Event-driven Influencers - AWS Lambda

Jul 31, 2017

We’re getting geared up for Emit—our conference on event-driven architectures. Emit has some of the most prominent speakers and sponsors in the field, and in this five-part ‘Influencers’ series we’re highlighting their contributions. Want to know more about where we think event-driven architectures will be in two years? Join us on August 17.


Type ‘event-driven architecture’ into your search bar, and you’ll get relevant results all the way back to 2003. We’ve known for centuries (in internet years) that event-driven architectures are powerful. So why is it just now becoming an industry buzzword?

Until 2014, building out microservices was really intricate, and almost no one had the resources to throw at it. And then Amazon Web Services launched AWS Lambda: a brand new event-driven compute service. Lambda gave everyone a way to be event-driven. The flood gates opened.

Lambda has fundamentally amplified the way companies can grow their digital business. Teams are able to create apps that rapidly, automatically scale—with no need to maintain any servers internally. Code runs in the cloud in response to events, and the compute resources used are billed on a pay-per-execution basis. No server capacity is wasted. Products iterate and improve faster because developers don’t need to request provisioning; there is less overhead involved in testing and pushing new code. Lambda has accelerated the rate of change.

Looking to the future

Serverless computing is already shifting the ways we think about structuring digital products. With traditional architectures, we used to think proactively (read: anxiously), and run constant checks for new information. Do we have a new user yet? No? How about now? Okay, send a welcome email. Lambda’s event-driven model encourages us to sit back and react to user events as they occur. Someone just created a new account? Your Lambda code is always listening, and will send them a welcome email the second the event is triggered. No more checking.

Enterprises are piling on board to enhance their competitive edge. Coca-cola, for instance, is using Lambda for managing cross-promotional activities and for digitally claiming bottle cap rewards.

Lambda is heavily integrated with a wide range of AWS services, and will continue to expand its breadth. Much like the way smartphones shifted development focus from single, text-driven websites to modular, gesture-driven applications, Lambda is pushing digital product development forward into event-driven design.

It’s hard to even predict what types of services event-driven architectures will allow us to create two years from now, or how they will shift our perceptions of what applications on the internet should be able to do. This is the next iteration of the web, and it’s only picking up speed.

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