This topic describes the features and the corresponding documentation in each release of Function Compute.

January 2021

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Layer management The layer management feature is added. You can abstract the public libraries on which a function depends to a layer. This way, you can reduce the size of the code package when you deploy or update the function. You can also deploy a custom runtime as a layer so that the runtime can be shared among multiple functions. 2021-01-15

December 2020

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Continuous integration or continuous delivery (CI/CD) deployment The CI/CD deployment feature is added. You can write and upload code without the need to manage infrastructure resources such as servers. Function Compute prepares elastic computing resources for you to run your code in a reliable manner. 2020-12-29
Billing granularity adjustment For on-demand elastic instances, the billing granularity is reduced from 100 milliseconds to 1 millisecond. 2020-12-15 Instance specifications and usage modes

November 2020

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Insights Insights summarizes the execution status of function requests. After Insights is enabled, the system collects metrics about each execution of a function. The metrics include performance metrics such as memory usage, function execution time, initialization time, and cold starts, and exception metrics such as failed executions and error details. The metrics also include tracing metrics such as tracing details and whether sampling is performed. These metrics are delivered to the Logstore that you specified when you configured logging. Insights monitors each invocation of a function to provide information about the execution of the function. 2020-11-30
Image pull acceleration Compared with function code packages, container images are easier to be migrated between technology stacks. In addition, container images feature a comprehensive and standard tool chain ecosystem and provide best practices. However, container images contain files that are not used by applications, such as operating systems and command tools. These files inevitably increase the amount of data to be downloaded and decompressed, and prolongs the cold start for functions. It can take quite a few minutes to pull a large image whose size is larger than 1 GB before decompression. This greatly deteriorates the cold start performance of function instances. To resolve this issue, Function Compute has made a series of optimizations to improve the pull speed of container images by two to five times in different scenarios. The time consumed to pull an image is reduced from minutes to seconds. 2020-11-30 Image pull acceleration
Application Real-Time Monitoring Service (ARMS) advanced monitoring Function Compute seamlessly integrates with ARMS. You can use the application performance management (APM) feature of ARMS by configuring environment variables. ARMS provides non-intrusive advanced monitoring without code changes for applications in the Java 8 runtime environment. This way, you can view various metrics of instances, such as the total number of requests, the response time, and errors. 2020-11-30 Monitor Java functions
Auto scaling of provisioned instances Auto scaling of provisioned instances is supported. You can perform scheduled auto scaling or metric tracing auto scaling to make better use of provisioned instances. 2020-11-30 Auto-scaling of reserved instances
Resource plans Resource plans are supported. A resource plan contains different types of instances. When you use Function Compute, the instances that are used are first deducted from the resource plan within the validity period of the resource plan. The excess usage is charged in pay-as-you-go mode. 2020-11-30 Resource package
Programming model extensions The runtime extension feature is provided to resolve the following pain points. The feature extends the existing programming model for HTTP servers by adding the PreFreeze and PreStop webhooks to the existing HTTP server model. Extension developers implement an HTTP handler to monitor lifecycle events of function instances.
  • Data of asynchronous background metrics is delayed or lost.
  • The latency is increased if metrics are synchronously sent.
  • Graceful release of functions is required.
2020-11-26 Feature overview
ActionTrail Function Compute integrates with ActionTrail. ActionTrail records operations logs for you to track, view, and analyze the actions of your Alibaba Cloud account. 2020-11-25 ActionTrail

October 2020

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Serverless Devs Serverless Devs Tool is a tool that makes the development and operations and maintenance (O&M) of serverless applications more efficient. This tool allows you to develop, create, test, and deploy an application with ease and efficiency, to manage the full lifecycle of the application. 2020-10-23 Serverless Devs Tool

