Qinglin Cloud uses Function Compute to handle services at the API layer and run common and custom applications on Function Compute. Based on Serverless Workflow, Qinglin Cloud completes the underlying implementation of all automated workflows. This reduces costs, improves service elasticity, and contributes to the executions of automated workflows during peak traffic hours.

Customer introduction

Qinglin Cloud, a professional Internet service company, provides technical and product-related consulting and services to help enterprises facilitate digital transformation and business expansion. Qinglin Cloud has provided mature and complete solutions that cover multiple industries. These solutions have served hundreds of millions of users.

Customer pain points

To adapt to the rise of enterprise automation, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and If This Then That (IFTTT), an enterprise decided to automate its workflows. To achieve this goal, the enterprise entrusted Qinglin Cloud to build a platform similar to IFTTT. In this case, engineers from other enterprises, including technical and non-technical engineers, can edit the business logic by dragging and dropping modules on web pages or in mini programs. After enterprises customize or purchase applications, they can edit the business logic based on workflows and flexibly change policies. This automates marketing, user operations and growth, and enterprise workflows. However, Qinglin Cloud encountered the following issues during the development:

  • High R&D costs: The structure of the applications that run automated workflows is complex. This increases the difficulty in application development and requires high costs and various types of resources.
  • Instability: The service stability of the applications that run automated workflows is difficult to guarantee. The downtime of a single node may interrupt the entire service.
  • Difficulties in troubleshooting: Workflow status management is complex. Issues such as execution failures in long-running workflows and memory leaks are difficult to identified and resolved.
  • Inapplicability to advanced enterprise-level business requirements: The issues caused by distributed architectures of applications that run automated workflows are challenging, and task scheduling requires external components. Multi-tenant resource isolation may fail. In addition, the concurrent workflow executions may conflict with each other.
  • High construction costs: Qinglin Cloud has to bear significant maintenance fees for server resources and queue messages.

Solution

Qinglin Cloud uses Alibaba Cloud services to enable serverless workflows. For example, it uses Function Compute to handle services at the API layer and runs common and custom applications on Function Compute. It also uses Tablestore to store data and Serverless Workflow to complete the underlying implementation of all automated workflows. Qinglin Cloud uses downstream data lakes for data analysis and uses Log Service to store logs. This reduces the cost for serverless workflows, improves service elasticity, and contributes to the smooth and concurrent executions of automated workflows during peak traffic hours.

Benefits of Alibaba Cloud services

Serverless Workflow simplifies the development and maintenance of applications that run automated workflows, and reduces the development cycle and costs. The sophisticated Serverless Workflow model of Alibaba Cloud provides complete logic support for workflow automation at the initial roll-out stage of applications. A large number of automated workflows run in parallel. Managed services from Alibaba Cloud help Qinglin Cloud ensure the smooth and stable running of services during peak traffic hours. This also improves customer experience. The application model of Serverless Workflow ensures resource isolation in multi-tenant mode, and avoids conflicts in concurrent executions of automated workflows. This greatly improves security and reliability. Serverless Workflow and Function Compute significantly reduce costs, increase development efficiency by dozens of times, and also contribute to the expansion of business.

In the current version, custom applications that run automated workflows require external services. Based on Serverless Workflow and Function Compute, the later versions will continue to support the deployment of custom applications to Function Compute, and are expected to enable workflow automation for more business scenarios.