Getting Started with OpenWhisk

OpenWhisk lets you focus on writing code and building great solutions, without the hassle of setting up, configuring, or maintaining servers. You only pay for the time your code actually runs*, which means no excess capacity or idle time. OpenWhisk scales to fit your exact demand, from once a day to thousands of parallel requests per second.

You can run code for any type of application or backend service, all with zero administration. Invoke your code directly via a REST API, or in response to Bluemix services and third party events.

Because OpenWhisk is open-source and is built around an open ecosystem of event providers, there is never a need to worry about vendor lock-in.

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Actions

An OpenWhisk action is a piece of code that performs one specific task. An action can be written in the language of your choice. You provide your action to OpenWhisk either as source code or a Docker image.

An action performs work when invoked from your code via REST API. Actions can also automatically respond to events from Bluemix and third party services using a trigger.

Triggers & Rules

A trigger is a declaration that you want to react to a certain type of event, whether from a user or by an event source. Triggers fire when they receive an event. Events are always occurring, and it's your choice on how to respond to them.

A rule associates a trigger with an action. Every time the trigger fires, the rule invokes the associated action.

Sequences

A sequence is a chain of actions, invoked in order, where the output of one becomes the input to the next. This allows you to combine existing actions together for quick and easy re-use. A sequence can then be invoked just like an action, through a REST API or automated in a rule.

Action Runtimes

Create actions in a variety of languages, including Node.js 6, Python, and Swift 3. You can also use any other language you prefer by putting your code into a Docker container. Develop your code in the Bluemix web-based interface, or with your favorite development IDE and use the OpenWhisk CLI to upload it.