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Swift on the Server Debuts at WWDC 2016

Greetings from WWDC—where the Swift@IBM team is talking about Swift on the server.

Having delivered mobile apps in Swift since the language was released, we knew its power and were excited to begin work last December on extending its value to the cloud.

First, within the Swift.org community, we needed to do some preliminary work on multi-threading and concurrency as part of the Foundation and libdispatch projects.

And we needed to build some tools to take the next steps:

  • Kitura: Keeping pace with latest Swift language support on the way to the release of 3.0, and leveraging the newly-announced Swift Package Manager, this web framework bridges the development experience across mobile and server platforms.
  • Packages: A host of new packages cover, among other things, sockets (BlueSocket), security (BlueCryptor), networking (Kitura-net), cross-platform system support (Kitura-sys), data storage (Kitura-CouchDB, Kitura-redis, Kitura-session-redis), samples (BluePic, Todolist, Starter).

We decided to share these since community attention improves the overall effort of bringing Swift to the server. And so far the response has been tremendous.

Frankly, I don’t think we could have predicted how much fun we’d have. We’ve all heard it: this modern language is easy to learn and more and more developers are learning it. Some are trying Swift for the first time in the IBM Swift Sandbox. And with over 1.5 million code runs by developers across 133 countries who use the Sandbox regularly, both to learn Swift and share code, we see something magical happening.

To further raise the stakes on experimentation, developers have asked us to integrate the enabling technologies with one another and with the sandbox.

Our Swift Runtime for IBM Bluemix, providing all the latest Swift technology to support Kitura-based applications, advances support for innovating web services in Swift. Written in Swift, Kitura is arguably the most current web framework since it includes the many Swift.org code updates coming from the community’s relentless innovations, which we love.

The IBM Swift Package Catalog, with over 1500 Client and server side packages for Swift developers, now is enabled to launch sample packages in the Sandbox.

We owe you!

So here’s the next batch of tools.

Check out the new IBM Cloud Tools for Swift. With an easy to use visual interface, this is the app for developers who are most productive in the Xcode environment and want complementary deployment and management capabilities in a local environment. As with all of our tools, we are working to meet each Swift developer where you work best. We want this tool to extend our own proven productivity with Xcode by helping us with:

  • Code generation and provisioning to pre-tested Kitura runtimes
  • Unified management of credentials
  • Centralized control and monitoring of assets deployed on the cloud
  • Local notifications of remote actions

We are starting with a beta but I think some of you will be glad we didn’t wait. Check out this blog on how to get started, then download the app and let us know what you think.

We’ve got something new for Linux developers too.

Developers are now able to use Swift on LinuxONE™. This is today’s most powerful Linux platform for data-serving and systems of record. The safety, speed and expressiveness of Swift are now available on Linux with unmatched performance and scale. Having Swift on LinuxONE™ allows developers to do fit-for-purpose placement of workloads that need access to data in a high-performing, secure, reliable and scalable environment. In addition, we’ve contributed some code back to Swift.org to enable ongoing collaboration across the community. Here’s more info about Swift on LinuxOne if you are interested in understanding the benefits in more detail.

The IBM Swift Sandbox now includes a Swift on LinuxONE™ beta driver. Try it out.

We hope you enjoy the new features in our existing lineup as much as the new Mac App and LinuxOne support. All updates and additions are the latest demonstration of a commitment among Swift engineers at IBM to bring Swift to the server with the purpose of radically simplifying end-to-end app development.

We invite you to join us on the Swift@IBM devCenter as we add features and functions sprint by sprint.

You can find the latest blogs and tutorials on our Swift@IBM devCenter and we hope you’ll join us at WWDC (Session: Going Server-side with swift Open Source, Friday, June 17, 9:00-9:50am PDT) where we join Apple to talk about Swift on the Server and what we’ve learned about where Swift developers want to go next.

Your ideas and feedback are great–so please keep them coming.

Outside WWDC 2016

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