Serverless Use Cases

More and more developers are moving to Serverless as a way to increase velocity and decrease monotony.

Here we describe some core use cases for serverless, though we encourage you to think beyond them. Serverless is incredibly flexible and can be used to address a wide variety of application problems. It is also extensible, making it easy to build in use cases that are not currently supported.

#Auto-scaling Websites and APIs

Serverless websites and applications can be written and deployed without the front-work of setting up infrastructure. As such, it is possible to launch a fully-functional site in days.

The best part is that serverless backends scale automatically with demand. No need to fear crashing when you get sudden surges of traffic.

Want to get started? Check out these walkthroughs:

#Event streaming

Serverless compute can be triggered from pub/sub topics or from event logs, giving you elastic, scalable event pipelines without the maintenance of complicated clusters.

These event streaming pipelines can power your analytics systems, update secondary data stores and caches, or feed monitoring systems.

#Image and Video Manipulation

Serverless allows you to build performance-enhancing image and video services for any application. You can use serverless services to do things like dynamically resize images or change video transcoding for different target devices.

Applications are also increasingly relying on things like image recognition to improve user experience: for example, an ecommerce app that allows customers to photograph the front of their credit card instead of typing the numbers in manually.

With Serverless, you can tap into the Google Vision API or Amazon Rekognition to recognize faces and images (e.g. for profile photos), or flag inappropriate content. You can automatically process and re-format user-uploaded images, or resize them into specific thumbnail dimensions.

#Processing Events from SaaS

Modern applications are incredibly modular, in that they heavily utilize software from 3rd party SaaS providers (GitHub, Twilio, Auth0, Stripe) to deliver functionality. These SaaS providers don’t let you run functions on their system, but they do emit events.

Serverless lets you subscribe functions to those events, regardless of where those functions are hosted. You can use this to take action.

Pipe user data and activities to Salesforce to enhance lead flow. React to Stripe payments being processed. Automate GitHub workflows with functions running as webhook listeners. There are many, many rich possibilities here.

#Hybrid-cloud Applications

Individual cloud providers often don’t meet every business requirement on their own. Teams choose to utilize the strongest features from each vendor, requiring them to deploy services to multiple providers inside a single application. But the cloud providers themselves do not make it easy to do this.

Our tooling abstracts away any necessary tweaking required to get functions to fit cloud vendors’ unique formats. This lets you easily deploy to any cloud provider you choose, thus maximizing the efficacy of your application and utilizing the best each cloud vendor has to offer.

#Multi-language Applications

When building an application, the first discussion is usually about which language to use. The language chosen isn’t always about what suits the project best, but rather which resources are already on-hand.

With serverless, applications can be multi-lingual. This fosters polyglot teams and enables seamless integration of services into an application that were written by specialized teams. It further prevents teams from getting locked into using the same language as their legacy software indefinitely; new languages can be used for new services and still talk to legacy services as needed.

#Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

The ability to rapidly iterate software is more important than it has ever been. CI/CD pipelines allow you to ship code in small increments, so that bug fixes and other updates can be shipped on a daily basis.

Serverless can automate many of these processes. Code checkins can trigger website builds and automatic redeploys, or PRs can trigger running automated tests to make sure code is well-tested before human review.

When you think about automation possibilities with Serverless Applications, it becomes easy to cut manual tasks out of your workflow.