Google wants to strengthen its presence in the cloud business, so it added a new feature to its Cloud Platform: meet Google Cloud Functions.

Google Cloud Platform is the company's cloud infrastructure where coders can design, test and run their own apps. The new Google Cloud Functions tool now lets developers program functions which respond to specific events. Cloud enthusiasts will recognize the new tool as very similar to the praised Lambda service, which is provided by Amazon Web Services.  

Google describes the new tool as an "event-based, asynchronous compute solution." This is advantageous for coders, as they no longer have to manage a runtime environment or a server.

The tool is currently in Alpha stage, and should you be interested in joining in the program, filling out a form will make you eligible.

What's a bit strange is the fact that Google released the tool quietly, without any tweet, blog post or press event.

However, it is commendable that Google released an early-access program that mimics the simple and efficient way in which Lambda works. This could mean that Amazon Web Services could see a rising competitor in Google Cloud Platform, soon enough.

This is not the only niche where Google's cloud service competes with Amazon's. Last year, Google unveiled a sort of content-distribution network alongside a tool for hosting source code repositories. AWS already offers both services.

Google has also gunned for AWS in the commercial approach, as it offered price cuts to better compete with Amazon.

So far, Microsoft is one big player that does not have a service able to rival Lambda, but an analyst pointed out that Microsoft will remedy that.

Google Cloud Functions use Node.js modules to work. This means that they are coded in JavaScript, making the functions easy to work with. For example, when a specific event such as a new photo upload happens in Google Cloud Storage or Google Cloud Pub/Sub, the function is triggered.

The service can also use webhooks. The tool can help developers speed up app creation, as coders who will use it spend less time on deployment and maintenance, which usually require a specific chain of events to execute.

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