Cloudflare TV

💻 What Launched Today - Friday, April 5

Presented by Tanushree Sharma, Matthew Bullock, Chris Rotas
Originally aired on 

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Developer Week

Transcript (Beta)

. Hi, everyone.

We are live. We are coming in at the last day of Developer Week. And the fun doesn't stop here.

Today we're going to be talking through a few big announcements that we want to share today.

There's some community updates that Chris is going to be talking to us about.

Workers Launchpad, our Discord community, a fun challenge that we've put out as well.

And then there's a few highly anticipated product announcements that Matthew and I are going to be walking you through as well, which include browser rendering API snippets still while Revalidate as well as workers for platforms.

I'm so excited to dive in and share some of the things that we've been working on here.

But before we do that, I wanted to do a quick round of intros so that you're familiar with the folks that we have on.

I can kick it off. My name is Tanushree and I'm a product manager at Cloudflare for the workers team.

I cover parts of workers as well as workers for platforms.

Matthew, you want to go next? Yeah. Hi, everyone. I'm Matt Bullock. I'm a product manager for the platform at Cloudflare.

So where requests get terminated, configuration gets applied and caching.

So, yeah, the heart of Cloudflare.

Thanks, Chris. Hi, everyone. My name is Chris. I work on our self -service team with an emphasis and focus on developer go to market.

So excited to be here.

Awesome. Let's start with you, Chris. We'd love to hear about some of the things that your team's been working on.

And I know you work very closely with our developer relations team as well.

So tell us a little bit about our Discord community, our developer community and some things that are picking there.

Yeah, our community is growing very, very fast.

I believe just a couple of months ago, I saw us etch over the 40,000 user mark.

And I think we're about 45,000 active users and developers that use the Discord.

So thank you if you're tuning in and you use the Discord.

We definitely would like to invite anyone who's not part of the Discord to join us.

Yet today, we had some exciting announcements related to our workers launchpad program.

Should I just get into it or is there? Yeah, go for it. Tell us about it.

Cool. So just as a very simple primer before getting into the announcement today, we announced this workers launchpad program back in 2022, basically initiated a $2 billion fund across 40 different active VCs.

And the idea is to foster community of the next startups that want to build on Cloudflare, give them the tools and equip them with the resources they need to be successful, connect them to those VCs to ideally find any matching of funding if there's an ability to do so.

And we've had 50 companies go through two separate cohorts. So the cohort size is typically around 25 companies per.

We're excited today to announce that we have 29 awesome startups.

They'll be part of Launchpad Cohort 3. And you can read more about it in the blog post.

But at a high level, some of the things that come with Launchpad are access to solution architect office hours.

So architects will get in there and help them design and think through technical solutions to get their applications built better on Cloudflare.

The boot camp session.

So we have 20 plus active sessions. Some of them are geared toward Cloudflare product updates, roadmap.

Other exciting ones are R&D related, product market fit, just helping giving guidance on how to scale your teams and bring your product more go to market.

And then obviously we have the VCs that are a part of this.

So 40 plus VCs. We do a matching process to make sure that companies that are interested in VCs and vice versa get to meet and share common interest there.

And excitingly on Cloudflare TV, we'll be hosting in a couple of months our demo day.

So founders and the builders behind the Launchpad program get the opportunity to pitch their product to Cloudflare users just to share what they're building.

Obviously, it's an exciting time to round out the cohort and just see what all these amazing startups are building out.

Yeah, I think the coolest part, especially as a PM at Cloudflare of Launchpad, is just seeing how much you can build together with all of the things across the Cloudflare stack from, you know, like our application services, security side of things, all the way through to our developer platform.

So it's awesome to see that.

I think also we have like a Cloudflare for Startups program too, which is similar to Launchpad in that it enables startups building on Cloudflare and gives a year of free services.

And that's all included in Launchpad too, right, Chris?

Yeah, thank you for calling that out. That's maybe one of the better parts of Launchpad, is everyone gets access to, you know, our un -tiered, I guess, Cloudflare enterprise package.

So there's no risk or worry about getting too entrenched and then, you know, getting hit with some sort of bill or whatnot.

I think that's what excites me the most, Anushree, is there's so many good announcements with DevWeek that we get to see this cohort start building with all the amazing things that, you know, you, yourself, Matthew, and other PMs are building.

