Big Blue took some big steps to fortify its enterprise cloud offerings this week. The company announced that the latest version of its MobileFirst Foundation, its mobile application development platform, is now available through IBM Cloud.
IBM also released a new version of its database software, IBM DB2 V11.1 (pictured above), specifically designed to help developers move data and workloads from data centers to the cloud.
Cloud capabilities have become a major component of IBM’s business, along with the AI (artificial intelligence) and deep-learning services offered through its Watson unit. According to a study by IDC, cloud IT infrastructure spending is expected to reach $57.8 billion by 2020, accounting for 47.9 percent of the total spending on enterprise IT infrastructure.
Increasing Demand for Cloud Services
“Demand for cloud continues to skyrocket and mobile applications are the driving force behind that demand within the enterprise,” said Michael Gilfix, vice president of MobileFirst and Smarter Process at IBM, in a statement yesterday. “Uniquely designed for the cloud, the new IBM MobileFirst Foundation meets the need for speed and productivity in mobile application development without compromising security.”
The new version of MobileFirst is designed to provide backend services for cloud deployments and front-end tools for mobile app development, IBM said, adding that it sees mobile development as a critical entry point as more enterprises migrate to the cloud.
MobileFirst’s key features include flexible cloud deployment, better mobile security, live updates, mobile analytics, and multi-channel API creation and management, according to IBM.
Onsite, Cloud, and Hybrid Deployments
For example, the latest version will allow a developer to instantly provision a MobileFirst environment either in the cloud or onsite with a single click, as well as offer the dev a choice of front-end tools and frameworks to use. It also allows workloads to start on the IBM Cloud before moving to an onsite or dedicated cloud environment as production scales, which IBM said will help speed up app development.
MobileFirst will also offer more security features, including a built-in security framework with protection from mobile-specific threats. Developers and other users will also be able to push out real-time updates to their enterprise apps through a configuration console, instead of having to change their source codes and redeploy their apps. IBM said this feature alone can cut release cycle times from weeks to days.
The new Mobile Analytics feature, meanwhile, gathers real-time data on app usage metrics, allowing developers to build custom metrics based on in-app usage events to gain insight on where to invest next. Developers will also be able to build interfaces between backend systems and mobile apps using IBM API Connect to add automated, visual and coding options for creating Node.js and Java microservice APIs.
The new DB2 software, on the other hand, is optimized with security features designed for hybrid cloud deployments. IBM said the new version makes it easier to deploy across massively parallel processing architectures while improving response times. DB2 is also SQL-compatible with Oracle Database, so that developers can migrate applications from one environment to the other.
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