Already one of the fastest-growing programming languages today, Apple's Swift is now being extended to the cloud by IBM. The move is aimed at enabling enterprises to more rapidly build and deploy new mobile apps.
The Swift announcement was one of several new cloud developments IBM revealed today at its InterConnect cloud and mobile conference taking place in Las Vegas this week. Big Blue also said it was extending its software platform to enable new ways to connect to the IBM Cloud. Additionally, the company launched new partnerships with VMware and GitHub to help enterprises move faster into cloud offerings.
Introduced in 2014, Apple's Swift (pictured above) programming language was created to allow developers to build apps for iOS mobile devices and other devices such as the Apple Watch and Apple TV. Swift became open source at the beginning of December.
'Radically Simplify' App Development
IBM and Apple have been collaborating since mid-2014 on a program called IBM MobileFirst for iOS that promotes enterprise apps for key business sectors such as banking, retail and telecommunications. When Apple open-sourced Swift, IBM also released its Swift Sandbox, which has since been used by more than 100,000 developers around the world, according to the company.
In bringing Swift to the cloud, IBM is now rolling out a preview of a Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog. The company said bringing Swift to the server will help break down enterprise barriers between front-end and backend development.
"Swift is easy to learn, reliable, fast and interactive, the key traits that CIOs look for when building the next generation of enterprise mobile apps," Michael Gilfix, vice president of IBM MobileFirst Offering Management, said today in a statement. "Swift on the cloud is an opportunity for enterprises to radically simplify the development of end-to-end applications and therefore reach new levels of productivity."
New VMware and GitHub Partnerships
IBM's new partnerships with VMware and GitHub are also aimed at helping enterprises take better advantage of the benefits of cloud computing.
Big Blue and VMware will launch a jointly designed architecture and cloud offering to let enterprise users automatically provision pre-configured VMware for software-defined data center environments. The offering allows businesses using VMware's vSphere, its NSX virtualization platform and VMware Virtual SAN to deploy workloads on the IBM cloud without the need for security and networking modifications.
"We are reaching a tipping point for cloud as the platform on which the vast majority of business will happen," Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud, said in a statement. "The strategic partnership between IBM and VMware will enable clients to easily embrace the cloud while preserving their existing investments and creating new business opportunities."
IBM and GitHub plan to offer GitHub Enterprise as a dedicated service for private cloud and hybrid cloud customers on IBM's Bluemix cloud platform. The enterprise service will allow large-scale software development teams to perform collaborative coding, code reuse and reviews in a cloud environment.
"Great software is no longer a nice-to-have in the enterprise, and developers expect to be able to build software quickly and collaboratively," Chris Wanstrath, co-founder and CEO of GitHub, said in a statement. "By making GitHub Enterprise available on the IBM Cloud, even more companies will be able to tap into the power of social coding, and build the best software, faster."
Image Credit: Swift App and screenshot via Apple.