Benefits of Jamstack and Serverless Systems

Thought Leadership

By Iñaki Barturen | July 27, 2021

Jamstack is a development methodology that helps enable fast and light asset creation. 

Thanks to things like webhooks and microservices operating on serverless infrastructure, platforms built using Jamstack deliver speed, dynamism, and overall high-quality experiences. 

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using a serverless structure like Jamstack.

What does it mean to be serverless?

To be 'serverless,' or without a server, is a tech set-up where a cloud provider — such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud — is responsible for executing the site actions through a dynamic collection of resources. As actions run, the system only engages the number of resources needed to run the code.

This way, site programs and functions operate in what are called 'stateless containers' that can be triggered by a variety of events. These events include HTTP requests, database events, queued services, monitoring alerts, file uploads, and scheduled jobs (cron-jobs), among others.

Functions are typically the elements responsible for executing these events. Therefore, serverless technology is sometimes referred to as 'Functions as a Service' or 'FaaS.'

Why is serverless the right path with Jamstack?

Jamstack is a way of developing modern architecture by using JavaScript to build the customer-facing content, and API calls to execute the various events driving the platform's back-end functionality.

Jamstack's goal is to serve your website or application from static storage. This is more so on the front-end of your application, which involves your HTML documents and static assets. Static storage itself is a serverless solution, as it doesn't include the overhead of maintaining a server to ultimately serve those files. So the content can be cached and distributed by a CDN (content delivery network) at high speed without affecting any other components of the platform.

The system is linked to a headless CMS, where all the content is managed. The back-end focuses on driving the internal operations of the business. Meanwhile, the front-end remains available for all of the functions users need, like search functionality, shopping carts, or payment systems. These are included as external microservices, waiting to be activated as events or functions.

Benefits of using a serverless structure

The difference between conventional and serverless development may not be significant for small platforms or eCommerce stores. However, when it comes to a larger company or platform with thousands of pages, products, a large number of concurrent users, and multiple channels, the differences become clear, and the benefits of using a serverless structure stand out.

1. Platform security

If we look at it from the organizational side, the first thing that stands out as a benefit is the security of the entire platform. By having external microservices, each provider is responsible for its infrastructure and the resources required for security and operation. This means you don't need to worry about database vulnerability or denial of service attacks on your server.

2. High site performance

Another aspect is site performance. Since these providers are specialized in each element of the platform, you won't need a team of developers to worry about execution times, latency, or call efficiency. Each provider will ensure service performance, which will elevate your platform to a new level.

3. Cost certainty

In addition to the above, you will have a better projection of the costs of your business. One reason is that displaying static content is much cheaper. Another is because microservices have specific terms and costs. You'll only pay for activated events at the subscribed price.

4. Improved digital experience

From the end-user or client-side of the business, using microservices to run fractions of code in the cloud (responding to each event accordingly) results in quick responses. This, in turn, improves the experience for your end users.

Gaining flexibility and resilience

You may feel that you already have a monolithic platform that is too complex to even begin transitioning to another type of system. However, thanks to the philosophy behind Jamstack, it makes working with new software providers highly flexible.

Using Jamstack and a serverless approach means you're leveraging polyglot and even CMS-agnostic tools. You have the latitude to choose programming languages that are highly compatible with various CMS platforms. This helps your development and content management teams rapidly adapt from the restrictions of conventional development approaches to greater freedom during deployment.

This approach also gets you away from a bulky back-end. Instead, your platform will be lighter, with lower content loading and delivery times, better performance on search engines, and improved customer experiences overall. In the event of a rise in site activity like traffic or requests,  your software providers will automatically increase the capacity of their services, freeing the platform from dealing with this increased load.

In summary, your content and development teams — as well as your customers — will all benefit from adopting Jamstack's development methodology.

At Apply Digital, we know the differences that the right set-up can make to your overall site performance. If you'd like to explore transitioning your tech to Jamstack, reach out to someone on our team, and let's connect.