So I'm really excited just to hear more about, you know, how databases become a part of the conversation, gradual deployments, all of the amazing features that have come out.

AI too. I'm certain that there is a significant percentage of our startups that are building on AI products.

Yeah, I've also talked to a number of, I guess, quote-unquote graduates of the startup program, and a number of them have been kind of successful.

And so they're, you know, building on our enterprise plan now and have access to all these features and have access to all the resources that we've been working with them towards as well.

So it's cool to see some of that progression from companies too.

Yeah, and going back to the community in the first place, the whole goal is to foster community.

So we've seen some good success in, I think, some of the Discord channels and just organically, a lot of the founders still stay connected because, again, you stay with people that you learn with, right?

So it's exciting to see that, you know, a lot of folk that from Cohort 1, 2 are still spending time ideating on, hey, what problem did you solve with Cloudflare?

Or, hey, I'm thinking about bringing this product to market.

What experience have you seen in pricing and packaging? Just things like that, that, again, I think every startup just needs to tackle as they grow.

Yeah, that's great that we can help foster some of that. I hear there's a fun AI challenge as well that's available to developers that we launched recently.

Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Yeah, I'm very excited about this one. So we've partnered with dev.to.

For those that don't know, it's a massive developer community, and we're essentially helping developers with this amazing challenge to get more entrenched with our workers' AI solutions.

So the challenge actually has already started, or submissions, I should say, has already been opened.

We opened it on Wednesday, April 3rd, and we'll conclude submissions by April 14th, that's Sunday.

And we're basically asking for anyone who submits is, please start building workers' AI applications on us and share some interesting use cases.

I think for those that are participating in the challenge, we'll be helping give guidance and, I guess, weight more toward the innovation, the creativity, and as much AI as you can kind of put in your stacks and multimodal tasks and whatnot.

So I'm really excited.

I think it's a great opportunity to get developers jazzed about the amazing infrastructure behind workers' AI and let people play with AI model side of the box.

That's really cool. Where can I go if I'm a developer and I want to learn more about this challenge?

What's the best spot to check some of that out?

Yeah, totally. So the blog post will have everything there if you want to go to the Cloudflare blog post or on the community update.

Probably easier if you go to dev.to.

We actually will have the link on the homepage for it. So you'll be able to find that quite easily.

And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to myself.

I'm happy to guide you the right link. Cool. That's great to hear. Excited to see what comes out of that.

And I'm hoping that we get a lot of sharing internally as well as what happens there.

So that's awesome. All right, Matt, I'm going to turn it over to you.

Kind of switch gears a little bit in talking about product announcements that we've had today.

Tell us a little bit about, let's start off with snippets.

Tell us a little bit about snippets. Yeah, totally. So for people that are unaware what snippets are, snippets are really a light Cloudflare worker.

We don't call them cloud-like workers. We don't want to. They are snippets.

But what the idea of snippets is, is that I work as part of the rulesets platform team.

And that is where if you are in Cloudflare and you are doing things such as firewall rules or DOS rules, you could be doing cache rules, origin rules.

They are built on the Edge Rules Engine platform.

Now that is simple as if a request matches a host name, then do an action.

It's really powerful, powers around 30 or 40 products.

The thing is, we get so many feature requests, we can't build everything.

So customers are asking us for certain things. So we thought, let's combine the Edge Rules Engine.

Let's combine JavaScript that workers that people write and allow people to create really simple workloads that can do A-B testing like routing to origin and doing really simple things.

You don't need all of the D1, the AI, all of the cool worker stuff.

You just want to do something really simple.

So we built that and we announced it probably around 18 months ago.

We've had a closed alpha for the last few months. And it's been really successful.

We've seen around 50,000 requests per second. It's in the blog post that Nikita wrote about.

But it's sort of the trajectory is going great. Everyone loves it.

Had a comment yesterday in my DMs and Twitter. It was like, it's like writing middleware in a request pipeline, which is exactly what Snippets is.

So we're really pleased to announce that we're going to be open alpha-ing this over the coming months in this quarter.

So you no longer have to register, reach out to a PM to get access.

Slowly over time, all accounts will see Snippets in the rules section of the dashboard and able to build and deploy Snippets to Cloudflare.

