Swift Programming Language for IBM LinuxONE: Extending Development

0 Posted by - June 13, 2016 - Blog

Swift for LinuxONE: Extending Development to the Ultimate System for Apps

By Marcel Mitran,  IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technology Officer for LinuxONE

Most people never think about the code behind the apps on their smart phones, but they do think about the performance: How fast does it work? Is it updated frequently with new features? And is it keeping my personal information secure?

Software developers know that the code behind these apps, whether it sits on the device or the back-end server, plays a key role in the apps qualities of service and user experience. The right code running in the right place can make a huge difference in the performance and security delivered.

That’s a major reason why IBM has made a strong commitment to Swift, a new open-source programming language. And it’s why we continue to integrate Swift with our technologies, including IBM LinuxONE, the world’s most advanced Linux-only system.

IBM developers have ported Swift to LinuxONE and contributed code back to the community.  As a result, app developers can now try out our Swift 3.0 beta on LinuxONE. We expect to have a production ready Swift 3.0 on LinuxONE in-line with the upcoming community delivery. We are committed to continue to work with the community to make Swift on LinuxONE a best-of-breed implementation of the language.

The ability to run Swift on LinuxONE is important because it delivers a consistent end-to-end experience for app development while opening up new paradigms and programming models for applications that span hybrid clouds.

In a hybrid cloud, LinuxONE typically plays a key role as the core system-of-record because it has the processing speed, scale, availability and security to handle business-critical applications and high-value data. LinuxONE features the world’s highest levels of security and the world’s fastest commercial processors with a single system able to handle up to 30 billion RESTful web interactions a day.

With Swift for LinuxONE, developers will be able to write applications in Swift across the entire hybrid cloud – the smart phone, the cloud or the LinuxONE back-end system. This simplifies and streamlines the development process by allowing the same developers to write the full end-to-end solution.

Because the end-to-end application is written in a single consistent language, its components can be placed in a fit-for-purpose fashion within the hybrid cloud. As such, developers can more easily place components of the application where it makes most sense when optimizing for performance, availability and security.

Let’s say, for example, you’re writing code for an app that allows patients to track their health through their smart phones. The code that accesses sensitive medical data could reside on LinuxONE, which has special built-in capabilities for encrypting data and secure isolation of applications.

Developers could also leverage co-location of analytic code with the core data to deliver better and richer insights.  By doing the analytics on LinuxONE, precious cycles which might have been spent moving the data can instead be re-invested in the analytic models to provide richer and more powerful insights resulting in a better user experience.

Swift for LinuxONE is another example of the broader strategic push by IBM to make it easier for developers to use the software they prefer on the systems that work best for the specific case. In addition to Swift, LinuxONE already can run a long list of popular open-source software and ISV offerings, including Apache Spark, Puppet, Docker, MongoDB, MariaDB and PostgreSQL

The ultimate goal is to take the pain-points out of the development process and let software developers focus their energy on creating apps that run faster and deliver new services. Even if the end-user doesn’t realize the importance, they see the results every time they click on the app.

To find out more about IBM’s commitment to Swift, check out this post, “Advancing Swift on the Cloud,” from IBM’s VP of Enterprise Mobile. You also can join the thousands of developers across 133 countries already trying Swift on the server in the IBM Swift Sandbox located in the Swift@ IBM devCenter now with new IBM LinuxONE capabilities.

About the Author:

Marcel Mitran, CTO, IBM LinuxONE, Distinguished Engineer, IBM Systems

Marcel Mitran is a Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technology Officer for IBM LinuxONE based out of the IBM Toronto Lab. Marcel has spent fifteen years developing hardware and software technology to solve problems of the modern enterprise.

With over 26 patents filed, Marcel is an IBM Master Inventor. Prior to joining IBM in 2001, Marcel received a M. Eng. degree for research he did on active vision systems at McGill’s Centre for Intelligent Machines in Montreal, Canada.