Library and Commandline Tools to build and deploy OpenWhisk Actions

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import adobeHelixDeploy from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@adobe/helix-deploy';


Helix Deploy

A multi-cloud deployment tool for serverless functions running on AWS Lambda, Adobe I/O Runtime, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions. Write once, run everywhere.


GitHub license GitHub issues CircleCI codecov LGTM Code Quality Grade: JavaScript


  1. Add this wrapper as dev dependency:

    # Add OpenWhisk wrapper as dependency 
    npm add helix-deploy
  2. add a build script to your package.json:

    "scripts": {
      "build": "./node_modules/.bin/hedy"
  3. Build the OpenWhisk action

    $ npm run build
    Created action: dist/my-example.zip.
  4. Deploy the OpenWhisk action

    $ wsk action update ....

The deploy parameters can be specifies in the CLI via -p. See below.


The command line interface hedy can either be invoked via ./node_modules/.bin/hedy. you can also use npx: npx hedy or install it globally npm install -g helix-deploy.

$ hedy --help
General Options
  -v, --verbose                                       [boolean] [default: false]
      --directory  Project directory                     [string] [default: "."]
      --version    Show version number                                 [boolean]

Operation Options
      --help            Show help                                      [boolean]
      --build           Build the deployment package   [boolean] [default: true]
      --deploy          Automatically deploy to specified targets
                                                      [boolean] [default: false]
      --test            Invoke action after deployment. Can be relative url.
      --update-package  Create or update package with params.
                                                      [boolean] [default: false]
  -l, --version-link    Create symlinks (sequences) after deployment. "major"
                        and "minor" will create respective version links [array]
      --delete          Delete the action from OpenWhisk. Implies no-build
                                                      [boolean] [default: false]

Build Options
      --minify     Minify the final bundle            [boolean] [default: false]
  -s, --static     Includes a static file into the archive [array] [default: []]
      --entryFile  Specifies the entry file.           [default: "src/index.js"]
      --externals  Defines the externals for webpack.      [array] [default: []]
  -m, --modules    Include a node_module as is.            [array] [default: []]

Deploy Options
      --target             Select target(s) for test, deploy, update-package
                           actions (wsk,aws,azure,google,auto)
                                                     [array] [default: ["auto"]]
      --hints, --no-hints  Show additional hints for deployment
                                                       [boolean] [default: true]

Test Options
      --target       Select target(s) for test, deploy, update-package actions
                     (wsk,aws,azure,google,auto)     [array] [default: ["auto"]]
      --test-params  Invoke openwhisk action after deployment with the given
                     params.                               [array] [default: []]

Link Options
      --target       Select target(s) for test, deploy, update-package actions
                     (wsk,aws,azure,google,auto)     [array] [default: ["auto"]]
      --linkPackage  Package name for version links                     [string]

Update Package Options
      --package.params       OpenWhisk package params.     [array] [default: []]
      --package.params-file  OpenWhisk package params file.[array] [default: []]

General Action Options
      --name          Action name. Can be prefixed with package.
      --package.name  Action package name.                              [string]
      --node-version  Specifies the node.js version to use in the serverless
                      runtime                                    [default: "12"]
  -p, --params        Include the given action param. can be json or env.
                                                           [array] [default: []]
  -f, --params-file   Include the given action param from a file; can be json or
                      env.                                 [array] [default: []]
      --updated-by    user that updated the action or sequence.         [string]
      --updated-at    unix timestamp when the action or sequence was updated
                      (defaults to the current time).
                                               [number] [default: 1611635868339]
      --web-secure    Annotates the action with require-whisk-auth. leave empty
                      to generate random token.                         [string]
  -t, --timeout       the timeout limit in milliseconds after which the action
                      is terminated                             [default: 60000]
      --pkgVersion    Version use in the embedded package.json.
      --memory        the maximum memory LIMIT in MB for the action
      --concurrency   the maximum intra-container concurrent activation LIMIT
                      for the action

OpenWhisk Action Options
      --namespace       OpenWhisk namespace. Needs to match the namespace
                        provided with the openwhisk credentials.
      --package.shared  OpenWhisk package scope.      [boolean] [default: false]

AWS Deployment Options
      --aws-region           the AWS region to deploy lambda functions to
                                                          [string] [default: ""]
      --aws-api              the AWS API Gateway name. (id, "auto" or "create")
                                                      [string] [default: "auto"]
      --aws-role             the AWS role ARN to execute lambda functions with
                                                          [string] [default: ""]
      --aws-cleanup-buckets  Cleans up stray temporary S3 buckets
                                                      [boolean] [default: false]
      --aws-create-routes    Create routes for function (usually not needed due
                             to proxy function).      [boolean] [default: false]

