Technology and the Arts: Celebrating Ballerina, a computer language of integration

WSO2's open source Ballerina -- a cloud native computer language -- helps integrate the tech community and the arts world in San Francisco, with an unique performance by the San Francisco Ballet.
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

WSO2, an enterprise open source integration company, celebrated its open-source Ballerina computer language with dozens of real ballerinas this week at the San Francisco Opera House for a performance of "Sensorium" by the San Francisco Ballet.

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The sold-out event, where the main and only sponsor was an open-source computer language, was a rare event but hopefully more tech companies will follow suit.

A representative of the San Francisco Ballet said the organization was grateful for the monetary support for the event: "Most of the time, when we open our doors we are losing money.  But WSO2 has made a big difference today."

WSO2 was also a sponsor of the Sensorium event last year. This year, it featured The Fifth Season, composed by Karl Jenkins, with Helgi Tomasson as the choreographer.


Ken Oestreich, VP of Product Marketing at WSO2 (above), said that the event helped spread awareness for the Ballerina language -- an open source project aimed at improving IT integration and API management.

"You can easily integrate cloud apps, legacy apps, and you can even write new apps such as micro-services in Ballerina," says Oestreich. "The advantage is that the integration is built into the language so the developer can easily complete the integration instead of handing it over to a different team."

Ballerina is "cloud-native." It is specifically designed for cloud and legacy app integration and includes security and scaling features.

WSO2 is betting that the rapid changes in the IT enterprise toward greater business agility creates a complex world of IT complexity. Business agility will require integrating and managing legacy and cloud apps, hundreds of micro-services, and the momentary virtual IT workloads required -- it will all need robust API management plus a change in how developers produce apps and micro-services. 

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WSO2 believes that integration will be tremendously important in the future as enterprises convert more of their IT to a disaggregated software architecture based on micro-services. Ballerina is designed for integration.

Ballerina is not yet at version 1.0, but it's getting a lot closer, says Oestreich.

WSO2 says it is one of the world's largest open source companies. It has more than 500 software engineers, the majority in Sri Lanka. It is listed as the 69th largest GitHub contributor, contributing code to more than 100 open source projects.

Hopefully, other tech companies will follow WSO2's example of integrating tech communities and the San Francisco arts with similar sponsored events. 

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