Last week, I had the opportunity to attend to the IBM Innovate1 conference that took place in the sunny Orlando, Florida. In this post I'll try to capture the notes, thoughts and learnings I've got for my day-to-day job.
This conference had some buzz words as main trending topics: DevOps, Internet of Things, BlueMix, and subsequent Cloud nature, and Mobile.
Main topic of the conference. Everything was "DevOps here, DevOps there", but you know what? Rational is doing it right! Since Rational products are oriented on the creation, development, testing and deployment of software products, it makes sense that it covered the whole cycle.
Mobile and DevOps was a hot topic. This included applications developed on IBM Worklight Studio2 on IBM DevOps Services3 and deployed onto IBM BlueMix4 with different services in the apps. IBM Mobile Quality Assurance was one of the major products, along with UrbanCode5, on this area.
Internet of Things
Sadly, didn't had enough free time to checkout the latest news on this area, but I did see the IBM Liberty Car on a race track. This is a RC car that has Liberty and a mobile application and it can be controlled with the app. Also saw a drone that can be controlled with a mobile app as well and also it can read twitter comments looking for directions. It just needed to have the #ibminnovate hashtag and the command. For instance "#ibminnovate up" and the drone would go up until another command stopped it. Nice integration between the cloud, mobile, social and a little analytics.
They also had this amazing demo about the Connected car. This demonstrates the capabilities of having a car interconnected with all sensors in itself as well as the road and other cars on the way to provide more accurate options for driving in a common street.
BlueMix and Cloud
BlueMix is the premiere PaaS offering from IBM. It is highly focused on developers, meaning that developers now focuses on the application leveraging the middleware details to the platform. For instance, creating an application that uses a Web front-end based on WAS Liberty runtime and a database on Cloudant will imply to create the application on BlueMix, add the two services (Liberty and Cloudant) and let the platform configure details such as IP address of the Cloudant instance as well as the port from which both will be serving. The developer just need to focus on how the business logic of the application should be developed.
Along with BlueMix, there were interesting lectures about PureSystems and how it can be used in a DevOps pipeline.
Since this is a Rational-focused conference, there was not too much impact about Mobile world, but there were some interesting sessions: First, as many will notice, IBM Rational Application Developer6 team introduced the new set of Cordova tools for hybrid mobile development. With these new set of tools, it is not intended to motivate developers to go with Cordova instead of Worklight, rather than that, the purpose is to encourage developers to create hybrid mobile applications for rapid marketing purposes, but in the end, any mobile application will need a back-end to support such app. That's where Worklight comes into the game. As a matter of fact, I had the pleasure of presenting a lecture about using our Cordova tools and then on-board the current hybrid application (which was only a front-end using a couple of native features) to a Worklight platform for security and simplicity of session management.
Other interesting sessions were about IBM Mobile Quality Assurance7, which provides functionality to continuously monitor and provide feedback to developers about the mobile applications out there because, let's face it, in mobile applications the user experience is the whole. If the users don't see an app as reliable and trusted, they won't use it at all. Use it with BlueMix provides wonderful DevOps capabilities.
I knew a little bit about IBM Rational Test Workbench8. What I didn't know about was that it has integration with DeviceAnywhere9 from Keynote. This allows testers to test a mobile application on an actual device that is in the cloud, appropriate for System Verification Tests. However, this doesn't solve the need to perform manual tests on devices though.
You can find some videos about the inspiring stories from IBMers and Customers in the videos section10 of Innovate site.