What is serverless?
Serverless architecture is gaining popularity every day because of its huge advantages. However, serverless doesn't mean the complete absence of a server, but the transfer of responsibility for its infrastructure to the cloud provider. For eCommerce, this is an ideal solution in terms of flexibility and business efficiency. If you want to understand serverless functions and their advantages, this article is for you.
From this article, you will learn
- What is serverless?
- How does cloud computing work?
- Why should you choose serverless apps?
- What is BigCommerce?
- When content management systems are useful?
- What do modern e-commerce and consumer experience have in common?
What is serverless computing?
In a world where technological innovations are emerging daily, adapting quickly to change becomes paramount. Skilfully exploiting scientific advances is the way to stay ahead of the competition and grow dynamically in the market. If you want to compete with the best, you must understand serverless architecture at least briefly.
Cloud computing models, i.e. models that offer the possibility to store data out of your own risk, are now increasingly popular. They ensure that data recovery is fast and seamless even if hardware fails. Serverless architecture is supposed to give you safety and flexibility.
An example of cloud computing is serverless, which is increasingly being adopted by companies worldwide. It is a solution that increases operational flexibility, optimizes costs, and takes full responsibility for infrastructure management.
Choose your cloud provider
Serverless is a cloud service model, a solution that allows you to forget all about your site infrastructure. Deciding for serverless architectures, you let providers such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft set up and maintain servers.
A serverless environment provides developers with much greater flexibility. They are left to create and then deploy the application themselves, without having to manage the servers manually.
In a serverless system, the responsibility for the infrastructure and scalability of the site lies with the serverless cloud provider, so the developers' job is limited to delivering well-written code. We don't need to mention that's a huge save of time, ain't we? And time is money, no doubts here either.
Serverless, of course, still relies on a server (as data needs to be stacked somewhere), but managing servers doesn't concern them at all. Their job is to transmit the finished code, usually to special containers. In the next step, individual components are sent to the server using functions.
Cloud computing - serverless architecture
Serverless computing is a technology where data is stored and managed at multiple levels. Cloud providers provide the platform, infrastructure, and space for your data, so you don't have to install extra software and fill up your drive unnecessarily.
Such a solution gives remote access to platforms, applications, warehouses, databases, analysis centers, or various types of software. This is an ideal option for companies that want to avoid investing in extra servers but wish to expand their services. A great serverless architecture function as a service is automatic scaling - something impossible with dedicated servers, for instance. And which big company would like to store so many computers with a possibility of fire anyway?
In serverless computing, the information architecture is in the form of functions (called serverless functions). This gives rise to the concept of microservices, which essentially means a system comprising different components. Each element remains separate from the others, making it easy to make changes without affecting the overall application's code structure.
A system using serverless architecture removes concerns about the ubiquitous adoption of innovation in eCommerce. Selected functionalities can be freely transformed or extended without impacting other components. That is the reason serverless apps are so flexible.
Serverless computing - why is it useful?
Storing vast amounts of data on disk is slowly becoming a thing of the past. This is especially the case because securing data and protecting it against the risk of loss is increasingly important. With a DDoS attack, on the one hand, there are still possibilities of more classic dangers like fires or floods, on the other. A serverless platform with cloud data storage is a lifesaver in such cases. The cloud platform is created from physical servers, of course, but in multiple locations. It means that even if one physical data centre burns completely, your data is safe.
Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon created their cloud systems really well. They understand the serverless approach and you can trust them. However, be careful with scams like "mini-cloud" and others that offer fake clouds (a cloud with servers in one single building is not a real cloud).
As we mentioned already, serverless does not mean that there is no server at all, but that developers do not have to deal with:
- writing the server code,
- setting up the server,
- managing it.
Choosing cloud services is a better developer experience, it enables developers to truly fulfil their potential without worrying about things outside their core competencies. It's a pure boost for every developer's productivity. Especially since developers don't need to be DevOps at the same time at all.
Serverless is a model where you only pay for what you actually use (function as a service, right?). Serverless applications created this way are scalable and flexible, offering much more potential than other, more traditional solutions.
BigCommerce and serverless architecture
An industry where the use of cloud services is an increasingly popular practice is undoubtedly eCommerce. The creation of efficient and flexible e-commerce requires the continuous deployment of cutting-edge technologies.
One well-known cloud service provider is BigCommerce, which we are partners with. It is a company that provides software for creating online shops, marketing activities, or SEO.
This platform is part of headless e-commerce, which means that any content uploaded to it will be readily displayed on any device, without any restrictions.
Many companies around the world have praised BigCommerce, as Paul Green of Four Pillars, among others, has said:
What we get from BigCommerce, above all, is flexibility through open APIs. It allows us to build on what we have with WordPress and extrapolate more innovative things from it that we probably wouldn't be able to do with a standard, more rigid platform.
Choosing the right platform is essential to our online marketing efforts. Only advanced technology and direct customization can make your business a popular choice for potential customers.
Serverless architecture - what about CMS?
E-commerce sales are not the be-all and end-all. What content is on your site and how it is shared also matters.
Cooperation between departments, especially between sales and marketing, is also important. You can expect high conversion and sales results if their representatives join forces. However, to ensure that their activities run smoothly and comfortably, you need to pick an effective information management tool to ensure the smooth flow of material between employees.
CMS stands for Content Management System. This type of software allows for easy management of website materials and subsequent expansion.
An example of a headless CMS, where the frontend has been separated from the backend, is Storyblok. It is a tool that allows for creating more dynamic and user-friendly content. We write more about what is Storyblok here.
Both BigCommerce, Storyblok and many others are leading cloud providers. If you want to use the platforms they offer, you need to purchase access to the software, for example, by opting for one of the subscription plans.
Serverless applications for the best user experience
E-commerce is a very popular and dynamic industry, which is why it is constantly changing so much that it is sometimes tough to keep up.
Many e-commerce platforms now offer cloud-based services precisely because it is both future-proof and attractive to customers. Skilful server management means that plenty of companies are happy to choose a particular service or cloud provider, and easily share their positive experiences with others.
Your most unhappy customers are your most important source of learning - Bill Gates
The quote above perfectly demonstrates the importance of understanding the real needs of your customers. If you want to create a successful online business, you need to learn from your users' feedback so that you can quickly correct the problems they face.
Online shop users like to operate quickly and seamlessly. This is why it is important to react quickly when an obstacle appears on their path to purchase.
Serverless services tend to offer ongoing customer support, so cloud-based services are fixed at almost the speed of light. This kind of guarantee means that you don't have to worry about additional technical issues by selecting a specific serverless platform.
How to pick the right cloud provider?
Serverless is only a great solution if the right service provider offers it. It's worth considering which software is best for your business before you make your choice here.
When deciding on e-commerce platforms, for example, check the relevant specifications to find out both the strengths and weaknesses of each. This way, you can easily find a company meeting all your expectations.
When considering between different providers, consider criteria such as flexibility and security. In addition to speed and freedom to innovate, your and your customers' data must be permanently protected and handled correctly.
Serverless computing is both a service and a technology that undoubtedly heralds the future of eCommerce.
When creating an eCommerce or digital product, you need to remember how important the actual expectations of your customers are. By catering to their needs, you can be sure that they will not only willingly choose your services, but also become loyal users.
The cloud service model proves you can deliver the code yourself without worrying about infrastructure or server management. The responsibility for such things lies with the service provider, while developers (us, for example ;)) can focus on your product and delivering the best possible consumer experience.
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