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February 23, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 4:59pm

Swift collaboration at IBM InterConnect with Apple, VMWare and GitHub

List: Big Blue is increasing its appeal to developers and hybrid cloud users.

By James Nunns

A large part of the technology world is focused on Mobile World Congress, but IBM is trying to steal the limelight with large deals coming from its InterConnect conference in Las Vegas.

Big Blue has revealed deals with Apple, VMware, and GitHub, in addition to updates to its cloud portfolio. CBR keeps you up to date with the deals and what they mean.


1. Swift

This comes as part of the IBM and Apple partnership which aims to help enterprises advance their mobile strategy with app design, analytics, and integration for a mobile first experience.

What this stage of the collaboration means is that IBM is expanding the Swift Sandbox in order to help coders use Apple’s open source programming language in the cloud.

Swift is a programming language that was created for iOS, OS X and Linux development.

Developers will be able to share and develop their designs in a Swift Package Catalogue, which will be hosted by IBM. Development can be done on Bluemix and deployed with Kitura, an open-source web server that IBM has released which works on both OSX and Linux.

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In December, IBM and Apple reached the 100 app milestone in their mobile app partnership.


2. VMware

The expansion of its relationship with VMware will help Big Blue to carve out a bigger role in the growing world of hybrid cloud deployments.

The agreement is designed to make it easier for companies that are using VMware’s virtualisation products to deploy and run them on IBM’s cloud data centres. What this will hopefully mean for IBM is that its services will look more appealing to VMware customers.

IBM and VMware’s partnership will also see the two partner on selling hybrid cloud services to enterprise buyers and add VMware products such as vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN to IBM’s worldwide data centres.

The benefit for VMware is that it has a powerful partner which can deliver the scale and reach to match the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft.


3. GitHub

In what appears to be a strategy of being the best connected and open cloud, IBM is forming a strategic partnership with the software platform to deliver GitHub Enterprise as a dedicated service on Bluemix.

Offered to hybrid and private cloud users, IBM will use its security scanning engine to check customers’ code for flaws.

IBM said that customers will have the opportunity to build software using GitHub Enterprise on Bluemix, this will see it integrated with the cloud’s DevOps tools and give it access to over 140 APIs and services for cognitive IoT app development.

"Great software is no longer a nice-to-have in the enterprise, and developers expect to be able to build software quickly and collaboratively, "said Chris Wanstrath, co-founder and CEO of GitHub.


4. WebSphere and OpenWhisk

OpenWhisk is an open, event-driven platform that is designed to let developers build more feature-rich applications.

Built on Bluemix, OpenWhisk is aimed at developers and designed to help them build microservices that execute source code in response to events such as the clicking of a mouse, or receiving sensor data from a surveillance cam.

Capabilities include chaining which is built in to enable teams to individually develop small pieces of code or microservices and letter connect them together.

Integrated container support means that custom code which is put in a Docker container can be run; this is designed to eliminate vendor lock-in.

The Swift language is supported along with Node.js and Watson’s cognitive capabilities are built-in to enable apps to be written that perform cognitive analysis.

WebSphere is the other software announcement that Big Blue made, which the company says will help customers to connect to any data, application or transaction system.

Essentially this is a move aimed at developers and helping them to connect numerous sources of data in order to create bigger and better applications.

In addition to WebSphere, IBM has revealed several other Cloud Connectors including API Connect. The company calls this a ‘first-of-a-kind service’ that will allow users to publish its IT as an API, this should make it easy to find, call and connect over the cloud. It also enables the automated creation of APIs.

App Connect is a SaaS offering that will provide hundreds of pre-built connectors to cloud and on premise applications, these are designed to help line of business users quickly move through integration tasks.

DataWorks is a service that has been built on Apache Sark and is designed to enable analysts, developers and data engineers to prepare and move data from on and off premise to an analytics cloud ecosystem.


5. Bitly and Gigster

Finally we come to the customer deployment stories, first of all Bitly. The company which is best known for shortening URLs is migrating its platform of 25 billion data-infused links to the IBM Cloud.

The reason for doing this is given as seeking to leverage the high-speed network, global scale and reach.

Bitly’s API is used by developers who embed more than 300 million links into their products and applications each month. Currently its links bring in more than 12 billion clicks per month and generate over 250 billion unique data points.

In addition to this IBM and Bitly are collaborating to support data publishing via the Universal Behaviour Exchange and will support incorporating link management into the IBM Marketing Cloud, this is to help marketers to better understand and engage with customers.

Gigster is planning to use IBM Cloud as it preferred platform to help developers to build next-gen cognitive fuelled apps. Gigster is an online marketplace that curates and matches software developers with projects that companies need built.

The two companies will embark on a "shared economy" of technology talent that will see 1,400 skilled developers and project managers trained to work on IBM Cloud.


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