Off-by-none: Issue #104

August 25, 2020

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Service Integrations for HTTP APIs are (kinda) here! ๐Ÿ˜

Welcome to Issue #104 of Off-by-none. Thanks for being here!

Last week, we learned why you don’t need to buy a cow to do machine learning, and how serverless can speed up your regression tests. This week, we look at the new service integration support for HTTP APIs, see more support for JAMstack, and welcome some new heroes. Plus, we have a bunch of great content from the serverless community.

When you want to know the latest in serverless… ๐Ÿ“ฃ

The TriggerMesh guide โ€œWhat Every CIO Needs to Know about Serverlessโ€ compares the major serverless offerings and explains concepts like cloud native and microservices. Use it to inform your peers / managers on serverless benefits and options. Sponsored

AWS announced that API Gateway HTTP APIs added integration with five AWS services (including SQS, EventBridge, and Step Functions). This is super exciting because it is a lot simpler and less expensive than using the REST API version. I started digging into this right away and quickly discovered that there’s still no CloudFormation support, no request validation, and no response transformation. If you couple this with the fact that we still don’t have things like quota management for HTTP APIs, the likelihood of putting this into a production workload right now (at least for me) is slim to none. I think it’s a great first step, but feels a bit half-baked at this point. ๐Ÿ˜

In other news, Stackery added JAMstack support, which Ryan Coleman notes is “where web app architectures are going.” I couldn’t agree more. He explains in a blog post the new “website resource” that lets you add a static site build to your deployment process. Cool stuff.

The CNCF noted that the Cloud-Native ecosystem expansion continues with Kubernetes use by developers expanding 7% year-over-year. Serverless usage, on the other hand, is staying relative stable. Tell that to Rob Greenwood who says containers have peaked and that you should brace yourself for the serverless takeover. According to Rob, enterprise adoption is a driving force and likely an inevitability as we shift more responsibility towards developers. Personally, I think he’s on to something.

There was news that MongoDB is growing its Asian footprint through Alibaba Cloud, and The New Stack is running a Next Generation IaaS survey that you might want to take. I also came across a write up that lists the 10 most used databases by developers in 2020 according to the Stack Overflow Developer survey. DynamoDB came in at number 11, but at least Firebase made the top 10.

And last, but certainly not least, AWS announced the newest AWS Heroes, which includes some awesome serverless voices like Sheen Brisals, Angela Timofte, Matthieu Napoli, Luca Bianchi, Peter Hanssens and Tom McLaughlin. Congratulations to all of you!

When you’re looking for some serverless use cases… ๐Ÿ—บ

Startup Story Highlight: How Freebird Scaled Data Processing with AWS Step Functions โ€“ Express Workflows
Whether startup, SMB, or enterprise, weโ€™re building serverless for everyone. This startup story highlights how Freebird, a rewards platform connected to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, uses Express Workflows from AWS Step Functions to save more than 33% in infrastructure costs. Bonus: The blog post features a reference architecture for Freebirdโ€™s data processing workflow. Sponsored

Sarjeel Yusuf shares some thoughts on how serverless technologies can achieve optimal DevOps practices. IMO, serverless for Ops automation is a huge selling point.

In a COVID-19 related use case, Yev Krupetsky show us how to solve a real-life problem using serverless by building a simple system to notify customers if the local infection rate hits a certain threshold. And speaking of things we’d like to go away, Adrin Mukherjee shows how you can use Lambda and API Gateway to expose a SOAP Service as a REST API. Remember how great SOAP was? Me neither.

When you want to expand your serverless knowledge… ๐Ÿ—

Ben Ellerby has a post about Serverless-Flow, which is like Gitflow, but tailored a bit more to the unique challenges of automated serverless deployments. There are some really good practices baked in here.

If you’ve smartly decided to start using EventBridge, but aren’t quite sure how to get visibility into your event bus, Ken Robbins offers up a good trick to add a realtime monitor for EventBridge traffic. This is very similar to what I do.

