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IBM brings development methodologies to the cloud

IBM is expanding its Bluemix cloud services to offer more agile development tools

By Joab Jackson
June 2, 2014 04:35 PM ET

IDG News Service - While practices to speed programming have been around for a decade, only recently have they caught the eye of the enterprise manager looking for a competitive edge. Now, IBM is updating its Bluemix portfolio of cloud services to help companies save time in deploying new applications by using these new programming methodologies.

At its annual Innovate developer conference, being held this week in Orlando, IBM is launching a number of new Bluemix services to support development practices such as devops, which shortens development time by having software developers work more closely with system administrators and other IT operations staff, and agile programming, which speeds the development process through rapid iterations of applications based on immediate customer feedback.

IBM is also touting a few early customer successes for the service.

Over the past few years, enterprises have found that they need to develop both their internal and client-facing software much more quickly, said Kristof Kloeckner, IBM general manager of the company's Rational Software portfolio.

Within many industries, companies are now competing with one another through their customer-facing applications, making speedy software development a necessity.

"We've seen this evolution for the past few years, but it's really come to a head in the past year," Kloeckner said, noting that concepts such as devops (development operations), continuous delivery, agile and other recent programming methodologies have only recently caught the attention of executive management. Such concepts were all designed to hasten the speed of software development.

"Business leadership thought that software would somehow take care of itself and didn't really treat software delivery as a core enterprise competency," Kloeckner said. IBM is positing that having superior software directly leads to a competitive advantage.

In February, the company introduced its Bluemix set of PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offerings to aid in software delivery.

Bluemix provides a way for developers to readily assemble different cloud-based functionalities, both from IBM and others, into services. Such functionality does or shortly will include planning and collaboration tools, mobile device management, source code management, and ways to quickly move a service or application into production.

At the conference, IBM demonstrated how it is extending these tools to allow for more rapid delivery of software and services.

IBM is preparing its services so its customers can use a mixture of on-premise and cloud resources, an approach known as the hybrid cloud. Sales of hybrid cloud systems and services are expected to reach US$79 billion by 2018, according to IT research firm Research and Markets.

The new Bluemix services include:

-- AppScan, which allows the developer to test the security of an application in multiple environments;

-- Embeddable Reporting, a set of services to build advanced analytics to reveal how a mobile app is being used by customers;

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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