Cloudflare (NET -6.14%) is a lot more than a content-delivery network. The company has been building out a developer platform over the past few years, leveraging its global network of edge computing sites to solve scaling, performance, and latency problems for developers.

At the core of this platform is Workers, the company's serverless computing product. Workers allows developers to run code at the edge, anything from simple functions to full-fledged applications. Cloudflare handles the hard parts. Workers scales up and down as needed, and developers don't need to worry about predicting how much resources they'll need.

Improving D1 and Queues

Cloudflare has been continually layering on additional developer services, all tightly integrated with Workers. Any complex web application, comprised of multiple components, requires more than just the ability to run code. Some sort of messaging system, allowing components to communicate, often makes life easier. And a database of some kind is usually required.

Cloudflare has made progress allowing developers to connect Workers with databases hosted on other cloud platforms, but it also offers its own database solution. D1, which is still in alpha, is a distributed-database product built on SQLite. There's no software to install or maintain. Instead, developers create a database, Cloudflare puts it in a region close by, and the platform handles the rest.

Cloudflare announced some major improvements to D1 on Friday, mostly centered around performance. The company has designed a brand-new architecture that can deliver up to 37 times the read performance and 11 times the write performance as the previous iteration, depending on the situation. Compared to an unnamed serverless PostgreSQL provider, Cloudflare D1 is 3.2 times faster, according to the company.

Beyond performance, D1 now supports a new Time Travel backup solution that allows developers to restore their database to any state within the past 30 days. No more dumping databases into backup files on a schedule.

Queues is the other product that got a big overhaul. For an application composed of multiple services that need to communicate with each other, Queues allows each service to send and receive messages without needing to know anything about where those messages are ultimately going or coming from. The original version of Queues was missing some key features, and Cloudflare is now filling in those gaps.

For starters, Queues will now automatically scale up Workers that are consuming data from the queue to ensure that the queue never backs up with data. The company also quadrupled the throughput for a single queue to 400 messages per second, and it added functionality to give developers more control over how message failures are handled.

Becoming a one-stop shop

With each improvement, Cloudflare's developer platform becomes a viable alternative to a traditional cloud-computing provider for more and more developers. A developer can run their application code, host their databases, and handle communication between services without stepping outside of Cloudflare's platform.

Cloudflare is also working on other odds and ends that would typically require a virtual server. The company's Browser Rendering API, which allows developers to use Workers to programmatically interact with a headless web browser for automation, screenshotting, and other tasks, entered open beta on Friday. Getting something like this up and running elsewhere can be an ordeal. With the new API, developers can avoid the hassle and let Cloudflare handle the complexity instead.

The cloud-infrastructure market is enormous. Global spending on cloud infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service is expected to reach roughly $290 billion this year, according to Gartner. Cloudflare's platform doesn't address the entire market, and there are plenty of cloud users that really do need the types of cloud services that Cloudflare doesn't offer. But even so, Cloudflare's developer platform represents a massive long-term opportunity for the edge computing leader.