As a software development organization, IBM said it is looking at three primary programming languages/development environments for enterprise use going forward: Java, Node.js and Swift.
Buckellew said IBM will continue to support many programming languages for a variety of different purposes. On the company’s Bluemix Platform as a Service there are many runtimes – Python, Ruby and others. “But those three: Java, Node.js and Swift are the three that we believe are the most strategic going forward,” he said.
Emphasis on Swift
Yet, Swift has been of particular interest lately at IBM, said Buckellew, noting that the open-sourcing of the language could be a game changer, especially for developers. Apple's open- sourced Swift will now enable developers to build enterprise class mobile apps across multiple platforms. Moreover, building on their enterprise mobility partnership, Apple selected IBM as its Swift developer of choice in building enterprise apps. This is key because IBM has one of the largest, if not the largest, Swift development teams focused on enterprise development, extending Swift on the IBM Cloud platform to broaden adoption with enterprises, educators and researchers to build the next generation of enterprise apps. And IBM has thousands of developers using Swift.
“We view Swift as the next great modern programming language because it represents the best of modern programming languages,” said Dr. Angel Diaz, vice president of cloud architecture and technology at IBM, in a blog post.
Better yet, as a powerful and widely used language for enterprise mobile apps, Swift will now be extended to the server and IBM will lead work driving server side enablement. With Apple’s contribution to the open source community, developers will now have the tools they need to build apps using Swift and preserve compelling user experiences across devices with only minimal effort. This would allow development teams to focus more on creating compelling user experiences and valuable features, rather than on porting code from platform to platform.
“Apple published Swift with a Linux compiler, and we are adding to the value and the capability so that the Swift language can not only be used on the client side, but so that it can also be used for cloud services on Bluemix and the IBM Cloud,” Buckellew said.
“We think that when we do that developers will be able to use their skills in many more environments – in multiple client-side environments and to the server as well," he added.