The shift towards severless computing is exciting for independent developers and startups. By not having to to worry about servers, developers can concentrate solely on the strategy and functionality of their applications without having to worry about any of the messy back–end infrastructure.
This isn't to say that servers aren't a part of the equation; it's just that severs have become so ubiquitous that they no longer pose developers with the concerns they once did.
The Powergrid Analogy
It may seem confusing for those who aren't technically minded but it ought not to be. The easiest way to understand the new paradigm sift towards serverless applications is by using the often repeated analogy of the power grid.
It used to be the case that water pumps and mills were the only way to generate energy. Then at the beginning of the industrial revolution coal furnaces powered factories. Eventually, transmission lines carried electricity from centralized industrial power to parts all over the city and beyond as part of a power grid. Today, nobody thinks twice about being able to plug in a TV, stereo system, or cell phone charger into any one of a number of power sockets in their home.
Something very similar has happened with servers, and today developers can consume as many or as few computing resources as they need in the same way each one of us can use as much or as little electricity as we want (depending on the available budget of course).
It's not just independent developers who are latching onto serverless applications as the wave of the future. Larger organizations are also seeing this as the logical extention of cloud based computing. Among the big names getting into this revolution in a big way is digital superstore turned all encompassing platform Amazon with their AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM).
New Updates to AWS SAM
If you've been able to stay with us so far, and you are interested in developing for Amazon, here comes the jargon. In order to make 'serverless' app development easier, AWS SAM has improved upon its predecessor AWS CloudFormation with simplified syntax that makes it easier for DevOps to define Amazon APIs, AWS Lambda Functions, and the Dynamo Database tables. All of these tools are available with Apache 2.0.
Let's take a look at the new updates:
Inline Swagger support
It's no longer necessary to include a Swagger file within a SAM file. With the new updates, you can specify Swagger inline with the new definitionBody property.
New FunctionName property
Instead of having to use the default name given by CloudFormation, it is also now possible to customize a function's name with SAM.
Resolve CloudFormation Intrinsic Functions
It's now easy to use intrinsic functions to specify the location of your code or Swagger file.