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Reduce redundancy in server app development with Serverless Chassis

Andrei Anisimov
serverless
© Shutterstock / xieyuliang

The X-as-a-Service trend continues! In this article, Andrei Anisimov goes over Serverless Chassis, a backend-as-a-service that delivers all of the computing resources and application infrastructure developers need to run and scale applications.

Recent trends in web application architecture clearly separate a monolithic application into a back-end API and a front-end single-page application. As such, building the front-end piece is significantly easier against a robust, developer-friendly, stable back-end.

AWS and other cloud providers offer a variety of infrastructure products to cover the needs of most business applications. While the infrastructure deployment can be fully automated, setting this up requires expert cloud infrastructure engineers.

These recent developments make a strong case for an application layer that sits on top of traditional cloud providers (e.g. AWS) and provides a curated preconfigured set of “best practice” infrastructure solutions. This application layer is easy to configure and hosts a production-ready, scalable API.

SEE MORE: Serverless’ greatest strength is also its greatest weakness

The problems of 30-year-old plumbing

Much of the problem with the current scope of building enterprise applications is that a significant amount of work goes toward common items not directly related to the business needs: setting up the execution environment (or hosting), database, email gateway, authentication, role-based security, message bus, data backups, scaling schemes, and more. The list goes on and on. Setting up this “plumbing” requires a high degree of expertise and is often more complex than developing the actual business logic that solves a business problem.

Just think about the following. Currently, it possible that thousands of developers in the world are implementing user login, even though we all know it looks and works the same. Doesn’t this seem weird to you? This is an expensive, error prone, and time-consuming endeavor, not only during the initial setup but also during the ongoing maintenance.

Another big problem is security. Most engineers don’t necessarily always have deep security expertise. This can lead to weak security and data leaks. A high degree of engineer turnover in custom software shops can often lead to the inability to provide ongoing service, e.g. an engineer leaves the company and nobody knows exactly what he built and how. From the developer’s perspective, the job becomes boring because so much time is spent re-implementing the same things over and over again.

Next, we have emerging technologies such as Blockchain or AI. There is a shortage of developers capable of implementing complex integrations to provide regular users with access to these technologies. The technology is still so new that finding developers is not only difficult but expensive.

SEE MORE: How to adopt a DevSecOps methodology: Start by taking a look at culture

Streamlining through Serverless Chassis

One solution to these problems is the Serverless Chassis. This backend-as-a-service delivers all of the computing resources and application infrastructure developers need to run and scale applications. Serverless Chassis is a solution that drastically reduces the complexity of developing, hosting and maintaining a back-end API.

The Serverless Chassis also integrates most of the common capabilities of modern software into a set of consumable and configurable services. Rather than create the same capabilities over and over again in each software product, 8base makes these available to developers in a hardened, scalable software chassis. Serverless Chassis works atop AWS, along with other cloud providers and decentralized execution networks in the future, to allow developers to quickly configure data model, role-based security, authentication and other common items.

Serverless Chassis comes with automated backups, auto-scaling, client-side subscriptions and other useful tools. Once the data model is configured, the Serverless Chassis automatically generates a CRUD (create, read, update, delete) GraphQL API, the next-generation API format developed by Facebook. It gives transparency to the API schema and makes it easier to perform complex data queries and mutations.

In addition to auto-generated CRUD API, the Serverless Chassis is fully extensible. Developers can use the command-line tool to develop custom “functions” in their favorite IDE. These functions can be exposed through the API or triggered in response to an event. For example, if users want to persist some data in the Ethereum blockchain, they can write a custom function that will be triggered every time a new object is added to the database and write its hash to Ethereum. This enables the building of back-end applications of any complexity very quickly and without spending time setting up the infrastructure. The end-product is a scalable, production-ready API.

Author

Andrei Anisimov

Andrei Anisimov is a technology leader and architect with experience developing technologies in numerous industries and international markets. He is passionate about translating business problems to technological solutions and leading teams of engineers to deliver on time and on target. He is currently VP of Technology at 8base.


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