Extending Web Applications with Cloud Functions

The discourse on cloud functions focuses heavily on diverse use cases: Standalone functions to perform a certain functionality, compositions of functions into complete applications, and functions as plumbing between separate application parts. This blog post intends to explore the use of cloud functions as extensibility mechanism for existing applications. It exemplifies the interaction between a function, a website and a login-protected web application and furthermore discusses implementation aspects and the notion of caching data in function instances.

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Guest Researchers from Mozambique

In the final days of October, the Service Prototyping Lab at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) hosted two doctoral candidates who take part in the structured doctoral programme Information Technology and Systems at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The candidates Martina Barros and Ambrósio Vumo arrived from Germany, as they spent a significant part of their research time at Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) as part of the DAAD-funded joint programme Welcome to Africa. The realisation of this programme also involves the Service Prototyping Lab as competence centre for research and innovation on cloud applications and new services for digital economies. This article describes how innovation transfer was conducted during the stay.

Martina Barros, Ambrósio Vumo and the host Josef Spillner

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Probabilistically Stateful Serverless Web Applications

Among the lectures offered by the Service Prototyping Lab is Scripting. Aimed at students of advanced studies, it teaches essential practical programming skills and conveys approaches how to automate the exploration of data retrieved from the Internet. Python is taught as programming languages and consequently a Python (Django) web application has thus far been used to automatically score the results submitted by students of a particular advanced task towards the end of the lecture. There’s nothing wrong with Django per se, but its roots have evidently been in the era of monolithic web applications. Armored with our Function-as-a-Service experience we decided to drop it and go purely serverless. In production.

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Global ICT Module: Swiss Students in China

chinesearchitectureSupported by Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme, 16 students from Swiss universities of applied sciences are spending a couple of education and project days at production and research facilities in China which cover the broad topics of telecommunications equipment, enterprise computing solutions and mobile handhelds. Among the participants, two study Computer Science and Business Information Technology, respectively, at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Their study programmes are complemented well by the technical and business contents of this on-site module.

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Cloud Computing Summer School 2016 – highlights

The Service Engineering group just finished the Cloud Computing Summer School 2016 last Friday. Summer School is a yearly activity at ZHAW, organised in the first 2 weeks of July, in collaboration with the Grand Valley State University (GVSU), USA.

Students of both universities attend the lectures in Winterthur. Swiss students are given the option to attend 2 complimentary weeks in the USA right after the Summer School in Winterthur. The program was slightly changed this year by introducing guest lecturers. In the previous years all lectures were given by the SE group members, which we modified this year by inviting known experts in the field of Cloud Computing from Switzerland and abroad, to talk about the current technologies as well as the current practices in their organisation. This mix of academic and applied modules was very well received by the students.

Swiss 2016 group pic

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