Nice. I know that there are a lot of customers that are using workers to replace this kind of functionality, but I think the really powerful thing here is that the Snippet runs like within the edge rules engine.

So it's sort of within the chain of steps that you have already going rather than after ERE and after any of the rules that are applied run.

Yeah, it runs as far. If you imagine the Cloudflare platform as it comes in, it almost runs at the end of what's in the normal Cloudflare dashboard before going to workers.

So it's there like you can do workload before passing that on to workers to do more computational things.

You can sort of segment it to run Snippets, but keep your workers running all of your your cool stuff that we've been talking about.

It's yeah, it's a really cool thing and it's actually built on what we're going to talk about later, which is the platforms.

So we are a customer of workers for platforms.

So, yeah, it's it's really exciting. Next, what does the pricing for Snippets look like?

So it's basically included there. We're in the alpha and beta.

There is no caps. What is restricted is there is less you get less CPU time.

You are only able to make one sub request per Snippet. It's gated at that level to be fast and efficient, to be able to give you as many requests as you need for the more computational things, for all of the cool stuff that need more CPU time, AI, etc.

That's what workers is there for. And it's great.

This is for really sort of just manipulating the request or response quickly before serving it to your origin or to your end user.

So, yeah, we're looking at it would just be sort of like unmetered as we come out of beta.

And Jay will probably put the limits on what that is.

But, yeah, we're trying to include this as just part of the platform.

Got it. That makes a lot of sense. I know there's a lot of customers that are very excited about it.

So great to hear us rolling it out.

And then I want to kick it over to you to tell us a little bit about Stalewell Revalidator or SWR as well.

Yeah. So this is something that has been long requested.

So Alex Krivett, who I work with, I think probably gets messages every other day.

There is community threads and we listen. We get all of the feedback from customers out there.

We build things that our customers want. I'd love to build a roadmap of things that I just want.

But I know my engineer manager would kill me and not allow that.

So one of the most requested features is Stalewell Revalidate.

Simply in the normal Cloudflare world, if a request comes in and we're looking for an asset in cash and it is expired, we have to go to the origin to pull in the fresh asset or check that it's not invalidated before we then serve it to the eyeball.

It's making a request with what we announced a few months ago called Pingura, which is our new risk based platform that is powering our cash.

That will allow us to actually build SWR so that and where it can do asynchronous revalidation.

So let's say Chris makes a request for an asset. It is stale in cash, but I'm able to serve it stale.

It's outdated. I can serve that to Chris so he's not waiting for the request to come in.

But I'm then able to make a request to the origin to go, has this been updated?

Do I need to pull a new version in? And while we've served that to Chris, we can then pull in the new version for the next request.

So it's efficient. There is no latency while people are waiting around for a large image to be served across the world.

Let's say I'm in Australia, my origin's in the UK.

It's going to take a while for that image to be pulled in and served.

That's a slow website. That's poor performance. Customers don't like that. So that's what we're building and working on with what we're building, the new risk based caching infrastructure.

We want people to sign up to the beta. The link is in the blog and it will allow us to give access to this new caching infrastructure that will include SWR.

We'll be reaching out to our community in Discord, in our actual Cloud for that community and getting people to test this, getting their feedback.

And yeah, so really excited for this. That's great. It's super, super useful to have early testers and people giving feedback on both the mechanics of it and performance, all those things.

So if you're listening and you're interested, please, please do sign up.

There's a link on the SWR section of the blog post there. Cool.

I did want to touch on a couple of things that folks close to me have been working on.

You mentioned Workers4Platforms, Matthew, so a good segue into that.

And you've got an announcement for that. Yeah. So, yeah. Please tell us about your announcement for Workers4Platforms and what's new.

Yeah, it was kind of interesting that line you said around, you know, we can't keep up with all of our customer requests on the rule sets engine.

There's no way that we can keep kind of pumping out these features in a way that scales as our customers grow as well.

And so you really hit the nail on the head there around like the exact problem we're solving with Workers4Platforms.

I think. So what Workers4Platforms is, is the way for for developers to deploy workers on behalf of their end users, either letting their users write JavaScript, TypeScript, now Python support with workers as well.

Or you are maybe your users are less technical.

So you have some sort of like interface that's able to basically translate between what the user wants to do and then output that as a worker.

