By Pablo Puig
Serverless architecture is an approach to building applications without worrying about servers and infrastructure. Your applications and services will run on servers, but all the server management will be handled by a cloud provider, such as Alibaba Cloud. You don’t need to worry about provision, maintenance, or scaling your applications.
You are migrating to the cloud, and you will be free from physical hardware management, but even on the cloud, you need to manage a lot of things. Serverless can help your organization in various ways, such as letting your development team focus on your core product instead of infrastructure and server maintenance.
1. Media Processing
Serverless architecture allows you to build multimedia services with enhanced performance. You can use it to transcode video for different devices or resize the images. Users can upload files, and you can execute the desired process in response to that upload.
You can also implement image processing in a serverless architecture. If your application takes images as input in any case, such as document verification, search by image, or in payment methods, you can implement image recognition in it.
2. Event-Driven Applications
Event-driven applications are used when you need to improve agility and move quickly with a response. Services are triggered by event changes or updates in the state. Implementing an event-driven application is one of the most common use cases of serverless architecture. Serverless architecture runs the application in response to an event trigger. This event trigger can be an HTTP trigger, Object Storage Service(OSS) event, RDS trigger, MNS trigger, Table store trigger, or a time trigger.
For example, if you want to inform the user through mail whenever a file is uploaded, you can use Alibaba Cloud Function Compute (FC) triggered by an OSS event (file upload) to send mail through direct mail or message through MNS.
3. Building APIs
You can create REST APIs easily with serverless architecture. You need a basic web framework, code to pull data from the backend, and a library to render the returning data to create a REST API. Alibaba API Gateway allows developers to focus on developing the code. Alibaba Cloud will handle everything else.
Chatbots are another example of serverless use cases. You can implement chatbots to respond to user queries, such as order status and common FAQs. Serverless will work on pay-as-you-go pricing, so you will only be paying for the resources in use. Chatbots can increase the customer engagement of an organization with value-driven instant support. Also, you can automate a lot of tasks in the chatbot by going serverless. For example, if a customer is looking for his account status, the chatbot can show it and message or email the customer if necessary.
If your application needs to interact with external SaaS services, you can implement a webhook HTTP endpoint to receive notifications and perform tasks. Webhooks built on serverless architecture offer low overhead and automatic scaling and need minimal maintenance. You can create an Alibaba Cloud log service to manage these webhooks.
Alibaba Cloud offers all the tools required to design a serverless architecture for an application.
Find a list of Alibaba Cloud services below:
Now, you should understand how serverless can make a huge difference in your organization. If you are working on multimedia services, building an API, or designing an event-driven architecture, serverless can change how you design and maintain your applications.
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