September 2020

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Asynchronous invocation configurations Asynchronous invocation can be configured. This allows you to send the results of successful or failed function executions to destinations. You can also set the number of retries for asynchronous invocation and the validity period of messages. 2020-09-25
Custom container images In the cloud-native era, container images have become a standard tool for software deployment and development. Function Compute provides a custom container runtime to improve developer experience and the development and delivery efficiency. Developers can deliver their functions as container images and interact over HTTP with Function Compute. The custom container runtime simplifies the following scenarios:
  • You can perform cost-efficient migration and maintain consistency between development and production environments without modifying code or recompiling binary and shared objects (*.so).
  • Compressed images can be up to 1 GB in size. This allows you to package code and dependencies together for easier distribution and deployment.
  • Container images are natively stored in a cache hierarchy. This improves the efficiency of uploading and pulling code.
  • Standard, replicable third-party libraries can be used for referencing, sharing, building, code uploading, storage, and version management. This offers a comprehensive open source ecosystem for CI/CD.
Tracing Analysis Tracing Analysis in Function Compute connects the entire trace. It provides the following core features:
  • Automatically records the time that is spent on key steps in Function Compute.
  • Connects to an upstream service. If a request header contains a SpanContext, Function Compute creates a child span based on the SpanContext.
  • Connects to a downstream service. Function Compute imports the SpanContext to the function context to help you track the internal trace of a function.
  • Allows you to view application topologies.
  • Allows you to view the execution of an invalid API operation and identify the cause of the error.

August 2020

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Performance instances Performance instances are supported. Performance instances have higher specifications, alleviate the effect of service limits, and support more specific resource sizes and more scenarios. 2020-08-31

October 2019

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Custom runtimes Custom runtimes for functions are supported. You can customize execution environments in different languages based on custom runtime environments. In addition, you can migrate existing web applications to Function Compute without modification with a few clicks, and create serverless web applications with high elasticity and availability. 2019-10-01 Custom Runtime
Subscription The subscription billing method is supported. Subscription resources have a unit price that is 70% lower than pay-as-you-go resources. If you use subscription resources for stable load, you can enjoy lower unit prices. If you use pay-as-you-go resources for changing load, the resource utilization is higher. You can use multi-level and multi-dimensional resource usage metrics to track resource usage for applications and accurately estimate resource usage. This greatly reduces the cost of business migration to the cloud. 2019-10-01 Best practices of minimizing Function Compute costs

September 2019

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Provisioned instances You can allocate and release provisioned instances. The long-running execution environment eliminates delays caused by cold starts. You can use both provisioned and on-demand instances. The transition between different types of instances for scaling can be implemented in milliseconds. This enables high performance and resource utilization in a cost-efficient manner. 2019-09-12

July 2019

Feature Description Release date Documentation
CDN acceleration for Function Compute origins Alibaba Cloud CDN acceleration is supported for Function Compute origins. Cloud-native serverless applications built in Function Compute can be deployed to CDN for acceleration with a few clicks. This feature can simplify operations and improve user experience for building cloud-native serverless web applications that are elastic and highly available in Function Compute. 2019-07-07 Enable CDN acceleration for Function Compute origins

May 2019

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Java HTTP triggers Java HTTP triggers are supported. You can use Java HTTP triggers to perform the following operations:
  • Seamlessly migrate traditional Java web applications in frameworks such as Spring, Spring Boot, and Struts 2 to Function Compute.
  • Build cloud-native web applications in the Java runtime environment.
Java HTTP triggers allow programmers to build web applications with high availability and elasticity.
2019-05-21 Programming languages
Support for resource orchestration by Funcraft
  • A program is added to improve user experience.
  • Error messages used in template.yml syntax validation are improved.
  • When the local invoke command is run without the invokeName parameter, the first function is invoked by default.
  • The PYTHONUSERBASE environment variable can be set to a custom value.
  • The following bugs are fixed:
    • Binary data is missing when an HTTP trigger is debugged on premises.
    • Syntax validation for custom domain names does not take effect. The syntax of earlier versions is not compatible.
    • After a service role is configured, RAM users still need the AliyunRAMFullAccess permission.
2019-05-21 N/A

