Function junction: An introduction to AWS Lambda

Stateless, event-driven, and message-oriented, Lambda is a new kind of service for new kinds of applications

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Mention AWS, and most people think of EC2 and infrastructure as a service. Although Amazon has steadily added platform features to AWS, including storage, databases, and mobile services, no matter what you did on AWS, you needed a VM on EC2 (or a container on the new EC2 Container Service) if you wanted to run code. That meant thinking of AWS more as cloud infrastructure and less as a platform.

The IaaS model made a lot of sense when AWS was used almost exclusively for hosting cloud endpoints for mobile and desktop applications or when running Web applications and services. You might use some of the AWS platform services to simplify development, but beyond that, you’d write code the way you always have on the platforms you’ve always used.

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