Azure Deployment Options
      --azure-app  the Azure function app to deploy to    [string] [default: ""]

Fastly Gateway Options
      --fastly-service-id  the Fastly Service to use as a gateway
                                                          [string] [default: ""]
      --fastly-auth        the Fastly token               [string] [default: ""]
      --checkpath          the path to check as part of the Fastly health check
                                                          [string] [default: ""]

      --format    Action formats
                     [default: {"aws":"/${packageName}/${baseName}/${version}"}]
      --property  Additional properties that can be used in formats.
                                                                   [default: {}]

With no arguments,the hedy just bundles your code into the respective action.zip:

Automatically deploy to openwhisk

When given the --deploy, the wskbot will try to deploy it ot OpenWhisk using the settings from ~/.wskprops. Alternatively, you can also set the WSK_NAMESPACE, WSK_AUTH, WSK_APIHOST in your environment or .env file.

$ hedy --deploy --no-hints
ok: created action: dist/my-example.zip.
ok: updated action tripod/my-example

Automatically test the deployed action

In order to quickly test the deployed action, hedy can send a GET request to the action url.

$ hedy --deploy --no-hints --test
ok: created action: dist/my-example.zip.
ok: updated action tripod/my-example
--: requesting: https://runtime.adobe.io/api/v1/web/tripod/default/my-example ...
ok: 200

the --test argument can be a relative url, in case the request should not be made against the root url, eg:

$ hedy --deploy --no-hints --test=/ping
ok: created action: dist/my-example.zip.
ok: updated action tripod/my-example
--: requesting: https://runtime.adobe.io/api/v1/web/tripod/default/my-example/ping ...
ok: 200

Including action parameters

Action parameters can be defined via -p, either as json on env string, or json or env file.


# specify as env string
hedy -p MY_TOKEN=1234 -p MY_PWD=foo

# specify as json string
hedy -p '{ "MY_TOKEN": 1234, "MY_PWD": "foo" }'

# specify as env file
hedy -f .env

# specify as json file
hedy -f params.json

# and a combination of the above
hedy -f .env -f params.json -p MY_TOKEN=123

# like in curl, you can include file contents with `@` (also works in .env or .json file)
hedy -p MY_TOKEN=@token.txt

Specifying arguments in the package.json

Instead of passing all the arguments via command line, you can also specify them in the package.json in the wsk object. eg:

  "scripts": {
    "build": "./node_modules/.bin/hedy -v",
    "deploy": "./node_modules/.bin/hedy -v --deploy --test"
  "wsk": {
    "name": "my-test-action",
    "params-file": [
    "externals": [
    "docker": "adobe/probot-ow-nodejs8:latest"

Versioning your action

It can be helpful to version the action name, eg with the @version notation. So for example

"wsk": {
  "name": "my-action@4.3.1"

In order to automatically use the version of the package.json use:

"wsk": {
  "name": "my-action@${version}"

Note: the version is internally taken from the pkgVersion variable, so it can be overridden with the --pkgVersion argument, in case it should be deployed differently.

Automatically create semantic versioning sequence actions

By using the --version-link (-l), the bulider can create action sequences linking to the deployed version, using the semantic versioning notation: latest, major, minor:

Action Name Specifier Sequence Name
foo@2.4.3 latest foo@latest
foo@2.4.3 major foo@v2
foo@2.4.3 minor foo@v2.4

Including static files

Adding static files, i.e. files that are not referenced from the index.js and detected by webpack, can be done via the -s parameter. they are always put into the root directory of the archive.


# include an image
hedy -s logo.png

If the path points to a directory, it is recursively included.

The files of static files can also be specified in the package.json which allows specifying the destination filename. eg:

  "wsk": {
    "static": [
      ["assets/logo.png", "static/icon.ong"],
      ["public/", "static/"],

Using the development server

Testing an openwhisk action that was expressified using ActionUtils.expressify() can be done with the DevelopmentServer. Just create a test/dev.js file with:

const { DevelopmentServer } = require('@adobe/helix-deploy');
const App = require('../src/app.js');

async function run() {
  const devServer = await new DevelopmentServer(App).init();
  return devServer.start();

// eslint-disable-next-line no-console

and run node test/dev.js.

Using development params with the server

Sometimes it might be useful to specify action params that would be provided during deployment but are not available during development. those can be specified by a dev-params-file wsk property. those parameters are loaded an applied to every action call. eg:

  "wsk": {
    "dev-params-file": ".dev-secrets.env"



The action is created using webpack to create bundle for the sources and then creates a zip archive with the bundle, a package.json, the private key files and the .env.


If you have suggestions for how these OpenWhisk Action Utilities could be improved, or want to report a bug, open an issue! We'd love all and any contributions.

For more, check out the Contributing Guide.