But the big thing is that today, a lot of software is built in a very more of a rigid way and customers are always like, I wish I could do this.

So I wish after I took this action, this would automatically happen.

Those little workflows really, really are big in terms of user experience.

And Workers4Platforms gives people the ability to bake some of that directly into their platform.

So we've had Workers4Platforms available for enterprise customers for the past year or so, have been working really, really closely with some of our early customers.

Shopify is one of them.

GraphBase is another one. GraphBase actually started off on our Launchpad program.

So it's great to see them kind of graduating and then still, we still work very, very closely with them.

They're a big user of Workers, WFP and some of our other data products as well.

So, yeah, it's been enterprise for a while.

We've gotten a lot of interest through our developer Discord community and I've been sneakily enabling it for people.

Just as it goes along, I think billing was a big pull for us here.

But finally, we're really, really close to getting this out.

So in about less than two weeks or so, we're going to have Workers4Platforms available for any user that wants to sign up to the dashboard.

So that's coming out on April 16th.

So stay tuned. Really, really excited for this announcement.

It's been a long time coming. That's really cool. It's really cool, again, how we build these cool enterprise features.

We then roll them down to our other plans so everyone can build the next cool and greatest technology.

Hopefully become the next cohort and sort of become the next Silicon Valley massive billion dollar company.

So obviously going to our plans, what does the pricing look like for them?

Yeah, so we did want to keep pricing very, very accessible.

We know that there's lots of hobbyists, people that are just trying this out before, trying to get a feel for things.

So didn't want to have pricing as a bar for people to not try out the product.

So Workers4Platforms is going to be available as a new pay-as-you-go plan.

So it's a $25 per month plan, has a ton of workers usage included.

And then anything on top of that, you essentially just pay our workers fees.

So we're not sort of adding anything on top of the request fee or the CPU time usage for Workers4Platforms.

It really is just workers under the hood with some layers and tooling that we give you on top of that.

So I wanted to keep the pricing very simple and reflect some of that too. Nice. And you've said you've been sneakily enabling it for some of the Discord users.

What are the cool things that they've been building already?

Yeah, there's been quite a few things shared.

I think one of the first calls that I was on with a customer, they wanted to make it easier to moderate chat rooms in Discord.

So they were building their own bot that basically sits, monitors a chat room, allows you to do things like put in commands, short form commands that would then take action and then allow any user that has access, like the right permissions for a specific Discord room to be able to do that as well.

And then you can imagine the simplest version of that is you put in some sort of short form and it spits out a message.

But also you can chain things as well. So maybe a user comes in with a feature request.

And so you want to be able to maybe add that to a Google Sheet or something directly.

Really cool ways to link things programmatically. So that was a really interesting use case I heard.

We recently launched support for durable objects and workers for platforms as well.

So people are getting into this idea of creating collaborative spaces and also allowing other users to control some of that behavior too.

So I'm really excited to see some of those. We acquired, there's an announcement that went out today, we acquired PartyKit.

And so PartyKit uses workers for platforms and durable objects to sort of build a framework for building real-time applications.

So that's been interesting as well. And then in the AI space, I've been hearing some use cases around allowing users to build their own sort of custom chatbots.

So it uses workers for platforms, workers AI under the hood.

As a user, you can give the right context depending on the situation. And it's able to use kind of workers AI and the specific models to return output to users.

But it's very catered to use case. So yeah, a lot of really, really cool things.

I could talk all day. A lot of cool things that we're hearing on that front.

Yeah, that's really interesting. And yeah, I think it's almost, you know, unlimited what can be built.

As I said, Snippets is built on workers for platforms.

We build Cloudflare on Cloudflare. It's one of our superpowers. It's how we build things so quickly and get things out.

So giving that power to everybody, I think is only going to be amazing and sort of see some amazing things being built.

So that was one of your announcements today. What was the second one?

Yeah, so the other thing that we've announced is the browser rendering API is going to go GA today.

So it's available for any user to try out in the dashboard.

Well, the browser rendering API is a way to run this popular library called Puppeteer.

Puppeteer is able to do things like automate a browser. So if you want to, you know, maybe you're setting up end-to-end tests.

And rather than, you know, manually clicking all the buttons and making sure that things work.

