Overview
IBM Bluemix is the IBM open cloud platform that provides mobile and web developers access to IBM software for integration, security, transaction, and other key functions, as well as software from business partners.
Figure 1. Overview IBM Bluemix
Built on Cloud Foundry open source technology, Bluemix makes application development easier with Platform as a Service (PaaS). Bluemix also provides pre-built Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) capabilities. The goal is to simplify the delivery of an application by providing services that are ready for immediate use and hosting capabilities to enable internet scale development.
Bluemix also has cloud deployments that fit your needs. Whether you are a small business that plans to scale, or a large enterprise that requires additional isolation, you can develop in a cloud without borders, where you can connect your dedicated services to the public Bluemix services available from IBM and third-party providers. All service instances are managed by IBM. You’ll get one bill for only what you choose to use.
With the broad set of services and runtimes in Bluemix, the developer gains control and flexibility, and has access to various data options, from predictive analytics to big data.
Bluemix provides the following features:
  • A range of services that enable you to build and extend web and mobile apps fast.
  • Processing power for you to deliver app changes continuously.
  • Fit-for-purpose programming models and services.
  • Manageability of services and applications.
  • Optimized and elastic workloads.
  • Continuous availability.
Bluemix abstracts and hides most of the complexities that are associated with hosting and managing cloud-based applications. As an application developer, you can focus on developing your application without having to manage the infrastructure that is required to host it. For both mobile and web apps, you can use the pre-built services that are provided by Bluemix. You can upload your web app to Bluemix and indicate how many instances that you want running. After your apps are deployed, you can easily scale them up or down when the usage or load of the apps change.
You can use Bluemix to quickly develop apps in the most popular programming languages. You can develop mobile apps in iOS, Android, and HTML with JavaScript. For web apps, you can use languages such as Ruby, PHP, Java, Go, and Python.
What is Cloud Foundry?
Cloud Foundry is an open source platform as a service (PaaS) that lets you quickly create and deploy applications on the cloud.  Because of its open source roots, Cloud Foundry is not vendor specific and does not lock you into proprietary software or cloud infrastructure. Cloud Foundry abstracts the underlying infrastructure needed to run a cloud, letting you focus on the business of building cloud applications.
Figure 2. Cloud foundry
The beauty of Cloud Foundry is that it provides choice. Developers and organizations can choose:
  • Development Frameworks:  Cloud Foundry supports Java™ code, Spring, Ruby, Node.js, and custom frameworks.
  • Application Services:  Cloud Foundry offers support for MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis, RabbitMQ, and custom services.
  • Clouds:  Developers and organizations can choose to run Cloud Foundry in Public, Private, VMWare and OpenStack-based clouds.
Cloud Foundry’s ability to provide choice comes through buildpacks, a convenient way to package frameworks and runtimes. Buildpacks can be community based, custom built, or built from scratch. In other words, if you cannot find a framework or service buildpack that suits your needs, you could modify an existing buildpack or create your own. By using buildpacks, companies are able to provide enterprise-level services like the Bluemix cloud offering.
What is Bluemix?
Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, based on Cloud Foundry, that enables you to rapidly create, deploy, and manage your cloud applications. Because Bluemix is based on Cloud Foundry, you can tap into a growing ecosystem of runtime frameworks and services. In addition to providing additional frameworks and services, Bluemix provides a dashboard for you to create, view, and manage your applications and services as well as monitor your application’s resource usage. The Bluemix dashboard also provides the ability to manage organizations, spaces, and user access.
Figure 3. IBM Bluemix
Bluemix provides access to a wide variety of services that can be incorporated into an application. Some of these services are delivered through Cloud Foundry. Others are delivered from IBM and third party vendors. New and enhanced services are added to the catalog often. To see the current list of runtimes and services, and their status go to the Bluemix catalog.
