IBM previews Swift server-side runtime for Bluemix cloud

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IBM previews Swift server-side runtime for Bluemix cloud

Simplifying enterprise apps.

IBM is betting on Apple's Swift programming language as a way to simplify enterprise app development on its Bluemix cloud platform.

The company wants developers to build end-to-end apps in Swift, and has released a preview of runtime and Package Catalogue, plus its Kitura open web framework, for both Apple OS X and Linux.

A Swift Sandbox was also released by IBM for developers to test their code, and to experiment with new features. IBM said more than 100,000 developers have run over half a million instances of Swift code in the sandbox to date.

Apple open sourced Swift late last year, along with libraries, the LLVM compiler, a debugger and a package system for app distribution. A Linux port of Swift was released at the same time.

Originally aimed at Apple iOS and OS X app development, IBM is seeking to use Swift on the server-side as well, so that enterprise coders can use a single language for both front-end and back-end development.

Among the efforts to make Swift more enterprise-ready is work on improving concurrency on multicore processors, to better scale large workloads.

IBM touts Swift as having several advantages over other languages such as being easy to learn, reliable and interactive, with a legible syntax.

Swift also substantially reduces the lines of code required to develop apps. Using Apple's Xcode integrated development environment, developers encounter fewer software defects, IBM claimed.

Developers can code in Swift from within a web browser, with features such as sharing and snapshotting, IBM said.

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