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Serverless launches open source Event Gateway to tie cloud functions together

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There’s a new open source tool in town for tying different event-driven functions together. Serverless, a startup that builds tools for building applications without having to worry about underlying infrastructure, announced a new Event Gateway project today that provides developers with a platform-agnostic tool for passing events from one program to another.

Event Gateway combines two different sets of functionality: an API gateway that lets developers monitor and manage connections between different applications, and a publish-subscribe (Pub/Sub) service that is designed to route information from one to another.

What that means is a developer can create a function that writes to the Event Gateway, which then intelligently passes information off to other functions subscribed to a particular set of events. It’s designed to help reduce the complexity of building large-scale serverless architectures.

Austen Collins, the CEO of Serverless, said in a presentation today that complexity is one of the biggest issues for the company’s customers, when asked about what problems they run into when implementing event-driven computing.

“A lot of these issues could be jumbled under the single category of architectural complexity,” he said.

One of the key benefits to Serverless’ project is that it works across cloud providers, so that developers can tie together AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk. The system also makes it easier for developers to see how events are flowing between functions, something that can be difficult to visualize with current tools.

Enterprises are increasingly interested in building applications using serverless design patterns — creating whole systems that only run in response to events generated by other systems. The Event Gateway was announced today at the Emit Conference, hosted by Serverless, which featured speakers from Nordstrom, Capital One, and Accenture.

Cloud platform providers have supported that push by offering services that enable the creation and execution of those systems, but they are often proprietary to a particular environment. By creating the Event Gateway as an open source project, Serverless may attract interest from companies that want to keep things simple without having to lock into a particular provider.

Serverless is no stranger to creating open source tools in this arena. The company also shepherds the Serverless Framework, a tool that makes it easier for developers to create event-driven functions that can work across a wide variety of cloud environments. That project has more than 18,000 stars on GitHub, and it includes contributions from 289 people as of this writing.

The Event Gateway news comes a couple days after Microsoft announced Azure Event Grid, its own service for passing events to and from services inside its cloud platform, which works similarly to Serverless’ project.

Collins pointed out that this is still an early release of Event Gateway, and said that it isn’t yet ready for production applications. Serverless plans to offer the Event Gateway as a hosted service in the future, but will also continue making it available as an open source project.

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