Enterprise-ready and mature

Serverless platform Apache OpenWhisk graduates to Top Level Project

Sarah Schlothauer
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Welcome to the Top Level Projects, Apache OpenWhisk! This serverless platform for executing functions started its life at IBM. Now, it is open source and part of The Apache Software Foundation. It joins the ranks of projects such as Apache Dubbo and Apache NetBeans. Find out what this platform is capable of, and give the community a hand.

Apache OpenWhisk, an open source, distributed serverless platform for executing functions, officially graduates to a Top Level ProjectThe Apache Software Foundation helps develop, shepherd, and incubate projects in order to further the reach of open source software.

Over 350 open source projects belong to ASF, but not all become mature enough to graduate to a Top Level Project. With this milestone, Apache OpenWhisk joins the ranks of projects such as Apache Dubbo, Apache AirFlow, and Apache NetBeans.

Graduation day

On July 18, 2019, an email from Bertrand Delacretaz at Apache to the OpenWhisk Development team read:

Yes indeed and this means graduation is effective immediately, congratulations to the whole team!

According to ASF, a Top Level Project is: “projects with healthy communities and active development; and a supported listing by technologies and experimental listing of projects as well“.

Serverless cloud platform features

Let’s take a look at some of the features and use cases of Apache OpenWhisk.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about serverless: What does the future hold?

  • Supports functional logic: Use Actions to schedule and run events
  • Common use cases:  Microservices, web apps, IoT, API backend, mobile back end, data processing, and cognitive technologies.
  • Write functions in various languages: Users aren’t limited to just one language, you can pick and choose for specific use cases. Use Node.js, Go, Java, Scala, PHP, Python, Ruby, Swift, Ballerina, .NET, and Rust.
  • On-demand scalability
  • Deployment options: Deploy locally or within the cloud. Use Kubernetes, OpenShift Mesos, or Docker Compose.
  • Debugger client: Use wskdb, the OpenWhisk debugger for actions written in either Nodejs, Python, or Swift.
  • Service integrations: Integrates with popular services such as Kafka, Cloudant, mobile push notifications, Slack, RSS feeds, GitHub, and JIRA.

System overview. Source.

What’s next?

As any new graduate knows, an important question hangs in the air: What comes after graduation?

Before it joined the ASF as an incubating project, the OpenWhisk codebase was used as a basis for IBM Cloud Functions. According to a congratulatory blog post from IBM, Apache OpenWhisk’s future will focus on a few topics.

SEE ALSO: Build, test & deploy serverless apps with AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code

A few areas of focus include integrating with the latest, open serverless technologies such as KnativeTekton CI/CD pipelines, and Kubernetes Event-Driven Autoscaling (KEDA) and exploring use cases to allow new protocols with finer-grained access control to functions using edge service proxies like Envoy. The community is even discussing how to support heterogeneous clusters with new scheduling techniques.

Now that Apache OpenWhisk is a Top Level Project, it has officially proven that it (as well as its community) is mature and upholds the standards set by ASF. For those looking to join the community, there’s no better time than now to give the project some love and join the developers.

Read more about the community here. Subscribe to the mailing list, join the Slack channel, or find out how to contribute.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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