What the heck is BlueMix and why do I care about it?

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.59.52 AMYesterday I had an article published on the IBM DeveloperWorks titled “Building a real-time marketing application with Node.js and IBM Mobile Web Push” and in the article I walk you through how to create and deploy an application using NodeJS and the new IBM Mobile Web Push platform (click here to start a free trial for that) on the new BlueMix platform. It is a tutorial/sample based application similar to the Sports Ticker application I just recently posted here. But enough about that so let’s get on to BlueMix.

If you’re a developer, you will now have a hand in creating the future. Codename: BlueMix offers you all the instant services, runtimes, and infrastructure you need to push your ideas into the present. –BlueMix link

I have just begun to play with BlueMix and so far I find the Cloud Foundry based platform pretty straightforward and fairly easy to use as I was up and running with my application in minutes – all be it a simple application. My application is very small and is currently running one instance, which you can see running here, and uses the minimum 64MB of memory in the cloud platform.

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The BlueMix dashboard lets me see all the files I have deployed, logs, and how much resources my application is using. As you can see from the next graphic, my application is actually only using 38.8MB of the total 64MB.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.57.05 AM

I can also see what the the memory quota for the application is under Resources on the dashboard:

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So what is BlueMix? Well, nothing better than grabbing the actual definition from the documentation itself:

BlueMix is an open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing and running applications of all types (web, mobile, big data, new smart devices). Capabilities include Java, mobile back end development, application monitoring, as well as capabilities from ecosystem partners and open source all through an as-a-service model in the cloud. – link

What I really like about this platform is it is very open to the language of your choice. For mobile applications, you can develop applications for iOS, Android, and in HTML/JavaScript. For web applications, you can leverage languages such as Ruby, PHP, and Java while hosting them under your choice.

Given that, the BlueMix platform has several runtime containers – Liberty for Java, Node.js (which is what I used in my referenced article), Ruby on Rails, and Ruby Sinatra. Each of those links to a “getting started” page for the given language and gets you going with a template “Hello World” application.

The power of BlueMix is not only a platform to deploy, host, and manage your application in the cloud but it also provides a pluggable services modal you can include in your application. I see this piece growing a lot in the next year with contributions from IBM and partners. Today, most of the services were created by IBM but you can also see the many other community and certified partner services that were provided on launch:

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Lastly, I want to end with the developer side of the house, ie. “How do I get started?“. There is a tutorials section in the documentation that will jumpstart your experience. Whether you are developing in Eclipse, Notepad++, or directly on JazzHub you can get started pretty quickly and the best part is all the tooling is free! As a business partner or someone who just wants to learn about these technologies I see all kinds of opportunities here. And of course this is a gold mind for blogging material!


9 thoughts on “What the heck is BlueMix and why do I care about it?

  1. Great post! I heard about Bluemix just today! Are you still using the platform? Has something new to share about the experience in the last year? Best regards!

    • I would say its primarily for developers and admin but as you can see from my latest post about Watson Translation Services it does not take much programming at when using something like Node-Red.

  2. Pingback: Thank you for a great 2015 and Happy New Year! | Bob's Blog

  3. HI Bob, thanks for this article. Do you have any updated materials? I am seeking capacity limits, ease of management, ease of multi-cloud integration etc. data. Thanks!

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