The Serverless API is an increasingly popular approach to mobile backend development, where the execution of code is done on scalable compute. The term serverless means an ecosystem free of constantly running compute server. A serverless architecture includes individual packages to be executed on specific actions. These packages are executed when needed and stay there costing us almost zero expenses.
The serverless API architecture is preferred by developers who target stateless systems where keeping a session active is not required. The architecture includes authorisation based on short lived tokens that take care of validating a request. Thus eliminating any need for a server. In this article, we will have a detailed discussion about the components of Serverless APIs, how does it work, and why is it becoming so popular. Nowadays, most of the cloud service providers are already into serverless architecture and features. Some of the most significant include, Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud.
Understanding Serverless APIs
Serverless applications are cloud-based systems where application development is a combination of third-party services, client-side logic, and Functions as a Service that is cloud-hosted remote procedure calls. Serverless architecture is entirely event-driven and managed by the cloud provider. Every event at the frontend requests for a function to perform all the requisites.
The organization or individuals who sign up for this cloud-based infrastructure deploy their backend logic as a function packaged with all the dependencies. The entire ecosystem for the execution of code is provided by the cloud service provider. . The development team can focus only on programming code, which is then submitted to the desired vendor for testing, debugging, deploying, and maintenance. For this, the vendor grants the necessary tools for all tasks mentioned.
Working of Serverless APIs
Serverless applications are event-triggered systems that run runs in stateless compute containers on the cloud. The events make the call to compute containers, and vendors providing backend services to do the dynamic allocation of execution capabilities. The compute containers are rendered as Function as a Service (FaaS) while vendors provide Backend as a service(BaaS).
Let us now understand the framework components of Serverless API that play a crucial role in the deployment process:
Regardless of the state of your server architecture, the client interface is always rendered on the client-side. Due to this reason, a static web server is all you need to run a client application.
Static File Storage
A storage that can serve files publicly to the user as needed. This will act as the source for static client application files that render the frontend. This client application will then call the backend APIs and render content using the serverlesss backend.
Lambda Functions- FaaS
Lambda by AWS is Function as a Service. It is one of the most important components of serverless computing as it takes care of the backend execution. The lambda functions enable the team to develop, run, deploy, and manage client applications in one of the several supported programming languages with a flexible compute power.
In the serverless environment, users need to sign up for the service. Then the serverless computing ensures that each end-user can sign up and log into the application easily and quickly.
Any application developed and used through a serverless architecture, the data related to the application requires to be stored in a database. The database needs to be a part of serverless architecture.
Advantages of using Serverless API
Low operating costs
Serverless computing is comparatively available at lower costs as the user does not pay for unused space or idle CPU time. The two main components of application development cost human resource and infrastructure costs. The Serverless architecture avails infrastructure at reduced costs to a fraction of traditional cloud providers of backend services. Hence, the overall operational costs drastically reduce as compared to maintaining your own development infrastructure.
Quick turnaround time
The Serverless APIs can efficiently cut time to market. Instead of needing a complicated deployment process to roll out bug fixing and new features, developers can gradually add and modify code. Within a few keystrokes, the developers can begin using the new services and environment essential to scale up the deployment process.
Simplified backend code and scalability
By implementing FaaS, developers can create a simple call to functions that independently perform an individual purpose, like making an API call. The cloud vendor takes charge of all of the scaling up of code, and the developers can sit free about the policies to scale up their system on demand.
Opens ground for innovation
As the engineers are more focused on developing solutions to client problems, their productivity scales big, thereby increases ROI on human resources. With infrastructure maintenance out of the process, the team can now work on innovative solutions. The reduced operational time guarantees a smoother adoption of Agile methodologies during application development. The product managers have all the freedom and resources to develop applications quickly and meet client needs.
Easier operational management
By using serverless architecture, developers can think only about providing the best solution to the client, without worrying about the infrastructure. The serverless architecture keeps you away with the necessity for continuous integration and deployment tools. The team can carry out hassle-free operation management to bring development and operations on the same floor.
The Future of Mobile Backend
Serverless mobile apps offer similar benefits as building a typical web application with a serverless backend. The highlighting aspect of serverless API is its ability to provide various types of environments in merely a few clicks. The code can run on an edge network to minimize the delay in transferring data.
Using the serverless APIs, software developers can craft mobile applications that perform and behave like native apps. It can be used to build mobile apps, in addition to web applications. Hybrid mobile apps with a serverless backend system enaenablevelopers to incorporate the features of serverless computing while releasing apps that perform similar to native apps on any smartphone or tablet. Serverless mobile apps are able to scale easily and quickly as the user base grows.
When it comes to mobile users or other end-users, one can easily execute tasks by requesting serverless functions that are actually provided by the cloud vendor. The vendor manages the entire backend of serverless apps with scalable functionality and the developers can quickly update functions one at a time, instead of updating the whole application. Hence, users need not wait to install the latest updates.
Serverless architecture has been growing moderately but steadily. Every organisation, irrespective of its scope, can channelize its resources prudently at reduced costs without compromising on quality and produce maximum return on investments. Serverless computing approach towards software development, where the focus is on providing innovative solutions rather than worrying about how to implement the solutions. As companies realise the potential of serverless computing, its usage will grow and is expected that serverless computing will become more solid, reliable, and easy to use shortly.