Fun Links 2015-11-06

Today is my microservices edition. I’m not going to debate or extol the merits of microservices as part of this, as, like anything else, it is a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. They aren’t a silver bullet that will solve all of your problems. In this case, I’m linking to some providers of microservices as a service. That’s right, we’ve come full circle.

These microservices do have their place, like if you have a static site that needs a small bit of custom server-side processing. Or you want to perform some custom actions as a result of some web-hook, like a GitHub or Bitbucket push.

Some of the big players are offering microservices as well, but I’m going to leave those for another week.

StackHut allows you to deploy Python or JavaScript classes as microservices. You can then invoke these services using their client libraries, or with a bespoke RPC-style JSON+HTTP request. At the moment, they are in beta, so you can use the service for free, but in the future their free tier will limit the number of parallel requests they will handle. There is also a command line tool for deploying and updating your services.
Back in 2012, I linked to another that was a different project, and now it seems to have disappeared. This one is for creating and hosting microservices based on GitHub Gists. They also provide a simple (Redis-backed) data store that your services can access. They support JavaScript officially but have experimental support for ten other languages. You can even schedule services to run periodically. The free tier is certainly enough to play around with, and their paid plan is only $5/month if you find it necessary.

This one is JavaScript only as far as I can tell. It has a command line tool to load tasks/services from local files or URLs. It allows for scheduled tasks, and their free tier limits you to one request per second. The computing and execution model for this offering is a bit different in that all of the information required to run the task comes as part of the request, including where the code is which it will execute. These requests are in the form of encrypted tokens that can contain secret information (keys, etc.). It is possible with this service to provide a safe sandbox in which to execute custom code provided by your users. An interesting offering for sure.