Zeit, Now, and Satellite Product Marketing
Now is a service that provides a great developer experience for deploying and hosting Node.js apps. In the months after they released Now they started to release open source projects and other services that seamlessly compliment Now. I call them satellite products because they all revolve around the main product.
Let’s have a look at them:
From their blog post on micro:
A mere function can become an HTTP server. You can take any value-or-promise-returning functions from other contexts and turn them into endpoints with micro.
So Micro is an npm package that comes with the
All you need to do is to use the
micro command in the
npm start script in your package.json:
"start": "micro -p 3000"
You would do that anyway if you would write such a microservice with Micro. And, yes you guessed it, now you can deploy that service to Now with the
now command. Boom. It is immediately a hosted microservice that anybody can use.
Creating and promoting this open source package provides great value to developers and lowers the barrier of entry into using Zeit’s main product Now significantly. Brilliant.
Now Static Hosting
Developers who write microservices often need to host static sites that take advantage of these services. The Zeit team went ahead and added the capability for static hosting to the Now service.
Now figures out automatically if you are deploying a static or a dynamic site, the developer deploys a static site just by typing
now into the terminal. Just like when deploying a dynamic site. This removes cognitive load and makes Now an even more complete package for developers.
zeit.world is a DNS service by Zeit that makes aliasing a deployed project on Now a piece of cake. All you do is type
now alias alias into the terminal after you pointed the URL to one of their nameservers. This service seems like a very intuitive addition to Now but yet again removes cognitive load and busy-work for the developer.
This is one of the many ways Now can creep into your workflow.
It is a joy to watch Zeit building out their main product with complimenting services and open source products.
On the one hand those products serve to lower the barrier of entry to their main product but they also improve developer experience and reflect a generous culture of giving back to the community.
I am curious to see what they come up with next. If I had to guess I would say they might release a way to do dead simple user authentication with Next.js.