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IBM Pushes Swift for the Cloud with Swift Runtime, Package Catalog, and More

| by Sergio De Simone Follow 14 Followers on Feb 24, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

After introducing their Swift sandbox, IBM have recently announced their next step to support Swift in the cloud by previewing IBM Swift runtime, IBM Swift Package Catalog, and open-sourcing Kitura, a framework for Web app development.

IBM Swift runtime aims to make it possible to deploy Swift code to IBM cloud platform, Bluemix. Support for Swift is provided on Bluemix through the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift, one of several buildpacks available on Bluemix that provide support for several languages including Java, Ruby, NodeJS, etc. IBM provide a sample app to illustrate how Swift buildpacks can be used for the deployment of Swift applications.

IBM Swift Package Catalog, also available on Bluemix, is meant to make it easier to share Swift packages, libraries, and modules among developers by providing dependency management, component versioning, and distribution. The Package Catalog allows developers both to search for and inspect available packages, as well as submitting new packages. IBM Swift Package Catalog is organized as a storefront and allows developers to browse packages according to a number of different criteria such as the most starred, recent, or essential packages — whereby a package is more essential when more packages depend on it.

Finally, Kitura is an Express.js-inspired web framework and web server that aims to support the creation of end-to-end cloud apps built on Swift. It provides key features such as URL routing, JSON parsing, and static file serving. Additionally, Kitura supports multi-programming based on Grand Central Dispatch and the creation of pluggable middleware. This, according to IBM, should make it possible to share portions of code across frontend and backend.

As mentioned, a few months ago IBM introduced their Swift Sandbox, which provides a REPL that can be used to evaluate Swift code and check its output. IBM Swift Sandbox is similar to Xcode Playgrounds but it runs on IBM Bluemix, thus allowing developers to preview their code for compatibility with IBM cloud solution.

At QCon London 2016, IBM distinguished engineer Patrick Bohrer will talk about IBM’s efforts to support Swift on the cloud, including Swift package-based cloud services, tools integration, and IBM Swift Sandbox.

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