Tools for Improving the Developer Experience on the Azion Platform

Discover the development tools to improve the developer experience on the Azion Edge Computing Platform!

Letícia Rosa - Product Manager
Thiago Silva - Technical Researcher
Tools for Improving the Developer Experience on the Azion Platform

Edge computing is the technology of the present and future of the hyperconnected economy. However, the edge still poses challenges for development teams that may not be completely familiar with this approach. As a result, developers need the right set of development tools and resources to be successful and leverage the limitless computing potential that an edge infrastructure provides.

Having the right tools makes a huge difference in the process of migrating and maintaining your systems on an edge computing platform so developers can quickly create, test and implement applications that take full advantage of the particularities of a highly distributed network of edge locations. That’s why, when choosing a platform, it’s essential to make sure that it offers robust tools, architectures, and frameworks that deliver the highest performance without compromising security with an impeccable user experience.

In this blog, you will learn about the development tools supported by Azion’s Edge Computing Platform and how they allow you to build and run modern applications for any device at the edge with the best developer experience.

Azion Edge Runtime

Azion’s Edge Runtime is our runtime environment for developers to run and deliver serverless applications. It is the basis for Edge Functions, in which you can implement your business rules and functions in JavaScript at the edge. Here are some of its most important tools to enhance what you can create on our platform.

Supported Languages

JavaScript

JavaScript is a high-level programming language developed in the 1990s. It’s the most popular scripting language on the web, widely used in the development of web pages and applications. In addition to allowing developers to use the same language on the server and in the browser, JavaScript has a wide range of libraries and frameworks that enable virtually unlimited creation potential.

The modern web application scenario has been increasingly migrating to the edge, and JavaScript is one of the most used languages to build applications on these platforms. Using JavaScript on Azion’s platform, developers can build applications that process data locally and in real-time, considerably improving performance and reducing latency and costs. In addition, JavaScript facilitates integration with Azion’s analytics and security tools, making it one of the  comprehensive and powerful platforms for edge development.

WebAssembly

WebAssembly (WASM) is a binary instruction format for virtual machines intended for use on the web. It’s a low-level language that provides compilers for a variety of languages, allowing developers to write code in their language of choice and compile it into a binary format that can be executed directly in the browser.

Thus, WASM allows code written in compiled languages such as C, C++, Go, Rust, and many others to run at near-native speed on the web. In addition, it enables safer testing and deploying applications, as it can run in a sandbox (similarly to JavaScript).

Finally, using WebAssembly simplifies and speeds up your migration process to the edge, as you can convert the original code of your legacy applications and, in a few steps, implement them directly on the Azion Edge Computing Platform, reducing drastically the time it would have taken otherwise.

Frameworks and Architectures

Next.js

Next.js is a JavaScript framework based on the React library that allows you to create high-performance, SEO-optimized static websites. Because it is a minimalist framework, little code is needed to develop self-rendering React applications, statically exported React apps, and pages that are easy to build, deploy, and update.

Next.js significantly improves the speed and simplicity of creating complex pages and applications. Using this framework, different versions of websites and services can be quickly tested using A/B tests to optimize results. Next.js also takes content customization even further, allowing you to offer an increasingly engaging user experience. Associated with the highly distributed architecture of Azion’s edge locations, Next.js makes it possible to further enhance business results.

And that’s not all: This framework also stands out for using two tools that can considerably improve your page’s user experience and SEO: SSG (Static Site Generation) and SSR (Server-Side Rendering).

Jamstack

Jamstack (whose name is composed of JavaScript, APIs, and Markup Languages) is not precisely a framework but rather a revolutionary architecture that allows you to take full advantage of serverless computing and modern development tools. When using the Jamstack approach, the front-end is separated from the back-end and the database, allowing the use of techniques and tools that meet the specific needs of each of these instances.

Adopting a Jamstack architecture makes it possible to quickly build secure, high-performance web applications using tools such as WebAssembly and JavaScript frameworks. It allows you to build optimized, highly performant applications on the Azion edge, with a more efficient content rendering for minimal latency in the user interface, which is focused on static content. Furthermore, by combining Jamstack techniques with back-end services, it’s possible to create applications capable of handling large amounts of data efficiently and securely without affecting latency and the user experience.

Azion CLI

In addition to the Azion Edge Runtime, our platform has several other tools to enhance your applications and solutions.

The Azion CLI, for example, is an interface that allows you to perform complex tasks on our platform via command lines. Thus, it is possible to perform the entire process of creating, managing, deploying, updating, and deleting your edge functions with a few commands; besides that, you can use this interface to provision applications developed with Next.js in the simplest way. Finally, the CLI also allows managing all edge services created in Edge Orchestrator with simple commands.

In other words: through the Azion CLI, Azion provides better control of your systems, streamlining development cycles and the launching of solutions, automating processes through scripts, and simplifying scalability.

APIs

To develop powerful applications with high communicability potential, cutting-edge APIs are indispensable. For this reason, Azion has APIs that raise the level of your applications and enable the creation and analysis of the most complete solutions.

Below are some examples of APIs available on the Azion platform and how they contribute to a more complete and secure development experience.

Azion API

The Azion API is a RESTful API based on HTTPS requests that allows you to integrate your systems with our platform simply, quickly, and securely.

By providing HTTPS requests and responses in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format, you can use HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and PATCH to run the different types of operations necessary for the best exchange and analysis of data in your solution.

GraphQL

Graphic Query Language (GraphQL) is a language developed especially for use with APIs. Being an important alternative to REST APIs, GraphQL allows you to receive both raw and aggregated data from real-time events according to your most specific needs. Adopting this API, you gain autonomy to request the data you want and receive exactly what was requested through a JSON response, which increases the efficiency and quality of the insights it can offer.

This happens because GraphQL fetches data differently from traditional APIs, allowing you to perform filters without fetching unnecessary amounts of information. The precise answers it provides make its use simple and bring significant performance gains in your observability practices. Also, unlike other traditional APIs, GraphQL has only one endpoint.

Some important use cases made possible by GraphQL are identifying irregular spikes in user activity, understanding common attributes associated with requests, and drilling down to granular detail to solve application performance issues.

Marketplace

The Azion Marketplace is a digital catalog that lets you find, test, and implement edge-enabled software with just a few clicks. In it, you’ll find several solutions that can be used to improve, compose, or customize your applications on the Azion platform.

Thus, in addition to our robust range of development tools, the Azion Marketplace enables use cases such as the development and modernization of applications, protection against fraud, credential stuffing, authentication and access authorization, artificial intelligence, and data analysis, all of which can be scaled from prototype to enterprise scale in just a few moments.

Conclusion

The Azion Edge Computing Platform’s main objective is to enable and power the hyperconnected economy without compromising security and an optimal developer experience. Therefore, we are constantly developing and in direct contact with our customers to provide and improve tools that allow them to take their applications to the next level.

If you want to discover in practice all the development potential of an edge computing platform, create a free account and use a bonus of US$ 300.00 in credits to carry out your first tests. And if you have any questions or suggestions, talk directly to our experts and find out what else Azion can offer you regarding the building, security, delivery, and observability of modern applications that run anywhere.

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