A year ago, Apple made Swift open source. On the same day, December 3rd 2015, IBM introduced the IBM Swift Sandbox. With that step, IBM started the journey of bringing Swift to the server platform. The move was praised by many, yet the question was raised on how serious IBM is in supporting the server platform.
As developers celebrate the first anniversary for Swift in the open source community, it is good to assess the progress made in this journey. IBM has already contributed to the ongoing development of the Swift language, making it ready for enterprise deployment in the cloud/server platform. These efforts hit a milestone in September with the introduction of IBM Cloud Runtime for Swift. In addition, Swift was ported to Power Linux, and is now supported on LinuxONE.
How far would IBM go in supporting Swift? The IBM engineers are working in bringing Swift to z Systems, the traditional mainframe systems running z/OS. This will bring Swift closer to system-of-records, opening more opportunities for Swift development and deployment. We already have Swift compiler with the core language features working properly. C interoperability is already working, and most of the primary test suite is passing.
We are excited to announce a closed-beta program has started this week for clients who are interested in trying out Swift on z/OS. If you would like to join us in this next part of the Swift@IBM journey, visit the official website for the IBM Toolkit for Swift on z/OS