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General Availability: IBM Bluemix Runtime for Swift

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The power of the popular Swift development language is officially available on the server. As developers, we are lucky if we begin working early with a technology that companies will want to invest in for the next decade. Swift on the server shows the signs of being one of those technologies.

What are those signs?

Sound technical underpinnings: Swift is a modern, strongly-typed and compiled language that offers concise syntax, great performance, and low memory usage. And Swift encourages developers to change and extend code with the confidence of knowing the language will help catch any errors along the way.

Strategic relevance in meeting market demands: With Swift, developers are creating amazing new mobile applications that change the way we live and work. With Swift in the Cloud, mobile client developers gain much easier access to cloud-based cognitive, data, social, and other services for enhancing user experiences.

Developers having fun: This is due at least in part to Swift offering the advantages of a scripting language with the safety and performance advantages of a compiled language.

Three important milestones for Swift on the server

At this moment in the evolution of the Swift language, we are excited to announce three important milestones in unlocking the power of Swift on the server:

  • Swift 3.0: Since the Swift language became an open source project last December (, the community has worked towards this first open source release of Swift, which now includes server side support along with a number of language improvements. Having heavily invested effort in preparing for this release, beginning with the porting and maturing of the key core libraries of Foundation and Libdispatch, the Swift community now has a much greater language and library consistency across macOS and Linux.
  • Kitura 1.0: At the same time, leveraging the work in Foundation and libdispatch, IBM has also led the development of the Kitura web framework, which offers a seamless developer experience across client and server environments. Since February, when we invited the community to participate in developing Kitura, the response has been amazing. Please join us either as a user or collaborator as we continue the effort to make Kitura the default, enterprise-grade Swift framework for the cloud. To coincide with the release of Swift 3.0, we are please to announce Kitura 1.0, which has everything you need to work on web services from the server side with Swift.
  • IBM Bluemix Runtime for Swift (GA): IBM gladly announces general availability of the IBM Bluemix Runtime for Swift. By including the latest Swift tools and taking care of system dependencies, this runtime allows you to focus on writing your server-side Swift services. And experienced enterprise developers take note: the Swift runtime includes all optimizations necessary to run in IBM Bluemix public, dedicated and local cloud deployments.

This IBM-supported Swift runtime customizes and optimizes the open source community Cloud Foundry buildpack for building server-side Swift applications and APIs to run in Bluemix. These optimizations enable you to:

  • Add critical system level dependencies, with the following libraries: libcurl3, openssl and libssl-dev
  • Cache the latest Swift builds supported by Kitura
  • Optimize Bluemix systems configurations.

When a developer deploys a Swift application to Bluemix Dedicated or Bluemix Local, the platform:

  • Provides access to a Linux container.
  • Loads the latest Swift binaries.
  • Issues a command to build your application by using the Swift Package Manager function.
  • Runs the application.

How do you get started?

Create a Cloud Foundry starter application and select the Swift runtime:

If you are already using the Beta version of the IBM Bluemix Runtime for Swift, then just continue your work; nothing else is required.

You can always begin in the Swift@IBM dev center, where you’ll find all the latest Swift tools, tutorials, and demos from the IBM Swift engineers.

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