When it comes to your business’ workflow and strategic direction, web applications can increase efficiency and connect your organization. However, these platforms can require major resources to build and maintain. This is why some businesses are turning to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) serverless platform.

What Is The AWS Serverless Platform?
When building a traditional web application, your organization needs to have infrastructure in place. Specifically, you need a server to host your web application. Whether on your own computer or in the cloud, this server hosts all of the data from the application and keeps it running. This constant upkeep can be time consuming and costly.

AWS serverless applications are managed by Amazon. Your organization still acts as the developer, but you don’t need to worry about the physical server. Rather than paying for a server that’s constantly running, your business only pays for the amount of time that the application is in use. AWS handles the general function of the application.

This technology also has a number of useful add-ons for platform optimization. Some of the most popular include:

● Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3): This storage tool is used to host your applications front-end website.
● API Gateway: This technology acts as your API to facilitate front-end requests for your back-end.
● Relational Database Service (RDS): An endlessly scalable tool for many database platforms.
● Aurora: Amazon Aurora is the platform’s proprietary database which has built in scaling capabilities similar to RDS.
● Lambda: Stores and executes back end functions on demand.
● Cognito: This tool manages authentication and authorization for application end users and can integrate with my 3rd party platforms.

Your organization can pick and choose the tools that will support your strategic direction and help your application run smoothly. And you can do so at a fraction of the cost of traditional in-house application management.

What Are Some of The Benefits of AWS Serverless Applications?
If you’re thinking about using the AWS serverless platform to build your application, there are plenty of reasons to do so. Some of the perks include:

● Scalability: The AWS serverless platform offers unlimited scaling of applications. And when doing so, organizations won’t need to purchase new computers or hardware.
● Lower Cost: Organizations that use this platform only pay when their serverless application is in use. Since you aren’t paying for the app when it’s idle, operational costs will likely go down.
● Server Management: When your business builds a serverless application, you won’t need to manage the servers. You also won’t need to worry about security updates and patches. AWS will manage these components for you and let you focus on the development of the application.

What Are Some Potential Pitfalls?
As with any technology, there are some potential downsides of switching to the platform. These include:

● Long Term Commitment: When you build an AWS serverless application, you are basically locked into using AWS as a cloud provider. It can be difficult to move your application to a new platform.
● Limited Customization: Serverless applications generally don’t have as many customization options as traditional in-house models, since proprietary software won’t be an option.
● Cold Starts: When a lambda function has not been used in a while it may take a couple seconds to spin up and become active.

The cold start times were a substantial hurdle to .NET Core development using lambda until recently. AWS has released native .NET Core 3.1 support in Lambda which will mitigate some of the potential pitfalls. Improvements have been added by Microsoft to speed up cold start times by as much as 60%. Given this recent development, I believe now is a great time build a new .NET Core 3.1 Serverless Web Application.

If you are interested in using an AWS serverless application in your business improvement plan, contact the team at InfoWorks. Based in Nashville, TN, our knowledgeable team creates applications to help our clients improve workflow. Contact us today to get started.

About Kyle Weaver

Mr. Weaver is a technical engagement lead with experience in a variety of areas. His strengths include software architecture, cloud services, project management, business analysis, and team leadership. He is adept at using his business experience to identify potential solutions over and above the standard technical solutions, enhancing the process and desired outcome.  ​

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