I Built a Simple Serverless Storage Solution

May 24, 2020

Looking for apartments in Tel Aviv is a drag.

Prices are high, demand is high and dealing with real estate brokers isn’t fun. But most of all, Israeli websites (well, Yad2, the Israeli Redfin, is basically all we have) that help look for apartments are crappy as hell.

To keep as low friction as I could with Yad2 I wanted to create a bot that’ll send me a message (on Telegram) whenever a new apartment that asnwers my criteria is posted. Bot available here.

Sending a Telegram message was pretty straightforward, and so was getting the data, the only thing that bummed me was that I had to set up a database, so that the bot will “remember” which apartments it had already sent me. I was looking for a free storage (well, database actually) service that was easy to communicate with and required as little effort as possible.

I couldn’t find anything that was less than 3 clicks away, so I built one.

Introducing Cloud Local Stroage

Cloud Local Storage (CLS) is the outcome of that weekend’s worth. It’s a very simple DB, built on top of Firebase that is accessible through a Node SDK, web API and a commnad line tool.

Simply install it:

$ yarn add cloud-local-storage

And then, using a local-storage-like API, use it:

import cls from 'cloud-local-storage'

await cls.setItem('foo', { bar: 1 })
await cls.getItem('foo') // {bar: 1}

And that’s it! Without the need to signup or start a database you are able to store & load data from the cloud.

Using CLS that way will store the data globally, meaning that if someone else calls cls.setItem('foo', {bar: 2}), they will overwrite your content.

To help with that you can either provide something more unique key than foo, or you could call cls.setItem without passing a key (passing only the data). When doing so, CLS will generate a key using uuidv4 and return it to you:

import cls from 'cloud-local-storage'

await cls.setItem({ bar: 1 }) // c6cd9316…
await cls.getItem('c6cd9316…') // {bar: 1}

Lastly, you can also namespace all your storaged keys under your account.

Creating Accounts

Cloud Local Storage also supports account based storages. Using CLS’s commnad line tool you can sign up for CLS, you will then get a token, using that token you can store & load data under your account.

First install the CLS’s command line tool:

$ yarn global add cloud-local-storage-cli

Then initialize it:

$ cls init

Follow the instuctions and after signing up the commnad line tool will save your token to ~/.clsrc.

Now you can use the SDK with your token:

import cls from 'cloud-local-storage'

const myStorage = cls('my-token-from-the-command-line-tool')
myStorage.setItem('userData', { a: 1 })
myStorage.getItem('userData') // {a: 1}

Space or Bandwidth Restrictions

Right now there aren’t any space or bandwidth restrictions, but if it becomes pricey I might ask users to verify their account by phone beyond a certain usage threshold. The plan is to keep it free as long as I can and if it gets big find cheaper solutions (MongoDB, DynamoDb, etc…) or look for sponsership.

Anyhow, hope you find this useful.