Cloud Foundry buildpacks provide the runtime required to execute your applications on the Bluemix cloud. When you push an application to Bluemix using the Cloud Foundry cf push command, Bluemix automatically detects which buildpack should be used for your application. Once this is determined, the buildpack inspects artifacts in your application to find out what dependencies should be downloaded.

There are many Cloud Foundry buildpacks available (e.g. java_buildpack, ruby_buildpack, nodejs_buildpack) on Bluemix. One of the new additions to the Cloud Foundry family of buildpacks that is now available on Bluemix is the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift. This is really exciting news since you can now push Swift applications to Bluemix that follow the structure and conventions required by the Swift Package Manager.

The Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift parses the .swift_version file to determine which snapshot of the Swift binaries should be used for compiling and building your application’s code. If the version of the Swift binaries required for your application isn’t already cached in the buildpack package, then it is downloaded. Note that for each official release of the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift, there is a cached package version that includes the latest version of the Swift binaries at the time of release. For instance, the cached package version for release v1.0.3 of the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift includes the DEVELOPMENT-SNAPSHOT-2016-02-08-a version of the Swift binaries.

Let’s now use the Cloud Foundry command line to get a list of the buildpacks [along with their versions] that are installed on Bluemix by executing cf buildpacks:

$ cf buildpacks
Getting buildpacks...

buildpack               position   enabled   locked   filename
liberty-for-java        1          true      false    buildpack_liberty-for-java_v2.5-20160209-1336.zip
sdk-for-nodejs          2          true      false    buildpack_sdk-for-nodejs_v3.0-20160125-1224.zip
noop-buildpack          3          true      false    noop-buildpack-20140311-1519.zip
java_buildpack          4          true      false    java-buildpack-v3.5.1.zip
ruby_buildpack          5          true      false    ruby_buildpack-cached-v1.6.7.zip
nodejs_buildpack        6          true      false    nodejs_buildpack-cached-v1.5.0.zip
go_buildpack            7          true      false    go_buildpack-cached-v1.6.2.zip
python_buildpack        8          true      false    python_buildpack-cached-v1.5.1.zip
php_buildpack           9          true      false    php_buildpack-cached-v4.1.5.zip
swift_buildpack         10         true      false    swift_buildpack-cached-v1.0.3.zip

Looking closely at the output, you can see an entry for the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift. This means you can write applications in the Swift language and deploy them to Bluemix without having to import an external or custom buildpack. Simply executing the Cloud Foundry cf push command from the root folder of your Swift application’s repo will leverage the built-in Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift on Bluemix. You can also include the Deploy to Bluemix button on your README.md file to automate the deployment of your Swift application on GitHub to Bluemix.


For further details on how to leverage the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift for the deployment of Swift applications, we encourage you to check out the README for the swift-helloworld repository on GitHub. You’ll find instructions on how to deploy the Swift Sample Starter application to your Bluemix account using the magical Deploy to Bluemix button or the Cloud Foundry command line. And to get you up and running even quicker, check out the new The Swift runtime on IBM® Bluemix® that is available in the Bluemix catalog. The Swift runtime on Bluemix leverages the Swift Sample Starter application and the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift. It is a great starting point to explore Swift on the server!

We are very excited to have the Cloud Foundry buildpack for Swift and the Swift runtime now available on Bluemix! It’ll be very interesting to see the types of Swift applications that developers will implement and deploy to Bluemix. And remember that if you’d like to push Swift applications to Bluemix, you no longer need to bring your own buildpack!

Ricardo Olivieri, Senior Software Engineer, IBM Swift Engineering at IBM Cloud

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