IBM announced it has acquired Node.js specialist StrongLoop, giving the systems, software and services giant a leg up on expertise in one of the fastest growing development frameworks for creating and delivering APIs.
Financial terms of IBM’s deal to acquire San Mateo, Calif.-based StrongLoop were not disclosed.
IBM is a founding member and current platinum member of the Node.js Foundation while StrongLoop employs many of the top contributors within the community and is an active sponsor and evangelist for Node.js. Just last week, an IBM executive was appointed to the Board of Directors at the Node.js Foundation.
StrongLoop provides tools to help developers connect enterprise applications to mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and Web applications in the cloud. The company also provides DevOps tools. StrongLoop’s application development software enables developers to build applications using APIs. APIs are pieces of software that act as technology glue for integrating applications, data and business processes that connect businesses with customers, partners and employees.
“Enterprises are focused on digital transformation to reach new channels, tap new business models, and personalize their engagement with clients,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of middleware for IBM Systems, in a statement. “APIs are a critical ingredient. By bringing together StrongLoop’s Node.js capabilities to rapidly create APIs with IBM’s leadership in Java and API Management on our cloud platform, we are unlocking the innovation potential of two vibrant development communities.”
With the big data phenomenon and the emergence of cloud environments, developers are using APIs to create protocols and routines that specify how one application can interact with another application. For example, developers can create new information assets by combining data and services shared by other organizations, ranging from startups to global enterprises, to deliver new innovation and business value.
IBM will integrate StrongLoop’s Node.js capabilities with its software portfolio, which includes MobileFirst and WebSphere. This will help developers to better use enterprise data and conduct transactions whether in the cloud or on-premises. These new capabilities will enable developers to build scalable APIs, and to more easily connect existing back-end, enterprise processes with front-end mobile, IoT and web apps in an open, hybrid cloud.
Moreover, through integration on IBM Bluemix, Java and Node.js communities will also have access today to many other IBM and third-party services including access to mobile services, data analytics and Watson.
IBM Buys StringLoop, Adds Node.js Expertise
“With this acquisition, the industry benefits from Node.js’ formal entry into the mainstream enterprise,” said Juan Carlos Soto, CEO of StrongLoop, in a statement. “As one of the leaders in the Node.js open community, together we plan to further advance open, community-driven innovation coupled with global, enterprise class software and services offerings to grow client value in the API economy.”
IBM’s acquisition of StrongLoop continues its commitment to open source technologies and communities including Apache, Eclipse, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry and others. As a founding member and Platinum member of Node.js Foundation, IBM has dedicated experts working within the foundation. IBM will continue to provide support and investment in the open Node developer community.
Developers will also benefit from IBM Cloud and developer experts who provide technical guidance on creating, managing and monetizing APIs using StrongLoop at IBM Bluemix Garages.
In addition, IBM said select cloud capabilities from today’s StrongLoop acquisition will be incorporated into the IBM IoT Foundation, along with Bluemix, security and analytics to provide enterprises access to an IoT platform that derives insight from sensor-driven data.
IBM says it will provide global support for the StrongLoop platform by the second half of 2016, adding language translation support for Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
IBM’s acquisition of StrongLoop signifies a consolidation of sorts in the Node.js space. Last year, GoDaddy acquired Node.js developer shop Nodejitsu and Progress Software bought Modulus, another Node.js shop.
Ironically, GoDaddy also, around the same time it acquired Nodejitsu, announced it was using StrongLoop’s tools to develop both public and private APIs using Node.js. The GoDaddy APIs make it easier for its business partners to buy and sell domains and associated GoDaddy products. This program represents a growing revenue stream for GoDaddy, and is important to GoDaddy’s Internet of Things enablement strategy.
GoDaddy’s previous API was based on an outdated protocol. The company needed a modern solution to ease adoption of their APIs for resellers. StrongLoop’s LoopBack framework was the best choice given the ease to connect to services of any type — including SQL Servers — and its strong Node.js-based architecture, GoDaddy said.
“We are collaborating with StrongLoop on our Reseller API,” said Elissa Murphy, CTO of GoDaddy, in a statement last February. “Co-developing a solution with StrongLoop has allowed us to accelerate the delivery of solutions to our reseller partners and drive revenue growth for them. Our external API is an incredibly important aspect of our overall technical strategy.”