Some of the commonly used runtimes are:
  • Node.js
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
Some of the Bluemix services available from the expanding catalog include:
Service Name
Description
AppScan Dynamic Analyzer
Brings the power of AppScan’s proven Dynamic Application Security Testing to the Cloud, identifying security issues in web applications, to help you keep them secure.
BigInsights for Hadoop
Powered by InfoSphere BigInsights, which is based on open source Hadoop, this service provides the open source capabilities of HBase, Hive, MapReduce, Pig and others, including your own open source packages.
Business Rules
Enables developers to spend less time recoding and testing when the business policy changes. This service minimizes your code changes by keeping business logic separate from application logic.
Cloudant NoSQL DB
Provides access to a fully managed NoSQL JSON data layer that’s always on. This service is compatible with CouchDB, and accessible through a simple to use HTTP interface for mobile and web application models.
Data Cache
Improve the performance and user experience of web applications by retrieving information from fast, managed, in-memory caches, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases.
DevOps Auto-Scaling
Enables you to automatically increase or decrease the compute capacity of your application. The number of application instances are adjusted dynamically based on the Auto-Scaling policy you define.
DevOps Delivery Pipeline
Automate builds and deployments, test execution, configure build scripts, and automate execution of unit tests. Automatically build and deploy your application to IBM’s cloud platform, Bluemix.
Embeddable Reporting
Use a simple cloud editor then embed reports and dashboards in your web or mobile app using a wide variety of languages such as Node.js or Java using a RESTful API.
Geospatial Analytics
Leverage real-time geospatial analytics to track when devices enter or leave defined regions.
Internet of Things
Lets your apps communicate with and consume data collected by your connected devices, sensors, and gateways.
Mobile Push Notifications
Push information to all application users or to a specific set of users and devices. You can even let users subscribe to specific tags or topics for notification.
MQ Light
Develop responsive, scalable applications with a fully-managed messaging provider in the cloud. Quickly integrate with application frameworks through easy-to-use APIs.
MongoDB
A popular NoSQL database
Redis
A popular distributed dictionary server used by many distributed applications
Secure Gateway
Brings Hybrid Integration capability to your Bluemix environment. It provides secure connectivity from Bluemix to other applications and data sources running on-premise or in other clouds. A remote client is provided to enable secure connectivity.
Sendgrid
Sendgrid’s cloud-based email infrastructure relieves businesses of the cost and complexity of maintaining email systems.
Session Cache
mprove application resiliency by storing session state information across many HTTP requests. Enable persistent HTTP sessions for your application and seamless session recovery in event of an application failure.
Single Sign-On
Implement user authentication for your web and mobile apps quickly, using simple policy-based configurations.
SQL Database
Add an on-demand relational database to your application. Powered by DB2, it provides a managed database service to handle web and transactional workloads.
Watson Alchemy API
Leverage natural language processing and computer vision in your apps to deeply understand the world’s conversations, documents and photos.
Watson Machine Translation
Converts text input in one language into a destination language for the end user. Translation is available among English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Arabic.
Watson Personality Insights
Derives insights from transactional and social media data to identify psychological traits which determine purchase decisions, intent and behavioral traits; utilized to improve conversion rates.
For developers, Bluemix further optimizes the time you spend creating cloud application. You no longer have to be concerned about installing software or having to deal with virtual machine images or hardware. With a few clicks or keystrokes, you can provision instances of your applications with the necessary services to support them. This streamlining translates countless hours of setting up, configuring, and troubleshooting into time spent rapidly innovating and reacting to never-ending requirement changes.
For organizations, Bluemix provides a cloud platform that requires very little in-house technical know-how as well as cost savings. Bluemix provides the rapid development environment organizations need to react to users’ demands for new features. The Bluemix platform and the cloud provide the elasticity and capacity flexibility organizations require when their applications explode in popularity.
For users, Bluemix represents the key that enables organizations to quickly deliver the features they demand.
Source: IBM Bluemix
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