April 2019

Feature Description Release date Documentation
C# support The C# development environment is supported. API operations for synchronous and asynchronous invocation are provided, and custom features can be implemented in C#. For example, you can use HTTP triggers to develop RESTful web APIs and cloud-native web applications. You can use time triggers to implement automated O&M. You can also use various event source services to improve the computing capabilities of those sources. The support for C# allows you to run code written in more types of programming languages in Function Compute, which provides convenience for you. 2019-04-11 Programming languages

December 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Tablestore triggers Tablestore triggers are supported. When a table changes, Function Compute implements customized data processing in real time. Tablestore triggers can be used to enable Function Compute to compute and cleanse data, which simplifies configuration and improves user experience. 2018-12-29 Overview
Version management You can manage service versions to separate the production and development environments. The version management feature is configured on the service level. You can publish one or more versions for a service. In addition, you can use aliases that point to different versions for a canary release of new features. You can use the version management feature to separate the production environment from the development environment and reduce O&M costs. 2018-12-29 Introduction to versions

November 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Message Service (MNS) topic triggers MNS topic triggers are supported. You can use functions to implement custom processing on messages published under a topic. You do not need to poll the messages in MNS. Abundant custom processing can be implemented with simple configuration and user experience is improved. 2018-11-30 Overview
fun local command for on-premises debugging Funcraft can be used for on-premises debugging. Funcraft can simulate functions in Function Compute on premises and provides step-by-step debugging. These features enable Function Compute to eliminate the disadvantages in development and debugging compared with traditional applications and provide a new way to troubleshoot online issues. You can use the following features for on-premises development and debugging by running the fun local command:
  • Run a function on premises.
  • Step through a function on premises.
  • Use events to trigger functions on premises.
  • View the integrated development environment (IDE) configuration that is displayed when you step through a function.
This update is important and can facilitate on-premises debugging.
2018-11-30 Run the fun local command to debug functions on premises

September 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Custom domain names Custom domain names are supported. Custom domain names and HTTP triggers are a perfect solution for building serverless web applications. Building backend web applications is one of the main scenarios for Function Compute, and custom domain names make it easier to migrate web applications to Function Compute. Custom domain names can be bound in only two steps, which improves the migration experience for building serverless web applications. 2018-09-20 Introduction
WebIDE WebIDE is an integrated cloud development environment where Function Compute code can be written, run, and tested in a browser. WebIDE includes a code editor, file tree, runtime debugger, and command terminal. It also has built-in development tools, such as Function Compute Command Line Interface (fcli) and Funcraft. After function code is written, you can use these tools to deploy the function to Function Compute for execution. WebIDE overcomes the challenges brought by different on-premises environments and configurations and allows you to develop, debug, deploy, and run code in the cloud. 2018-09-20 Features

August 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Integration with Apsara File Storage NAS Function Compute integrates with NAS to provide more space for code running. Multiple functions can use the same NAS file system and share files. 2018-08-31 Configure NAS
Support for the PHP runtime The PHP development environment is supported. You can write function code by using PHP. API operations for the following two types of functions are provided:
  • Common functions
  • HTTP functions
You can make full use of PHP in Function Compute. For example, PHP can be used to analyze data and logs, run task scripts, and build websites in Function Compute. Based on the user experience feedback in other development environments, PHP provides an improved experience for writing function code. Third-party extensions and packages can also be freely used to an extent.
2018-08-31 Programming languages

July 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Funcraft 2.1.0
  • The OpenID Connect protocol is supported for API Gateway. The description parameter is supported.
  • User experience for Log Service is improved.
    • A Logstore is created in asynchronous mode and can be used within 60 seconds after the creation. Therefore, a retry mechanism is added.
    • If a Logstore is created without a default index, an index is automatically created, which is the same as the default index in the console.
  • Code package compression is optimized in the following aspects:
    • Compression is improved.
    • Version control directories such as .git and .svn are ignored.
    • The .env files are ignored to prevent private information from being uploaded.
  • Funcraft-executable files for all platforms are provided.
2018-07-10 N/A
Accelerated code upload in the console The maximum size of code packages that can be uploaded to the Function Compute console is changed from 5 MB to 50 MB by optimizing the upload logic. The upload speed has also been increased. This way, you can develop applications in the Function Compute console more conveniently. 2018-07-06 N/A