Allan Chua wants to turn you into a Serverless Ninja by explaining how serverless enables massive efficiency gains. He also has another in depth piece on reporting errors via ChatOps using AWS Lambda & NodeJS. If you are looking for something more complex, Alejandro Oviedo can give you some thoughts on troubleshooting binaries in AWS Lambda.

And, if you’re keeping an open mind when it comes to picking a database, you might want to spend some time exploring Azure Cosmos DB Serverless!

When you want some hands-on serverless tutorials… ๐Ÿ‘ทโ€โ™€๏ธ

As always, the serverless community pumped out plenty of high quality tutorials this week to help you dive into serverless. If you’re thinking about making the switch to HTTP APIs, this quick tutorial will show you how to connect an HTTP API with a Custom Domain. If Full Stack is more your thing, Nader Dabit will show you how to build a real-time Chat App with GraphQL, CDK, AppSync, and React. It’s by Nader, so you know it’s good.

Testing your serverless apps seems to be another thing that trips people up. Paul Singman explains how he writes meaningful tests for AWS Lambda Functions and Allen Helton can show you how to easily load test serverless apps with Postman and AWS. The most important thing is to have a good testing strategy, which Mike Roberts brilliantly explains in his Serverless, Testing, and two Thinking Hats post.

Mohammed Izzy has a great introduction to Begin, as well as a great follow up that digs into Begin Data and running tests. Jakub Krajnia explains efficient message broadcasting with SNS filtering and Mich Rodz shows you how to deploy serverless with two simple commands, with a little help from Zappa.

James Beswick has a second part in his series on using serverless backends to iterate quickly on web apps. This one’s a bit more tutorial-like. Paweล‚ Zubkiewicz asks and answers “how do you connect EFS disk to a Lambda function?” And Joe Tan will show you how to set up AWS Cognito with React reCaptcha v2.

When you want to kick back with some good serverless reads… ๐Ÿ“–

Emrah Samdam sits down for an Interview with Vendia Founders, Tim Wagner and Shruthi Rao. All your Vendia questions are answered as well as some insight into the future of serverless. And with the future of serverless on the mind, CloudFlare’s CEO is pretty excited about it as well.

Marin Radjenovic digs deeper into transforming a legacy application to serverless with EventBridge, this time with some more detailed code walkthroughs. And if you want to know why DynamoDB’s performance is so high, I’ll give you a hint… it has to do with its architecture.

When you just finished your latest Netflix binge… ๐Ÿฟ

On Episode #63 of Serverless Chats I spoke with Paul Chin, Jr. about how Begin and Architect makes it super easy to build and deploy serverless applications, why CFAs (cloud function-based applications) are better than traditional apps, how to deal with increasing serverless complexity, and why Nicolas Cage can make you a better developer. You can watch it on YouTube as well.

Marcia Villabla shows you how to get started with AWS Step Function so you can orchestrate your serverless applications, Eric Johnson kicks off a crash course on Governance by using AWS Config with AWS SAM, and Yan Cui talks with Heitor Lessa about the Well-Architected Serverless Lens on Real World Serverless.

If you’re looking for something new, Mike Roberts just started a video series called Cloud Coffee Break that will cover serverless topics in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee. I’d suggest you put on a fresh pot and check out the first episode.

When you’re wondering what AWS has been up to… ๐Ÿ†•

Besides the HTTP API service integrations, Amazon Kinesis Data Streams announced two new API features to simplify consuming data from Kinesis streams. There’s some new filtering in place, but I’m not 100% sure how this ties into Lambda yet.

Amazon SES enabled the ability to bulk import and bulk delete email addresses from the account-level suppression list, which makes it a bit easier to manage large lists. Plus Amazon Personalize can now create up to 50% better recommendations for fast changing catalogs of new products and fresh content.

