in run time. The money saved can be re-invested in creating code.

Serverless architecture by example

Consider the following example: You’ve created a web app for user registration. The web app is designed to accept real-time user input data from the front-end and then to forward that data to the backend database.

In a traditional setup, you would have to dedicate time and resources to make sure that both the server event triggers your web app and the backend data center responsible for storing the user data is always up and running. However, a serverless architecture implementation of the web app would provide authentication to write, retrieve, and request the modification of user data from a cloud platform-based, function-as-a-service (or FaaS), database implementation.

Another use case example would be a serverless web application of deploying functions to power a single-page app. The app works by calling functions via webhooks to save user data and decides what data to display. You can perform do simple third-party service customizations, like changing ad targeting metrics by calling a function and passing it user profile data.

So what is Function-as-a-service?

Unlike a PaaS framework, where the cloud provider handles different operating systems, and security patches, FaaS is all about letting a cloud-native service run your back-end code. This cloud computing ecosystem can be done by managing the workload of your own server systems or your own server application development.

The benefits of Serverless architecture and Function-as-a-service

Focus only on coding

Developers want to focus on writing high-quality code. Going with a serverless architecture means that devops won’t have to deal with provisioning and maintaining servers — even when you hit production peaks. With this type of scalability on demand, you get access to the cloud service resources you need, when you need them.

Use your favorite programming language

Going serverless with stateless functions means that you are in auto-scaling control of your stack without cold starts in latency. You can create your implementation using Python, C#, Ruby, JavaScript, or any other language of choice, and then connect your open source apps with your serverless functions. This way of working makes it easy to integrate and automate a serverless platform into your workflow to avoid debugging.

Going serverless with Contentful

Contentful equals content infrastructure. In other words: Contentful is an orchestration of content that enables teams to power content in any digital product pipeline or cloud environment.

Let’s go back to the example of the single-page app. Making it serverless with Contentful is as easy as making an API call. For example, you can use Contentful to store content, then pull the content into your app whenever you need it. This way you can focus on crafting quality code in software development, while Contentful makes sure that your content is always available via Contentful’s Content Delivery Network CDN.

Learn more about Contentful

Head over to our Why Contentful page to how Contentful can help you ship your microservice projects faster without dependencies. And if you want to learn more about the technical aspects of Contentful go to the features page.

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