IBM Extends Outreach Program to Open Source Community

IBM today extended its outreach program to the open source community by releasing 50 projects to the open source community. It also unfurled developerWorks Open, a community site for open source developers that is modeled on an existing developerWorks online community through which IBM shares access to emerging code with its broader developer community.

Sandy Carter, IBM's general manager for cloud ecosystem and developers, told ProgrammableWeb that this latest initiative makes many of the software projects surrounding IBM Bluemix APIs freely available to developers.

Included in those projects are application projects such as IBM Ready App for Healthcare, IBM Ready App for Retail, IBM Ready App for Insurance and IBM Ready App for Banking; analytics technologies such as Activity Streams that provide "developers with a standard model and encoding format for describing how users engage with both the application and with one another"; an Agentless System Crawler for monitoring cloud platforms and runtime application environments; and IBM Analytics for Apache Spark, which provides an analytics framework for running the Spark in a Hadoop environment.

Most of these projects revolve around the IBM Bluemix cloud integration service, which is itself an implement of the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service environment running on top of an implementation of the OpenStack cloud computing framework. All told, the Bluemix catalog spans more than 100 tools and services, including tools for connecting to the IBM Watson cloud service.

As part of this effort, IBM also announced today that it is launching an Academic Initiative for Cloud through which it will develop curriculums in collaboration with 200 universities around the globe that will be focused on IBM Bluemix technologies. All in all, IBM expects the program to touch over 20,000 students taking more than 250 courses in 36 countries. IBM is also launching a Student Developer Community, which is designed to help students start their cloud education and access resources located on Bluemix U, where students can also highlight their accomplishments and projects.

Coinciding with that effort, Carter said IBM is also extending the number of hackathons it sponsors using Bluemix technologies involving organizations such as Girls Who Code, ReBoot Accelerator for Women and AngelHack.

IBM is engaging in a fair amount of missionary work to drum up goodwill among open source developers who will create applications that eventually consume back-end IBM services. The degree to which that strategy succeeds remains to be seen. But as far as the overall API economy is concerned, it does show that IBM hopes to be in it for the very long haul.

Michael Vizard