AWS SDK for .NET v3.5 is now generally available, which, according to the post, means that “Unity, Xamarin, and UWP users can now utilize the .NET Standard 2.0 distribution to gain access to the same services and AWS vended libraries as .NET Core users.” I’m guessing that’s important.

A couple of other notable updates include Amazon Interactive Video Service adding support for playback authorization, which is pretty cool if you want to gate any of your content. And Amazon Transcribe now supports speaker labeling for streaming transcription.

The AWS Database Migration Service now supports MongoDB 4.0 as a source, which is a great service for people who accidentally set up their own MongoDB cluster and thought they’d be able to manage it. And Amplify Flutter is now available as a Developer Preview, which is actually pretty cool.

When you go looking for some handy serverless tools… ๐Ÿ› 

REDIMO is a library that allows you to use the Redis API on DynamoDB. So that could be quite useful. You can also load JSON to DynamoDB in just a few clicks using this SAR app. And if you are really ambitious, see how you can build a Serverless Framework with 152 lines of code. Read the post before you decided whether or not that’s a good or bad idea.

Serverless Jobs ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป Sponsored

Serverless Engineer –
At Stedi, we’re working in one of the biggest markets on the planet โ€“ EDI, the technological backbone of the physical product economy. Weโ€™re building a next-generation platform: a ubiquitous commercial trading network to automate the trillions of dollars in B2B transactions exchanged by nearly every company on Earth. If you’re interested in what we’re building and how weโ€™re building it, we’d love to hear from you.

Have a job listing you’d like to share? Please contact me for more information.

Upcoming Serverless Events ๐Ÿ—“

There are a lot of upcoming serverless events, webinars, livestreams, and more. If you have an event you’d like me to mention, please email me.

September 1, 2020 – Deliver Business Value Faster with AWS Step Functions

September 3, 2020 – ServerlessDays Warsaw

September 30, 2020 – CDK Day 2020 (Online Conference)

October 1-2, 2020 – ServerlessDays Hamburg 2019

Serverless Star of the Week โญ๏ธ

There is a very long list of people that are doing #ServerlessGood and contributing to the Serverless community. These people deserve recognition for their efforts. So each week, I will mention someone whose recent contribution really stood out to me. I love meeting new people, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please let me know.

This weekโ€™s star is Harprit Singh (@harprits). Harprit is a Senior Software Engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co., but he also curates a Twitter account on serverless news (@NewsServerless) as well as a monthly newsletter on Wardley Maps (@MappingMapsNews). In addition to his digital presence, Harprit is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect and an organizer for the Serverless Singapore community. Thanks, Harprit, for your work in spreading the serverless news (literally)! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Final Thoughts ๐Ÿค”

I finally got the new Off-by-none website live, which checks off a big TODO item on my list. Surprisingly, going back through all the previous issues was a lot of fun. It’s amazing to see how much has changed over the last two years and just how far serverless has come. Anyway, I hope you’ll give it a look and share with your friends. Also, don’t forget to nominate a Serverless Star. I’ve got lots of people on my list, but I don’t want to miss anyone, so please share some names with me.

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. We’re always looking for ideas and feedback to make it better and more inclusive, so please feel free to reach out to me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email.

Until next week,

Previous Issue

Issue #103August 18, 2020

Next Issue

Issue #105September 1, 2020

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About the Author

Jeremy is the GM of Serverless Cloud at Serverless, Inc. and an AWS Serverless Hero that has a soft spot for helping people solve problems using serverless. He frequently consults with companies and developers transitioning away from the traditional โ€œserver-fullโ€ approach. You can find him ranting about serverless on Twitter, in several forums and Slack groups, hosting the Serverless Chats podcast, and at (virtual) conferences around the world.


Nominate a Serverless Star

Off-by-none is committed to celebrating the diversity of the serverless community and recognizing the people who make it awesome. If you know of someone doing amazing things with serverless, please nominate them to be a Serverless Star โญ๏ธ!