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Serverless Authentication with Bobby Johnson

Software Engineering Daily,

Originally posted on Software Engineering Daily

Serverless architecture is software that runs without an addressable server. Serverless is made possible by two types of technology: platform as a service providers like Auth0, and functions as a service like AWS Lambda.

With both of these technologies, we can program logic that runs without being deployed to a server.

Functions as a service are cheap and scalable. Write your code for a Serverless function, and the cloud provider will cheaply deploy and execute that function on some server somewhere. The difficult part is maintaining state.

Since Serverless compute instances are ephemeral, you aren’t dealing with a system that will keep track of your state—it is going to disappear eventually.

The ephemeral nature of Serverless code requires us to shift our thinking—but the dramatic cost and simplified scalability make it well worth the effort.

Serverless functions can add complexity in exchange for lower price. Serverless “platform as a service” often lowers complexity at a slightly higher price.

A Serverless database like Firebase handles database scaling and gives you a nice web interface. A Serverless machine learning platform like Google CloudML gives your models scalability and controlled deployment. A Serverless authentication service like Auth0 manages your authentication.

In addition to authentication, Auth0 has built a set of tools to allow SaaS companies to extend their platforms into a sandboxed code execution environment. Bobby Johnson is an engineer at Auth0, and he joins the show to describe the toolbox that Auth0 has developed: authentication, webtasks, and extensibility–and how the world of “serverless” architecture is evolving. Full disclosure, Auth0 is a sponsor of Software Engineering Daily.

Transcript

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