The Advantages and Shortcomings of Serverless Applications!

The Advantages and Shortcomings of Serverless Applications!
serverless application
Serverless App Development is the latest trend in the IT sector! Yet, several questions arise in the minds of entrepreneurs planning to execute serverless architecture for their next app development project.
What is serverless architecture?
How is the serverless model different from other prevalent cloud computing models?
What are the opportunities and obstacles of serverless applications?
Is my business going to benefit from the serverless computing model?
Well, this article answers all the aforesaid questions! So, let’s commence.

What is serverless architecture?

Serverless architecture refers to a software design pattern in which a third-party service hosts the applications; so that the developers need not engage in the task of managing the server software and hardware. This approach is also known as serverless computing as the app logic gets implemented in an eco-system wherein servers, OS, and virtual machines are not visible. This doesn’t mean that servers are not used at all. The app logic is executed on an OS that uses physical servers. But, the difference with other cloud services is that; here the service provider wholly takes up the responsibility of infrastructure management and so the mobile app developer can focus only on writing codes.

Categories of Serverless Applications:

FaaS (Function as a Service/Feature as a Service), the serverless model enables developers to build, run and manage the app functionalities; without having to create or maintain the infrastructure needed for developing and launching the app. The first FaaS service provider was AWS Lambda by Amazon, followed by several others like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Functions, etc.
PaaS (Platform as a Service), another category of cloud computing, bears similarity with FaaS as they too hide servers from developers. But, unlike FaaS this service runs one server process continually for receiving external requests. The app is scaled by booting up more server processors, for which the developer is charged and so the scalability is visible to the developer.
BaaS (Backend as a Service), is another prominent model which addresses the cloud-computing requirements for the mobile and web app developers by offering them a unified means of connecting their apps to cloud computing services. As such, BaaS automates the development of the backend for the web and mobile and also manages the cloud infrastructure. This enables the mobile and web app development companies to only focus on the frontend part of the application.
SaaS (Software as a Service), is a software distribution service model. Here, a cloud provider hosts the software apps and empowers the end-users to connect and use those apps over the internet. Usually, users employ web browsers to access SaaS apps. Independent software vendors may give SaaS contracts to third-party cloud providers for hosting the app. A single company can also be the cloud provider as well as the software vendor; this is usually the case with big firms.
SaaS users enjoy the convenience of accessing their app through the internet instead of having to install and manage complex software and hardware. The app runs on the servers of the SaaS providers who does SaaS development. The provider handles all app-related tasks like access, performance, availability, and security.

Serverless Applications: Advantages

Serverless App development
Reduced Administrative and Infrastructural burden
The hassle of managing servers passes on to the vendor, resulting in the following benefits for a mobile and web app development company.
  • Firms need not spend a huge amount on the hardware or hire engineers for maintaining that hardware.
  • More time and resources can be dedicated to creating and improving customer-facing features.
  • Developers have the flexibility of crafting and scaling the apps as required; without having to worry about the constraint of server capacity.
Cost-efficient Pricing Model
In traditional server-full architectural setups, developers have to figure out in advance the amount of server capacity needed; based on which the company purchases the capacity whether or not they end up using it. However, serverless setups follow the “pay-as-you-go” policy which means the vendor charges the company only for the amount of server space they use. The code runs whenever the serverless application needs backend functions and gets automatically scaled up whenever required. Also, provisioning is precise, dynamic, and happens in real-time. As FaaS charges a fraction of the price per request, a start-up can build an MVP at minimal cost without having to pay huge bills for lesser traffic.
Quicker Deployments and Updates
The serverless model eliminates the tasks of uploading the code to servers or engaging in any backend configuration for releasing a fully functional app. Hence, developers can speedily upload bits of code and launch a new app. As the app is a collection of functions provisioned by the service provider, rather than being a single monolithic stack; developers can either upload the entire code at one go or upload one function at a time. This ability speeds up the tasks of fixing, patching, or updating the app without any need to make changes in the entire application.
Latency Reduction
Since the app does not get hosted in the origin server, it becomes possible to run its code from anywhere. As such, the app’s functions can be run on servers that are close to the end-user depending on the vendor selected. This strategy reduces latency as the requests coming from the user need not travel a long way to reach an origin server.
Inherent Scalability
Serverless applications are capable of scaling automatically with the increase in the number of user base or usage. If a function requires to be run several times, the vendor’s servers will start, run and end them as required using separate containers. This provides the ability to handle a higher number of requests effectively as compared to a traditionally structured app.
Serverless Applications: Downsides
  • As the vendor fully controls the operations, a firm has to abide by their rules. For instance, if your app is set in Lambda it’s not easy to port it to Azure. This concern applies to coding languages as well. Presently only Python and Node.js developers have the flexibility to choose between the prevalent serverless options.
  • FaaS tools involve a steep learning curve despite the availability of comprehensive documentation.
  • Companies need to split their monolith into microservices for painlessly migrating to a serverless model.
  • Debugging and troubleshooting become challenging as serverless apps use traditional tools.
  • This model is great for short real-time processes but an additional function needs to be called if the task takes longer. Traditional approaches fare better for indulging in extended duration operations.

