January 11th, 2018

Serverless computing with AWS Lambda, Part 1

Data Storage and Management, Development Tools, Enterprise Architecture, Java App Dev, others, Programing, by admin.

Serverless computing may be the hottest thing in cloud computing today, but what, exactly, is it? This two-part tutorial starts with an overview of serverless computing–from what it is, to why it’s considered disruptive to traditional cloud computing, and how you might use it in Java-based programming.

Following the overview, you’ll get a hands-on introduction to AWS Lambda, which is considered by many the premiere Java-based solution for serverless computing today. In Part 1, you’ll use AWS Lambda to build, deploy, and test your first Lambda function in Java. In Part 2, you’ll integrate your Lambda function with DynamoDB, then use the AWS SDK to invoke Lambda functions in a Java application.

What is serverless computing?

Last year I was talking to a company intern about different architectural patterns and mentioned serverless architecture. He was quick to note that all applications require a server, and cannot run on thin air. The intern had a point, even if he was missing mine. Serverless computing is not a magical platform for running applications.

In fact, serverless computing simply means that you, the developer, do not have to deal with the server. A serverless computing platform like AWS Lambda allows you to build your code and deploy it without ever needing to configure or manage underlying servers. Your unit of deployment is your code; not the container that hosts the code, or the server that runs the code, but simply the code itself. From a productivity standpoint, there are obvious benefits to offloading the details of where code is stored and how the execution environment is managed. Serverless computing is also priced based on execution metrics, so there is a financial advantage, as well.

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