App development has progressed a lot in recent times. Because of an influx of demand from the userbase and enterprises, cloud services have assisted the developer base to be productive in developing secure apps. The next trend in app development is serverless. Or is it?
What is Serverless Architecture?
Serverless denotes the removal of the need to manage the servers. The responsibility gets shifted to the cloud provider. The essential constituents of an app get split between several servers. There is no need for the app owner to develop or maintain the supporting infrastructure. Rather than running off a server, it runs off functions.
The phrase ‘function-as-a-service’ or FaaS is derived from this.
The latest report says that the FaaS market is estimated to grow to nearly 33% by 2021. It is seen as an increase of 7.72 billion US dollars.
To answer the question of whether Serverless Architecture is an excellent choice for app development, it can work either way.
Let’s speak about the positive aspects first.
(i) Decreasing costs
The most beneficial use of a serverless architecture when it comes to the app development process is that it is very less costly than a ‘traditional’ server architecture. It is because, on hardware servers, you will have to pay for several things that may not be needed. Thereby money is conserved and can be used for app quality.
(ii) Easier for service
The app owner doesn’t have to manage the server when the machine can do the job. It implies that it won’t be a daunting task to make the service accessible. With monitoring left out, the work will be made more comfortable. Since there is no need to spend time on it, the time is used for product development. Furthermore, thanks to the reliability of this technology, it can be used confidently.
Another advantage of Serverless Architecture in App Development is Scalability. It is nothing but the app/product’s capability to continue to work correctly without any hindrances whenever it is reformed in size to meet user needs.
(iv) Third-party services
Another beneficial feature of serverless architecture is that you can use third-party services. Thereby your app can use any third-party service it needs other than what is already featured. Thus the pressure to create the backend architecture is reduced considerably. Serverless architecture is ultimately better as it offers the extent of a third party.
Lets now speak about the negative aspects.
(i) Time restrictions
The Serverless Architectures operate on FaaS rules, and they have a time limit for running a function. This time limit is 300 seconds, and once this limit is reached, the function stops. Thereby FaaS strategy won’t be the best choice for complex functions as they will take more time to operate.
As a remedy, the task can be split into several simple functions. If not, time restrictions can cause significant difficulties.
(ii) Vendor lock-in
Speaking of serverless architecture, we can use it with third party services. However, there are chances of it going wrong, and this might cause vendor lock-in. If there is the need where you want to shift to a new service provider, in most of the scenarios, the services will be fulfilled in a way that is different. It implies that the productivity gains from the serverless will be lost since the infrastructure has to be reconfigured to accept the new service.
It is another headache in a serverless architecture. The tenant’s data are kept quite close to one another, and this can create chaos. There are chances of the data to be exchanged, distributed, or even get lost. It can lead to reliability and security issues.
(iv) Debugging is not possible
The concept of Debugging isn’t possible with serverless. It is because Serverless Architecture doesn’t feature a debugging facility where the uploaded code can be debugged.
Should you want to know the function, execute or perform it and wait for the result. This result can crash the entire function, and there is nothing that can be done.
But as a remedy, we can use extensive logging, which will minimize the chances of errors that create debugging issues.
Despite Serverless Architecture being very awe-inspiring, there are some drawbacks here and there. The success of the architectures depends on the business needs and the technology that is being used. Likewise, serverless can shine very well if used in the best case.
Monish Sinthala is a CEO and co-founder of Pyramidion Solutions, which specializes in Android and iOS app development and provides web and mobile app solutions from startup to enterprises. He writes on mobile technologies, mobile app, and app development in his free time.