IBM’s deep-rooted relationship with Apple took on greater meaning last week, with the tech giants uniting in a mutually beneficial cloud deal.
For IBM, the company becomes the first cloud computing platform to support Apple Swift programming language, an increasingly popular application which now allows programmers to build and deploy iOS apps on the IBM Cloud.
In a move designed to gave Big Blue a serious leg up in its cloud war with Amazon and Microsoft, and Cupertino increased enterprise credibility, IBM announced the next phase of its roadmap to bring Swift to the Cloud with a preview of a Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog to help enable developers to create apps for the enterprise.
As the first cloud provider to enable the development of applications in native Swift, IBM hopes the move will unlock the platforms full potential in simplifying the development of end-to-end apps on the IBM Cloud.
Representing a key next step in IBM and Apple's shared enterprise ambitions, both parties are working closely to help enterprises advance mobile strategies with innovative app design, analytics, process transformation and integration required for a mobile first experience.
“Modern digital apps require a modern programming language,” says Michael Gilfix, Vice President of MobileFirst Offering Management, IBM.
“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.
“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.”
As one of the largest users of Swift for mobile app development, Gilfix says IBM has a “deep understanding” of the advantages of Swift and the “knowledge to assist enterprises in maximising the true potential” that server-side Swift will provide.
Introduced in 2014, Swift is one of the fastest growing and most widely used programming languages.
In just over two months since Apple open sourced the Swift language and IBM released its Swift Sandbox for early exploration of server-side programming in Swift, more than 100,000 developers from around the world have used the IBM Swift Sandbox and more than half a million code runs have been executed in the Sandbox to date.
“IBM is committed to maturing the use of Swift as a server-side language for enterprise development,” Gilfix adds.
“Traditionally, different technologies are used to develop the application on the client and the business logic on the server.
“By bringing Swift beyond the client to the server, IBM is breaking down barriers between front-end and back-end development, which can provide enterprises a single language to build rich experiences and back-end business logic.
“Enterprises can benefit from increased speed and efficiency while simultaneously taking advantage of growing availability of Swift skills.
"Using Swift on the server also introduces a simpler, more secure toolchain for end-to-end application development.”