Off-by-none: Issue #147

June 22, 2021

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Low-code orchestration for the rest of us ⚙️

Welcome to Issue #147 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo and Fauna.

Last week, we get more options for building and deploying serverless apps, we explored a serverless banking platform, and we learned why serverless hasn’t jumped the shark. This week, Step Functions go low-code, edge competition heats up, and we learn how to build apps on the decentralized web. Plus, we have lots of amazing content from the serverless community.

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Workshop: Troubleshooting AWS Serverless Applications
Join AWS Serverless Hero Yan Cui in a hands-on workshop in which you’ll learn how easy it can be to debug serverless applications. This Wed, June 23 at 10:00 AM PT. Sponsored

AWS announced Workflow Studio, a new low-code visual workflow designer for AWS Step Functions. Marcia Villalba gives us a great overview, and Daniel Aniszkiewicz walks you through setting up a simple email reminder workflow.

AWS also announced a new Public Registry for AWS CloudFormation, which I think effectively makes the Serverless Application Repository a moot point. Maybe Steve Roberts can explain it better.

In edge computing news, Akamai boosted its edge application power by adding new tiers for EdgeWorkers, Macrometa, an edge computing startup, got $20M in Series A funding, and Cox unleashed ‘Cox Edge’.

Vectra launched Detect for AWS that “provides continuous, scalable agentless threat detection, prioritization, investigation, and response to attacks targeting applications running on AWS, as well as users, compute, and storage instances, including the use on AWS of the control plane itself.” That sounds promising.

Also, DataStax introduced cloud native data streaming, and Honeycomb took a new approach to metrics.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Mahfudh Junaryanto outlines (and justifies) a serverless architecture for startups.

Garret Cree uses serverless and Slack to optimize manual entity resolution.

And Sanjay Dandekar performs  OCR with AWS Lambda and Tesseract.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Bastien Leblanc explains how to increase your e-commerce website reliability using chaos engineering and the AWS Fault Injection Simulator. Incredibly interesting stuff.

Michael Walmsley gives you a few guiding principles for getting started with serverless, Bruno Bonando explains serverless microservices and how they can help you, and Nadir Saghar talks about AWS Step Functions and the importance of idempotent functions.

Lee James Gilmore overviews the programmability of the Serverless Framework, Wojciech Matuszewski helps you understand the AWS Lambda Runtime API, and Evandro Pires da Silva picks a fight with every programmer by trying to answer “which programming language in AWS Lambda should I use?

If you’re looking at Cosmos DB, then Craig O’Connor will help you  keep your costs low, Mark Faiers explains how tracing works when debugging AWS serverless applications, and Ismail Egilmez gives you some tips for building a test automation strategy.

Finally, Mafalda Lome explains what is Google Firebase and how it’s different than Google Firestore.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Whether you’re building new microservices or augmenting existing services and applications, Fauna lets you simplify code, reduce costs, and ship faster. Learn more. Sponsored

Building a startup? Sandro Volpic will show you how to get $1,000 in AWS credits with AWS Activate.

Debarshi Mondal deploys a MERN app with AWS S3, Lambda, CloudFront, and Route 53, or you could follow these simple steps to enable CORS in API Gateway through the console and CloudFormation.

Kay Plößer does Serverless Redis with Cloudflare Workers & Pulumi, Gabriel Torres teaches us AWS Comprehend, Marcin Oleksiak shares Part 7 of Fetching Yelp API via Netlify Function with React.js.

Shubham Pandey shows you how to configure different AWS profiles for Serverless deployments, and Talia Nassi explores some serverless patterns for Amazon DynamoDB that you definitely don’t want to miss.

Serverless Security 🔒

The Fault in Our Stars (no, not that one) explains the security implications of AWS API Gateway Lambda Authorizers and IAM wildcard expansion.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Pieter Humphrey writes why a serverless data API might be your next database. I’d say should.

Anshu Agarwal shares three strategies startup CEOs should employ on the path to unseating larger incumbents. I’m generally not a fan of the build a better mousetrap approach, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

There’s an interesting article about Databricks cofounder, and what Ray is doing with serverless autoscaling. It’s definitely a fascinating project.

And here’s an opinion piece on why and how serverless computing helps teams scale up.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #106: Building Apps on the Decentralized Web, I spoke with Nader Dabit about Edge & Node’s graphQL API for querying blockchain data, how this and other decentralized protocols power the Web3 movement, what types of applications you can build with them, why you’d want to, and a whole lot more.

Brian H. Hough shares the 9 AWS serverless databases ALL app developers and software engineers should know about. I don’t know if you need to know all of these, but it’s a solid list.

If you’ve got a hankering for Taco Bell, maybe check out how Aurora is the heart of their menu middleware and data integration platform.

And Marcia Villalba shows you how to create a GraphQL endpoint and datasource in the simplest way possible using AppSync with CDK.

New from AWS 🆕

Just a few other announcements from AWS this week that caught my eye. AWS Amplify announced support for IAM permissions boundaries on Amplify-generated IAM roles, Amazon Aurora Serverless v1 now supports fast database cloning, and the AWS Certificate Manager Private Certificate Authority now supports more flexibility for CAs shared across accounts.

Serverless Tools 🛠

Pete Wilcock shows you how to deploy Serverless Static WordPress on AWS for $0.01 a day.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

If you have an event, webinar, etc. that you’d like me to mention, please email me.

June 22, 2021 – InfoQ Live (conference)

June 30, 2021 – AWSome Day Online Conference

August 15, 2021 – ServerlessDays – Student Edition

November 3-4, 2021 – CascadiaJS 2021

Serverless Star of the Week ⭐️

There is a very long list of people who 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 nominate them.

This week’s star is Dave Townsend (@davetownsend). Dave is a self-proclaimed Technologist and a cloud, web, and mobile organizer. Dave writes about serverless at Medium and, and he shares accompanying repos to his posts at GitHub. At home in Phoenix, Dave is the organizer of the Serverless Phoenix Meetup. Thanks, Dave—your work and passion make a significant contribution to the serverless environment! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

If I had to pick four AWS services I couldn’t live without, it’d be Lambda, API Gateway, DynamoDB, and EventBridge. If I could pick a fifth, it’d be Step Functions. Now with the new visual designer making it even easier to build workflows, plus the power of the four aforementioned services, AWS’s serverless superpowers just got even stronger.

See you next week,

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.

Previous Issue

Issue #146June 15, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #148June 29, 2021

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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 “server-full” 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.


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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 ⭐️!