It's a way to automate some of that, automate taking screenshots, basically taking actions on behalf of the user.

And this kind of came up really organically internally where we had a bunch of teams that were struggling with doing simple things like taking a screenshot.

So they were like setting up their own services in our core data centers to be able to do this.

And a lot of teams doing the exact same thing.

And so we kind of came together and we're thinking about ways to solve this.

And one neat thing about the browser rendering API is it uses BISO, which stands for browser isolation, which is a product on the Zero Trust side of things at Cloudflare.

It uses that plus workers. Workers is sort of like the control for the browser rendering API where you use Puppeteer, launches a BISO instance behind the scenes.

Some of the configuration is a little different just because the sessions aren't as long lived and the requirements are different.

But essentially uses that same infrastructure to then open up a browser, take a screenshot, do the page clicks, etc.

So really, really cool, at least from an internal perspective, Zero Trust meets the developer world type product.

And we always talk about one plus one equals three at Cloudflare.

And I think this is a great showcase of that, how we solve user problems by working across teams.

And so there's been a lot of people that have started using the browser rendering API.

It's been in closed beta for a while, but I'm excited to get this out and see some of the things that people are building.

And it sounds like, again, sort of the features that have been requested and feedback like session management is now available in Browse.

Can you tell us about what session management is and how that improves?

Yeah, so some of the feedback that we had gotten from the closed beta was that it's a little bit complicated to be able to use durable objects to manage longer live sessions for the browser rendering API.

So as a user, if you just want to create a service that takes screenshots and you're running into some of the limits that we have, we encourage the reuse of browsers through durable objects.

Then you have to go and understand this other product and understand how it works.

So session management makes that a lot easier because we are handling the durable objects on your behalf.

And basically giving you the ability to just write a worker, just focus on what you want to do and not have to kind of wrap your head around this third thing.

So I'm excited to bring some of those DX improvements there.

And also another reason why we do why we do alpha is why we do closed beta so that we can really understand our customers using this.

What are they running into and make sure we solve for some of those problems before releasing things widely.

Yeah, totally. And again, goes back to what Chris says, our community, we're so thankful for them that they test all these things.

They find edge cases, they give feedback and ideas, and it just allows us to make our products better before we GA them.

And also, it sounds like you've also built logging and analytics as well for this.

So it's been very busy in the engineering space to get this out into GA.

So what can you see in the logs and analytics?

Yeah. So I think one of the kind of challenges with this and using kind of a backdoor behind the scenes that runs by so is that customers were able to get visibility into their workers.

So you can see the workers usage, but then the rest of that pipeline was a little bit of a black box.

So we've added logging in there as well as logging plus the combination of session management that we have lets you see what instances are currently running, what instances are closed and why they were closed.

And so it gives users visibility into that. And as we bring pricing for browser resolution down, that's going to become important to understand as well.

So it's kind of our first take at making some of that clearer and easier.

And then also, if you're being charged based on browsers, you want to be able to see what's happening exactly.

So it sets us up well for bringing that to customers.

Oh, really cool. So two really cool products. I'm guessing they're available.

How do I learn more about them? How do I build my first puppeteer browser isolation or build my first multi-billion dollar company on workers for platform?

Where should I go and find out that information?

Yeah, I would definitely recommend just starting off by reading through the blog post and then also checking out our developer docs.

We always try and make sure we include examples, whether you're just getting started or you're building a little bit more complicated.

So both for the browser and rendering API, as well as workers for platforms, have starter examples in our developer docs.

Works for platforms, we're also working on getting updates to our example starter project up.

So it's not just looking at a few lines of code in our dev docs, but actually we have a GitHub repo that has sort of an end-to-end workflow roughly mapped out.

So it's a great baseline for getting started.

And then from there, as you're using these products, please make sure to engage in our Discord community.

Let us know how things are going.

Let us know what gaps you have. What are you trying to do that we don't have today and want to make sure that we keep our customers successful.

So I would recommend checking out those three spaces.

Cool. Thank you very much. All right.

And with that, we are wrapping today's session. I think that there is another live stream happening or maybe it just happened earlier this morning for the other announcements that we launched today.

So please make sure that if you're watching, you check that out as well.

Otherwise, that's a close to Dev Week. So thank you both very much.

All right. Bye -bye.

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