Vercel Ship 2024 Recap: Enhancing Frontend Development with AI, Next.js, and More

Vercel Ship 2024 Recap: Enhancing Frontend Development with AI, Next.js, and More

Vercel Ship 2024, the annual celebration of the frontend cloud, took place in New York City on May 23rd, 2024. The event brought together nearly 1,000 developers and tech enthusiasts to explore the latest advancements in frontend development, AI, and the Vercel ecosystem. This article will delve into the key announcements and features showcased during the event, highlighting the integration of AI, Next.js, and other tools to enhance the development experience.

Vercel Firewall: Secure Your Applications

The Vercel Firewall is a comprehensive security solution designed to protect frontend cloud deployments from various threats. It offers powerful DDoS mitigation capabilities to ensure applications remain available and responsive even under large-scale attacks. The firewall includes features such as:

  1. DDoS Mitigation: Automated DDoS mitigation is available on all plans, blocking incoming traffic if abnormal or suspicious levels of incoming requests are detected.

  2. Custom Rules for IP Blocking: Enterprise users can restrict access to applications or websites based on IP addresses of incoming requests, enhancing security posture and maintaining control over who can access the site.

  3. Web Application Firewall (WAF): Vercel WAF allows customization of the firewall by restricting access to applications or websites through blocking specific IP addresses or applying custom rules in the Vercel dashboard.

  4. TLS Fingerprints: Advanced features like JA3 and JA4 TLS fingerprints provide heightened security measures, especially useful in detecting persistent and covert threats like Botnets or Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

Vercel Toolbar: Simplifying Collaboration and Iteration

The Vercel Toolbar received significant updates during the event, focusing on improving collaboration and iteration velocity. The toolbar now includes features such as:

  • Open Graph Preview: Developers can see exactly how their Open Graph cards will look before sharing them on social media platforms.

  • Layout Shift Analysis: The toolbar provides a summary of layout shifts on a page, helping developers identify and fix issues affecting user experience.

  • Quick Links: The toolbar offers quick links to navigate between branches, deployments, teams, and projects, streamlining the development workflow.

Feature Flags in Vercel: Simplifying Development and Collaboration

Vercel's feature flag integration enables teams to release with confidence, safely roll out changes, and test efficiently. The platform offers several features that enhance collaboration and iteration velocity:

  1. Vercel Toolbar: The toolbar allows developers to view, override, and share feature flags for their application without leaving their browser tab. This includes the ability to override flags from the toolbar, per session, for shorter feedback loops and improved QA and testing.

  2. Edge Config Support: Vercel's Edge Config enables experimentation with feature flags, A/B testing, critical redirects, and IP blocking. This allows for faster load times and more efficient experimentation.

  3. Feature Flags as Code: The @vercel/flags library and the @vercel/flags/next submodule enable developers to manage feature flags in their application codebase, including the ability to use feature flags in routing logic through precomputed flags.

  4. Integration with Vercel Platform: Feature flags are integrated with Vercel's observability features, such as Runtime Logs and Web Analytics, providing deeper insights into user behavior and enabling data-driven decisions.

Best Practices for Using Vercel Firewall and Feature Flags

  1. Configure Custom Rules: Use custom rules for IP blocking to restrict access to your applications or websites based on IP addresses of incoming requests.

  2. Monitor and Audit: Continuously monitor and audit your Vercel Firewall configurations to ensure they remain effective and up-to-date.

  3. Implement Feature Flags Strategically: Use feature flags strategically to manage and test new features, ensuring that they are properly integrated with your application and do not compromise security.

  4. Leverage Vercel's Observability Features: Utilize Vercel's observability features, such as Runtime Logs and Web Analytics, to gain deeper insights into user behavior and optimize your feature flag implementations.

Vercel AI SDK: Building AI-Powered Applications

The Vercel AI SDK is a TypeScript library designed to help developers build AI-powered applications with React, Next.js, Nuxt, SvelteKit, and more. The SDK is organized into three pillars:

  • AI SDK Core: A unified API to work with leading LLMs from providers like OpenAI, Anthropic, Mistral, and Groq.

  • AI SDK UI: For building streaming chatbots with minimal code.

  • AI SDK RSC: Dynamic, component-based "Generative UI" experiences powered by AI.

Code Examples

Here's an example of how to use the Vercel AI SDK in a Next.js application:

import { OpenAIStream, StreamingTextResponse } from 'ai';
import { Configuration, OpenAIApi } from 'openai-edge';

// Create an OpenAI API client (that's edge friendly!)
const config = new Configuration({ apiKey: process.env.OPENAI_API_KEY });
const openai = new OpenAIApi(config);

// Set the runtime to edge
export const runtime = 'edge';

export async function POST(req: Request) {
  // Extract the `messages` from the body of the request
  const { messages } = await req.json();

  // Ask OpenAI for a streaming chat completion given the prompt
  const response = await openai.createChatCompletion({
    model: 'gpt-3.5-turbo',
    stream: true,

  // Convert the response into a friendly text-stream
  const stream = OpenAIStream(response);

  // Respond with the stream
  return new StreamingTextResponse(stream);

Next.js 15: Improved Performance and Features

Next.js 15, the latest version of the popular React-based framework, was also showcased during Vercel Ship 2024. The update includes improved performance, caching, and support for React 19. This enhancement enables developers to build faster and more scalable applications.

V0 and the Vercel AI SDK: Enhancing AI Integration

V0, the Vercel platform, received updates to further integrate AI capabilities. The Vercel AI SDK is now more seamlessly integrated with V0, allowing developers to easily build AI-powered applications.


Vercel Ship 2024 demonstrated the company's commitment to enhancing frontend development, AI integration, and collaboration. The event highlighted the importance of security, performance, and iteration velocity in the development process. With the introduction of the Vercel Firewall, Vercel Toolbar updates, and the Vercel AI SDK, developers now have a more comprehensive set of tools to build innovative and scalable applications.

Additional Resources

For more information on Vercel Ship 2024 and the announced features, refer to the official Vercel blog posts and the Vercel website.