How to build and improve your serverless APIs

Jun 10, 2021 | Technology | Conference

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Current state of the serverless market

Modern software revolves around APIs, making it fundamental for developers to have high-quality and robust tools to create meaningful APIs. Serverless computing provides the speed, reliability, control, and development flexibility they need to rapidly scale up their software application - making it an indispensable tool when building complex workflows and stateful APIs.

In fact, the demand for serverless computing is so high that the market is estimated to surpass 21 billion worldwide by 2025. Enterprises leveraging serverless platforms, such as Nimbella, will reap the financial and operational benefits as it promises to reduce operational overhead and costs to manage the infrastructure, quicker deployment to market, and an increase in developer productivity.

Our latest conference about serverless

In our last conference we wanted to provide an outlet that will help developers in the space learn more about this emerging technology and how they can leverage it on their own. As such, we hosted a conference called “Serverless & APIs,” where we gathered industry experts in the space to educate and discuss with developers how to build and improve serverless APIs.

The speakers

The speakers invited included some real experts in the serverless industry like:

Rodric Rabbah, Nimbella's very own CTO and co-founder

Rodric talked about “Unleashing the Potential of Stateful Serverless Computing”. Rodric was a Principal Researcher and the technical lead for serverless computing at IBM. He is the creator and the lead contributor to Apache OpenWhisk, an advanced and production-ready serverless computing platform. He was awarded an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award and an IBM Outstanding Accomplishment Award for his leadership and impact on IBM Cloud Functions.

Allen Helton, Tyler Technologies' Software Engineering Manager

Who went over “Power Tuning Your Serverless API For Happy Customers”. Allen demonstrated a history of working in the computer software industry. Skilled in Javascript, NoSQL, RESTful API services, and AWS cloud development. Strong engineering professional with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) focused in Software Engineering from The University of Texas at Dallas.

Keith Casey, Okta's API Problem Solver

Keith covered “API Security: When Failure Looks Like Success”. Keith currently serves on the Product Team at Okta working on Identity and Authentication APIs. Pro great things. In his spare time, he helps build and support the Austin tech community, and blogs at CaseySoftware.com. He is also a co-author of “A Practical Approach to API Design” from Leanpub.

William Lyon, Developer Relations Engineer at Neo4j

who discussed “Low Code Serverless GraphQL APIs in A Cloud First World”. William is a software engineer at Neo4j, the open-source graph database, working on database integrations and extensions as part of the Neo4j Labs team. He is also the author of the Manning book "Fullstack GraphQL".

Why is serverless the future of developing?

Here are a few key takeaways from the event on unleashing the potential of stateful serverless computing, and how to align and fine tune APIs with serverless technologies:

  • It's a great way to build software because you don't have to worry about servers, networking, or load balancing. The beauty of a serverless API is how many options you have as destinations. Simple API transforms can go straight to the database without executing a serverless function. They scale vertically automatically based on traffic and can handle bursts without issue if your site gets hit with a bunch of traffic at one time.
  • You can identify issues and what needs power tuning with out-of-the-box analytics about individual endpoints that come from cloud providers. Analytics that tell you which endpoints get hit most often, which ones are slow, and which ones fail more often than others. Businesses can take these metrics and use them to identify problem areas in their application. If an endpoint is hit 60% more than all the others but runs about 30% slower, that's a prime example of an area that needs developer attention.
  • You can make significant performance improvements to your serverless APIs in seconds. You can allocate more memory and processing power by simply changing a number or moving a slider. You can remove unnecessary serverless functions by going straight to the database. There are a lot of easy tricks you can do that make powerful optimizations.
  • You can build highly scalable applications instantly. A primary obstacle holding enterprises back is that while many cloud-native serverless platforms are built only for stateless apps, enterprises use a combination of different applications using features like object and file storage, data tools, and more that, without unsustainable DevOps overhead, restrict the potential of any serverless posture. With stateful serverless support, these applications work seamlessly inside the serverless environment, unleashing the full potential of serverless development to deploy across the full network using the full range of business applications an organization needs.
  • It frees developers from the burden of infrastructure maintenance so they can focus on coding application logic. When developers have to duplicate their efforts two and three times to deploy the same application to separate public clouds, it's a waste of time. By freeing them from this enforced redundancy, they will be able to deliver greater efficiency while working in a manner that's more conducive to creative iteration.

With all of the benefits serverless computing offers it's no surprise that the market is expected to grow rapidly; and with the Nimbella Postman Plugin, you can take your APIs into a serverless world seamlessly. The plug-in allows developers to extend the functionality of Postman by adding commands to support an API-first development strategy. This approach allows for rapid prototyping, supports a services ecosystem, and enables automated deployment, testing, and continuous delivery pipelines that are extremely important for modern applications. For Installation and User Guide click here.

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