June 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Development tool for serverless applications Funcraft is a deployment tool for serverless applications. It can help you manage the resources of services such as Function Compute, API Gateway, and Log Service. You can use Funcraft to develop, build, and deploy applications by defining resources in the resource configuration file template.yml. The following features are added:
  • Specifications are defined and rule-based syntax validation of the configuration file is added in the serverless application model that is compatible with the Robot Operating System (ROS) syntax.
  • Properties related to virtual private clouds (VPCs), environment variables, Log Service, service roles, and policies are added.
  • Required permissions for Log Service and triggers can be automatically generated when the default service role is used. You can use the policies property to customize these permissions.
  • Log Service triggers and HTTP triggers are supported.
  • Tablestore tables can be created in Function Compute, which resolves the issue that you can create Tablestore tables only in the Tablestore console.
  • Sensitive information can be eliminated from the description file, the fun config command is supported, and fcli-compatible configuration files can be generated. The .env files are supported and environment variables can be used to define the AccessKey pair and endpoint information.
  • More API Gateway parameters are supported.
  • The issue that permissions are lost when the fun package command is run to compress UNIX files is resolved.
  • The CodeUri property can be specified in different formats, such as file, directory, ZIP file, and Object Storage Service (OSS) bucket.
  • Node version checking is added.
2018-06-29 Features
SDK for Go The SDK for Go is released to allow Go developers to use the Function Compute API to manage or invoke functions. 2018-06-29 N/A
Access to cloud resources in a VPC A VPC is a custom private network that is created on Alibaba Cloud. Function Compute can be connected to an elastic network interface (ENI) to securely access Alibaba Cloud services in a VPC, such as ApsaraDB RDS and Elastic Compute Service (ECS). This way, Function Compute can interact with existing Alibaba Cloud services and apply to more scenarios where serverless applications can be used. 2018-06-29 Configure functions to access VPC resources
CDN event triggers
  • A CachedObjectsPushed event is generated when user data in CDN is preloaded, and a CachedObjectsRefreshed event is generated when user data is refreshed. These events can trigger functions. This way, you can determine the latest status of resources without continual queries before you proceed to the next step.
  • A CachedObjectsBlocked event is generated when CDN detects prohibited content. This event can trigger a specific function and the function deletes the offending resources from the origin without waiting for the CDN team to respond.
  • A LogFileCreated event is generated when a log file is created. This event can trigger a specific function and the function dumps or processes logs with efficiency without waiting a long time.
  • A CdnDomainStarted or CdnDomainStopped event is generated when a domain name for CDN is enabled or disabled. These events can trigger specific functions and the functions process data as needed.
2018-06-28 Overview

May 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
HTTP triggers for Python HTTP triggers for Python are supported, which allow you to invoke functions by sending HTTP requests. HTTP triggers for Python make function invocation easier for Internet, AI, and Internet of Things (IoT) developers. 2018-05-21 Overview

April 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
HTTP triggers HTTP triggers are supported. Web users can invoke functions and developers can test functions by sending HTTP requests. 2018-04-30 Overview
Environment variables Environment variables can be set and referenced within functions to store and read sensitive information. 2018-04-28 Introduction

March 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Function Compute available in the Australia (Sydney) region Function Compute is available in the Australia (Sydney) region. 2018-03-27 N/A
Time triggers Time triggers are supported. Service execution can be customized based on time. This greatly expands your business scope. 2018-03-16 Overview
Increased memory capacity of 3 GB A memory capacity of 3 GB is supported for services that require large memory sizes. 2018-03-16 What is Function Compute?

