Build Systems that Drive Business
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Function composition in a serverless world

Soam Vasani (Platform9 Systems), Timirah James (Platform9 Systems)
3:40pm–4:20pm Thursday, June 14, 2018
Location: 230 B Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics: Systems Architecture & Infrastructure

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A working knowledge of any FaaS system (e.g., AWS Lambda)

What you'll learn

  • Compare and contrast four available options for composing functions


As serverless applications grow more complex, function composition, or the ability for functions to call each other, becomes important. Soam Vasani and Timirah James explore four available options for composing functions, along with a deep dive into workflows. Soam and Timirah share examples and live demos for each approach and compare them with regard to expressiveness, performance, and fault tolerance, as well as other concerns, such as the ease of doing upgrades and monitoring the overall application’s performance.

Topics include:

  • Coordinating functions: Manage the execution of other functions by calling them directly
  • Event-driven composition: Uses functions emitting and reacting to events on message queue topics
  • Workflows: Introduce a mechanism for expressing a graph of function interactions and having a new runtime to manage the execution of these functions
  • Compiling functions: Merge functions into more complex functions by combining them on a source code level
Photo of Soam Vasani

Soam Vasani

Platform9 Systems

Soam Vasani is a software engineer at Platform9 Systems, where he created and works on the Fission framework and has also worked on Platform9’s Kubernetes cluster deployment and management product. His past work includes distributed filesystems and contributions to the GNU debugger and toolchain. He’s interested in distributed systems, DevOps tools and frameworks, and programming languages.

Photo of Timirah  James

Timirah James

Platform9 Systems

Timirah James is a developer advocate for Platform9 Systems’s Fission, a FaaS built on top of Kubernetes. She is best known for being a thought leader in the Los Angeles and Silicon Beach tech community, her active roles in the hackathon realm, and mentoring women exploring the world of STEM through her meetup, TechniGal LA.