Less than six month after Apple donated the Swift programming language to the open-source community, IBM has officially made it available via its cloud. IBM said it’s the first cloud provider to enable Swift application development on the server-side during the announcement at #IBMInterConnect. In addition, Big Blue also added a preview for the Swift runtime, as well as a Swift Package Catalog for sharing and distributing code.
First released in 2014, Swift has rapidly gained popularity with developers and is now recognized as one of the fastest growing and most widely-used programming languages around, IBM said. Just two months after Apple open-sourced Swift and IBM introed its Swift Sandbox for early exploration of server-side programming in Swift, over 100,000 developers from around the world have rushed to start using it.
IBM’s move to make Swift available in its cloud is a crucial next step in its mission to help enterprises advance their mobile strategy with innovative app design, analytics, process transformation and integration required for a mobile-first experience, the company said. It added that as one of Swift’s biggest users, it knows better than most the advantages to be gained from programming in Swift, and possesses the expertise needed to help other enterprises fulfill the potential server-side Swift can provide.
Developers can start taking advantage right away by playing around in IBM’s Swift Sandbox, begin building apps on Bluemix and deploy them, or else start creating and sharing packages on the Swift Package Catalog.
Besides bringing Swift to the cloud, IBM also released a new Web framework written in Swift, called Kitura. Using the Kitura framework, developers can simplify app deployment by building front-end and back-end code written in Swift, and collaborate on applications and Web services. Kitura is available as an open-source on Github under an Apache 2.0 license
With IBM’s Swift Sandbox, which was released three months ago, developers can experiment with Swift on IBM’s servers and collaborate across devices and browsers with their peers. It’s similar to Xcode’s Playgrounds, only by running it through a browser developers can gain a better understanding of the compatibility of their code with IBM’s cloud services. The Swift Sandbox can be used within a browser and found at the IBM Swift Sandbox page.