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IBM OpenWhisk Serverless Platform Now Generally Available

By Sean Kerner (Send Email)
Posted December 19, 2016


IBM is pushing forward with its OpenWhisk platform, which enables what is commonly referred to today as a "serverless," or event-driven approach, to computing. IBM first opened up OpenWhisk as a beta in February and is now making the platform generally available.

The basic premise of serverless is that it enables computing functions without the need for a long-running OpenWhiskserver. In a June video interview with ServerWatch, Jason McGee, VP and CTO for IBM cloud platform, explained what OpenWhisk is all about and where it's headed in the future.

Over the last six months, OpenWhisk has continued to evolve and is now fully in production and generally available for all users.

"Since we’ve open sourced OpenWhisk, this also means that any user can run the fully stable version of OpenWhisk code wherever they want it – whether in the cloud or on their own machines," Michael Behrendt, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Bluemix Chief Architect, told ServerWatch.

Behrendt added that IBM has integrated a range of new features, capabilities and integrations over the past six months as OpenWhisk has moved from experimental to beta to GA. With the new general availability of OpenWhisk, IBM is introducing new features to help developers rapidly debug code, more tightly integrate with third party tools, and adopt a broader range of programming languages.

New Features Introduced in OpenWhisk with General Availability Release

Among the new features in the general availability update of OpenWhisk is an instant debugger for Node JS, Python and Swift actions; integration with MessageHub; a Bluemix Kafka service for building out data pipelines; support for Java, Node v6, Python and Swift v3; a Visual Studio Code extension; and a new and improved user interface.

"We’ve also been working on tightening our integrations with the open community, as well as expanding and strengthening the ecosystem around OpenWhisk," Behrendt said. " For example, we’ve recently put OpenWhisk into the Apache Software Incubator, where we hope to keep building it with the community."

Looking forward, Behrendt said the plan is to continue to build out the open community around OpenWhisk, and IBM is aiming to reach an even broader network of cloud developers with its continued and expanding effort in open.

"We've also rolled out an experimental version of our API Gateway technology on OpenWhisk, which helps developers to secure and protect their apps and APIs from endpoint to endpoint," Behrendt said.

"As we continue to add more services and capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, we are aiming to give OpenWhisk developers even greater instant access to cognitive intelligence, data analytics, blockchain services and more," Behrendt continued.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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