February 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Multiple OSS templates You can use various OSS templates to implement the following features:
  • Calculate the MD5 value of an OSS object.
  • Back up incremental OSS data.
  • Package and download objects.
The templates can greatly facilitate development.
2018-02-03 Scenarios

January 2018

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Node.js 8 environment The Node.js 8 environment is supported in addition to Node.js 4.4 and Node.js 6.0. Node.js 8 provides a series of new features and performance improvements. 2018-01-17 Programming languages

December 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Integration with IoT Platform Function Compute can be configured as the backend service in the IoT Platform console. This can resolve the following issues in the IoT and smart home fields:
  • Delayed data processing
  • Large technical architecture
  • Lack of real-time auto scaling
  • High costs

If you use Function Compute as the backend service of IoT Platform, you can build serverless applications with high scalability in a cost-efficient manner.

2017-12-23 Overview
New version of the console A new version of the Function Compute console is launched. The new version of the console includes billing data and category-based navigation, a simplified interface, and a redesigned editing page that uses a navigation drawer. Multiple operations can be performed on each page. The new console has the following features:
  • Display of service calls
  • Display of latest triggers
  • Display of latest template details
  • Display of updates
  • Navigation drawers
  • More content in compact space
2017-12-22 N/A
Entry for Function Compute in the OSS console An entry for Function Compute is added to the OSS console. Function Compute and OSS are integrated, which makes storage and computing interconnected. Trigger events for a function can be managed in Function Compute, and the events defined in an OSS bucket can be managed under the bucket. This greatly improves user experience. 2017-12-15 Deployment Package
Function Compute available in the China (Shenzhen) region Function Compute is available in the China (Shenzhen) region. 2017-12-11 N/A

November 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Python 3.0 support The Python 3.0 development environment is supported. This improves developer experience. 2017-11-16 Programming languages

October 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Log Service triggers Log Service triggers are supported. Function Compute provides the following features:
  • Seamlessly integrates with Log Service.
  • Used as the backend service of Log Service.
  • Allows you to cleanse, compress, and extract logs.
  • Allows you to schedule event processing in Log Service.
2017-10-10 Overview

September 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Integration with Tablestore Access to Tablestore is supported. Function Compute can be triggered when Tablestore tables are created, modified, queried, or deleted. This enables intelligent data processing. 2017-09-30 Use Function Compute
Function Compute for commercial use Function Compute provides a serverless and fully managed environment in which you can write code and set running conditions. Then, the code can be elastically and securely run when the conditions are met. Function Compute maintains servers and network resources and provides features such as message delivery and load balancing. Function Compute has the following benefits:
  • Code can be concurrently run on a large scale.
  • You do not need to configure servers, install software, or deploy containers.
  • Capacity configuration and scaling are automatic, and the system is loosely coupled.
  • Code running is triggered by events.
  • Billing is based on execution duration of functions, and you are charged only when functions are executed.
2017-09-27 N/A
Function Compute available in the China (Hangzhou) region Function Compute is available in the China (Hangzhou) region. 2017-09-25 N/A
Four main templates Four main templates are provided for key features such as tagging, crawler identification algorithms, and API Gateway response strings. You can use these templates to conveniently implement business logic. 2017-09-19 N/A

July 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Three sets of OSS template code Sample OSS template code is provided for developers to customize. This allows developers to get started with efficiency and reduces training costs. 2017-07-29 N/A
Python 2.7 support The Python 2.7 development environment is supported. This improves developer experience. 2017-07-04 Programming languages

June 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Access to API Gateway Function Compute can be used as a backend service of API Gateway. 2017-06-05 N/A

May 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
API operation for querying the code of the current version The GetFunctionCode operation is added, which facilitates error analysis. 2017-05-26 N/A
New SDK You can invoke functions from Java or Node.js programs. 2017-05-09 N/A

April 2017

Feature Description Release date Documentation
Function Compute for public preview Function Compute is ready for public preview. Function Compute is event-driven and serverless, and can automatically scale in or out resources in milliseconds. 2017-04-27 N/A