Vercel reinvents Cron for frontend developers
Cron, that utility that schedules all all-the-things in web servers across the internet, is 47 years old this year. Originally invented by Bell Labs, it's been reinvented by Vercel.
Vercel Cron Jobs is a fairly obvious solution to an obvious problem. In a world where more and more logic lives on the edge (through Platforms like Vercel, Netlify and Cloudflare), triggering updates to-and-from third-party APIs has been non-trivial.
Integrations with tools like Inngest have somewhat solved the problem, but clearly Vercel's customer base has demanded a more "native" solution. Cron, after all, is a pretty commoditized feature in most incumbent web hosting control panels.
Vercel aren't the only ones thinking about a solution to this problem - Netlify recently launched scheduled functions into beta - but Vercel are first out of the gate with a full solution.
Configuration is super simple. Once you've created your function, some quick edits to a vercel.json file are all that's required, though you might want to consult with Crontab.guru if you're unfamiliar with cron expressions. That's pretty much it.
Vercel Cron Jobs are included on all Vercel plans, including the Free "Hobby" plan.