IBM is expanding its Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) investment in BlueMix by adding more than 30 cloud services intended to help developers build apps in the cloud. The new services include a full portfolio of DevOps tools, plus there are technologies supporting application integration, big data, and Analytics-as-a-Service.
In addition, IBM is launching BlueMix Garages — these are described as "collaborative locations" where developers can create new apps on BlueMix, learn new development skills, and access IBM's developer ecosystem.
So what is IBM trying to do here? Essentially, this is Big Blue telling us that (built on open standards and leveraging Cloud Foundry as it does) BlueMix has made "major advancements" including its capabilities for cloud integration services to enable a secure connection between (for example) public applications and private data.
IBM Leverages: We Get It, OK?
IBM has a hard time getting through most explanations without using the term "leverage" repeatedly. What the firm means is that it is "interconnecting, integrating, and coalescing some of its many acquisition and home-grown technologies in a reasonably intelligent kind of a way" most of the time.
With this thought in mind, IBM says it is leveraging (ouch!) BlueMix's foundation on SoftLayer for the expansion discussed here. This means that the company is combining its middleware software with third-party and open technologies to create an integrated development experience in the cloud.
Using an open cloud environment, BlueMix helps what it likes to call "born-on-the-web" as well as "other" enterprise developers to build applications with their choice of tools with the ability to combine a variety of services and APIs from across the industry to compose, test, and scale custom applications.
Steve Robinson, GM of IBM cloud platform services said, "Rapidly growing numbers of beta participants are embracing our model of extending their existing assets and services into a cloud-based, open-source development platform, allowing our clients to bridge between the tools they are planning for the future and the workloads and services they use today to get them to market faster."
So what new BlueMix services can we find today? IBM loves to leverage and integrate, right? No surprise then that cloud integration services for developers are right up there to start with.
From IBM we see that developers can use predefined connectors for accelerated integration, or develop custom APIs as needed to tie back into systems of record behind their firewall.
"Integrated API management capabilities provide an easy mechanism to publish self-service APIs that can be shared with the broader API economy. This allows developers to mix cloud-based PaaS, third-party cloud applications, and on-premises systems behind security gateways, moving between cloud and on-premises systems in a hybrid, integrated environment," said Robinson.
Internet of Things services allowing developers to register and connect networked devices such as microprocessors and embedded machine-to-machine sensors to the cloud, aggregating and reacting to data and events in real time.
As well as a selection of DevOps services here, IBM has also provided data and Analytics services for developers to deliver data-centric mobile, web-scale applications. With these new services, including geospatial, time series, predictive scoring, and reporting, developers can create "sophisticated applications" that provide actionable insight. For example, a developer could create an application that integrates sensor data, location data, weather data, and usage trends from a network of equipment to identify and avoid emerging maintenance issues. In addition, new data masking, discovery, and audit capabilities help developers create applications with built-in data privacy and security.