Bottom line

Serverless computing best suits start-ups and small businesses. But, if your company has a well-established workflow, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. For technical assistance with cloud solutions or any mobile app development services, connect to Biz4Solutions, a leading cloud service provider.

Handy Web Development Checklists that every Team must refer to!

Handy Web Development Checklists that every Team must refer to!
responsive web app development
Developing a fully functional website for your enterprise is a herculean task as the website development process is time-consuming and loaded with complexities. It involves various stages: creating the web design, website development, website project management, testing, deployment and maintenance post-deployment. Each stage needs to be executed skillfully to avoid any glitches in the operational system. Additionally, the project has to be delivered within the set timeline. Therefore, chances of lapses are likely; particularly if your team lacks experience or is in a hurry to meet deadlines.
To fulfill these challenging website development requirements, every web development team should maintain a checklist of the essential tasks, to avoid any misses. This blog enlists the key web development checklists that your team needs to refer to; for architecting a flawless web application or website. These checklists have been created by consolidating inputs from the doyens of the software sector and will help a Web App Development Company to make sure that crucial action items are not missed.
But, before we proceed, take a glance at what kind of checklists are required.

Checks for Web Development

Every web app development project must carry out the following validations during website development. Given below are the kinds of checklists that are essential.
web app development company
Design, UX and SEO checks
  • Optimize your website for all kinds of devices such as mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops.
  • Eliminate irrelevant images.
  • It is important to check whether the UX design has been executed as per the set standards.
  • Make sure your website doesn’t contain validation errors and broken links. Broken links are the links that show an error or the “page not found” message when clicked and as such adversely affect the User Experience as well as the website’s SEO score.
  • Include meta tags like title and description, as they improve the website’s ranking and boost the SEO score.
Readability checks
  • Cross-check the website content for any possible spelling or grammatical errors prior to the website’s live launch.
  • Ensure that your website content is unique and plagiarism-free.
  • You need to adjust the font style so that that your web page is easy to read and scan; as this aspect is a game-changer in the matter of user retention.
Functionality and Performance checks
  • Check the visual appearance and loading speed of your images. In case they appear blurred or are slow to load; resolve this problem by optimizing the image-size. Optimization of images boosts the performance and also improves the search engine ranking.
  • Examine the loading time of your website. If the loading is more than 4 sec, get the issue resolved, otherwise, it may have adverse effects on your viewership.
  • Check your website’s performance and rendering on trending browsers like Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.
  • Always turn on the caching of your website. The reason is caching not only optimizes the speed of a webpage but also reduces the server-load by minimizing lengthy scripts like JavaScript and CSS. A cache plugin called ‘W3 Total Cache’ can be easily installed if you are using WordPress to develop the website.
  • Ensure that all the links of your web page are functional and it enables effortless navigation.
Security checks
  • Secured Socket Layer (SSL) : An SSL certificate is a must-have if your website collects sensitive user data such as personal details or banking/ credit card particulars.
  • An anti-malware Plugin : Employing anti-malware plugins helps to effectively resolve malware threats and hence protect a website from viruses as well as malware attacks.

Handy Checklist for Web Design

Here are some ready-made Web development checklists recommended for your team.
Checklists related to an app’s pre-launch and post-launch
  • The Essential Pre-launch Checklist for Your Website includes functionality, design elements, cross-browser testing, content editing, and SEO.
  • Website Launch Checklist by Glasgow developer provides tools for checking actions after they are completed, greys out items that are not applicable, and resets the checklist to make it ready for the next project. It includes editing content, testing links, navigation usability, validating HTML and CSS, GDPR compliance, minifying styles and scripts, infrastructure, communication, compatibility, analytics, performance, accessibility, etc.
  • The Essential Launch Checklist for Web Apps and Mobile Apps by Ben Cheng allows product managers to test the security, performance level, compatibility, and broken links in applications.
Checklists on front-end performance
  • A front-end Deployment Checklist by Fred Rocha provides guidance on validating the markup; as well as checking the performance, the console for JavaScript, etc.
  • The Front-end Checklist by David Dias is a useful digital interactive tool. One has to enter the project’s URL to get a full report on areas like JavaScript, HTML, CSS, head, images, web fonts, SEO, accessibility and performance. This check is an exhaustive one that classifies items based on low, medium or high priority requirements.
  • Front-end Performance Checklist 2020 by Vitaly Friedman guides on How to get ready on planning and metrics, how to set realistic goals, defining the environment and assets, build and delivery optimizations, monitoring and testing, etc.
Checklist Pertaining to Backend server and database security
  • Back-end Best Practices offers stack-agonistic guidance on the best available practices concerning different back-end architectures like app monitoring, security, data storage solutions, server environments, etc. It also offers a responsibility checklist for organizing the web design task list for the team and a release-checklist required during the website’s launch.
  • Database Testing Checklist provides checklist items regarding field validation, stored procedures, security, database integrity, constraints, transactions, etc.
Checklist on cross-browser testing

Final Verdict

Thus, every web developer as well as web development company must have comprehensive knowledge about these essential checklists for architecting a flawless and universally acceptable website. To know more on why opt for web app development, click here.
I hope this blog was helpful. Have you come across any roadblocks while developing web applications? Do share your experiences in the comments section below and let us know in case of further queries.