IBM unveils new Bluemix services with GitHub, Slack integration to boost app development in the cloud

IBM announced Tuesday new Bluemix services designed to simplify and speed app development in the cloud. With these new services, developers can now access and construct preconfigured toolchains using DevOps tools, including GitHub and Slack.

Toolchains, integrated sets of DevOps tools that support app development, deployment and operations tasks, are integral to the app development process. However, because they are typically comprised of a variety of tools from multiple vendors as well as open source solutions, integration, maintenance and deployment of these toolchains can be an arduous task that can take days or even weeks to complete.

The new service also provides toolchain templates designed to be provisioned enterprise-wide with a few mouse clicks and help make it faster and easier to scale toolchains, and potentially reduce cost and time to value for DevOps solutions. Templates available now include toolchains to help build microservices, containers, or cloud-native applications, with integrations to solutions such as GitHub, Slack, PagerDuty and Sauce Labs.

To address this challenge, IBM Bluemix Continuous Delivery provides DevOps teams with a central hub to create, manage and scale toolchains. In addition, the Delivery Pipeline service automates builds, tests and deployments and can detect issues before applications go live, which can save developers time and effort and potentially reduce time to value.

IBM launched in September its Project DataWorks, a Watson initiative that is cloud-based data and analytics platform to integrate all types of data and enable AI-powered decision-making. Project DataWorks is designed to make it simple for business leaders and data professionals to collect, organize, govern and secure data, so they can gain the insights needed to become a cognitive business.

Available on Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, Project DataWorks can help to redefine how data professionals collaborate by tapping into a number of key innovations, such as Apache Spark, IBM Watson Analytics, and the IBM Data Science Experience.

The Watson DataWorks project offers capabilities including user-specific tools; a rich environment that provides collaboration among all rolesRapid ingestion of data of any type— faster than any other platform; and self-service access to trusted data, with governance throughout; and automated deployment with cognitive-assisted machine learning and Apache Spark with choice of multiple third party technologies within an open ecosystem.

By giving an organization the ability to create and share custom toolchain templates across their business, IBM Bluemix Continuous Delivery helps automate a wide variety of common DevOps tasks for a range of application types, to help developers get working instead of spinning up new toolchains for each project.

In addition to integration with popular tools like GitHub, PagerDuty, Sauce Labs and Slack, Bluemix Continuous Delivery taps into IBM’s new Availability Monitoring service to help ensure applications are available and meeting user expectations as developers roll out updates. This service runs simulated user tests from around the world, 24/7, to help detect problems in web applications and REST architecture APIs. When integrated into toolchains, it is designed to provide quick insights to the root cause of problems so teams can make sure their applications are running efficiently.

“One of the biggest challenges developers face in today’s cloud-led world is efficiently building and deploying applications to stay competitive,” said Dave Lindquist, IBM Fellow and Vice President of Development, IBM Cloud DevOps and Analytics. “With the introduction of Bluemix Continuous Delivery, developers can not only create, integrate and share DevOps toolchains using their favorite tools, but also add optional pay-as-you-go powerful services like cognitive computing with Watson or data and analytics services from The Weather Company.”

DevOps users can also benefit from the IBM and Slack deal announced in October to bring Watson to Slack’s global community of developers and enterprise users.  IBM and Slack intend to develop new and improved communications tools for users of the Slack platform, including an updated Slackbot to be powered by Watson, and an IBM Watson-enabled bot for IT and network operational incidents, so enterprise devops teams can identify, address and fix these issues.

Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, has grown rapidly to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. Based in open standards, it features over 150 advanced technologies and services, including cognitive computing, blockchain, Internet of Things, cloud data services, DevOps and security.

“Millions of developers use GitHub to build personal projects, support their businesses, and work together on open source technologies,” said GitHub’s Todd Berman, VP of Engineering. “GitHub is a powerful addition to IBM’s Bluemix Continuous Delivery service that builds on our strategic partnership to dramatically advance the development of next generation cloud applications for enterprise customers.”

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