The 10 Best Examples Of How Companies Use Artificial Intelligence In Practice

All the world’s tech giants from Alibaba to Amazon are in a race to become the world’s leaders in artificial intelligence (AI). These companies are AI trailblazers and embrace AI to provide next-level products and services. Chinese company Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce platform that sells more than Amazon and eBay combined. Artificial intelligence (AI) is integral in Alibaba’s daily operations and is used to predict what customers might want to buy. With natural language processing, the company automatically generates product descriptions for the site. Another way Alibaba uses artificial intelligence is in its City Brain project to create smart cities.

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Application Development Best Practices for Improved Efficiency

Article | March 18, 2024

Explore the best practices for app development, from Agile to cloud integration, that guarantee efficiency and innovation in every project. Step into the future of app development with confidence. Contents 1. Introduction to Advanced Application Development 2. Top 10 Best Practices for App Development with Their Market Insights 2.1. Adopt Agile Methodologies 2.2. Prioritize Code Quality and Standards 2.3. Leverage Cloud Technologies 2.4. Implement Robust Security Practices 2.5. Encourage Team Collaboration and Communication 2.6. Adopt Test-Driven Development 2.7. Utilize Performance Monitoring Tools 2.8. Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning 2.9. Engage in Regular Code Reviews 2.10. Prioritize Accessibility 3. Final Thoughts 1. Introduction to Advanced Application Development Maintaining a competitive edge in the dynamic arena of application development necessitates more than mere technical proficiency. It entails a thorough comprehension of emergent trends, including but not limited to cloud computing, DevOps, and microservices. These technologies provide resolutions to current and everyday challenges while introducing novel prospects for advancement and effectiveness. For instance, cloud computing offers scalable resources that can substantially diminish the duration and expense of the development process. Similarly, the implementation of DevOps methodologies cultivates an environment wherein the development and operations departments work in tandem to produce goods more expeditiously and dependably. The utilization of microservices architecture facilitates the creation of applications that are exceptionally scalable and easy to maintain, thus augmenting the capacity to promptly adapt to shifts in the market. The strategic application development methodology of these advancements is crucial for technology executives to propel growth and attain a competitive edge in the contemporary digital era. 2. Top 10 Best Practices for App Development with Their Market Insights Businesses can benefit greatly from the app economy, as it provides numerous potential for increased customer interaction, higher conversion rates, and revenue development. However, since the number of apps continues to increase rapidly, the level of competition has become more intense than ever before. In order to excel and achieve success, developers must embrace optimal methodologies that guarantee technical superiority with market demands. Below is an in-depth exploration of the 10 most effective strategies for app development, with each strategy being accompanied by market insights. 2.1. Adopt Agile Methodologies In the transforming digital market, the rigidity of traditional project management has been outshoned by the flexibility and customer-centric focus of Agile. It's not just a buzzword; it's a proven path to creating applications that resonate with users. By breaking development into manageable iterations and fostering an environment of rapid feedback and adaptation, Agile methodologies ensure that the team remains responsive to change and aligned with customer needs. Companies that have embraced Agile have seen an average revenue and profit increase of 60%, while Agile methodologies have contributed to the success of 98% of businesses. 2.2. Prioritize Code Quality and Standards High-quality code is the backbone of a high-performing application. It ensures maintainability, reduces bugs, and lays the foundation for future enhancements. By adhering to coding standards, conducting regular code reviews, and continually seeking to improve techniques, one can cultivate a culture of excellence that translates into a seamless user experience. According to a recent report by CISQ, the estimated cost of poor software quality in the U.S. in 2022 was at least $2.41 trillion. 2.3. Leverage Cloud Technologies Gone are the days of bulky on-premise servers and infrastructure limitations. Cloud technologies provide an elastic, scalable, and cost-efficient solution for app deployment. Integrating the development process with cloud services spurs innovation and streamlines operations, making it a best practice in app development, enabling the application to handle large workloads with ease and ensuring that the solution is future-proof. The global cloud migration services market was valued at USD 11.7 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.9% from 2023 to 2030. 2.4. Implement Robust Security Practices Cybersecurity must be at the forefront of any app development strategy. With a rise in data breaches and regulatory scrutiny, it's vital to bake application development security best practices into the development process from the start. This implies assessing threats, following secure coding standards, and regularly testing for vulnerabilities. By taking a proactive stance on security, businesses can safeguard their applications and, hence, boost customer retention. According to a 2023 report, the annual cost of a data breach showed the global average cost of a data breach reached $4.45 million in 2023 —an all-time high for the report and a 15% increase over the last 3 years. 2.5. Encourage Team Collaboration and Communication Successful application development is a team sport and clear communication is the winning factor. Encourage open dialogue, cross-functional teams, and app development tools that facilitate collaboration. When developers, designers, and stakeholders are on the same page, the end product is delivered faster and harmonizes with the vision and goals of the organization. According to a report by Fierce Inc., 86% of employees and executives find poor collaboration to be one of the main reasons behind workplace failures. 2.6. Adopt Test-Driven Development (TDD) Test-driven development flips the traditional development process, with testing taking the lead role during development. It ensures that the application meets functional requirements and that bugs are caught early, significantly reducing the time spent on debugging. TDD allows the crafting of more modular, reliable, and maintainable code, supercharging development efficiency. In a survey of 24 professional programmers, 80% considered test-driven development to be an effective practice, and 78% claimed that TDD performance leads to application development optimization for productivity. 2.7. Utilize Performance Monitoring Tools Understanding how applications perform in the wild is crucial for ensuring a positive user experience. Performance monitoring tools provide insights into speed, responsiveness, and errors, allowing us to address issues and optimize applications proactively. By continuously monitoring performance, one will be able to uncover bottlenecks and fine-tune the app for peak operational excellence. The global monitoring tools market was valued at USD 26.05 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.0% from 2023 to 2030. 2.8. Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning The technology landscape is in a constant state of flux, and app developers must be lifelong learners. By providing ongoing training and creating a culture that values curiosity and innovation, equip teams with the expertise to adapt to new tools, languages, and methodologies. Continuous learning is not just an individual pursuit but an organizational imperative for staying competitive. 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. 2.9. Engage in Regular Code Reviews Code reviews are where the actual magic happens. They present an opportunity for knowledge sharing, identifying best practices, and maintaining consistency across the codebase. Code reviews, testing and automation testing also act as a quality gate, where potential issues can be identified and addressed before they cascade further into the development process. Software testing market size accounts for about USD 45 billion, while application testing accounts for 54.3% of market share in testing. 2.10. Prioritize Accessibility Digital accessibility should never be an afterthought in application development. Creating accessible apps for all users, including those with disabilities, broadens businesses' market while reflecting their commitment to inclusivity. Implementing best practices in application development for accessibility from the outset leads to a more engaging and user-friendly application for all. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide best practices and guidelines for digital accessibility and by following these, mobile app developers can ensure their apps meet the unique needs of users with diverse abilities. According to World Health Organization statistics, as of 2023, around 1.3 billion individuals experienced significant disabilities, which constituted 16% of the global population. 3. Final Thoughts In software development best practices, compliance with established software development standards and best practices is a necessity for organizations seeking to maintain their significance and longevity. The aforementioned practicespromote the development of resilient and user-centric applications, cultivatinga setting that prioritizes excellence, productivity, and innovation. These procedures will continue to change over time as a result of technological advancements, shifts in consumer demands, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence in the digital sphere. Embracing these principles establishes a robust framework that enables organizations to effectively navigate the obstacles that may arise in the digital ecosystem of the future. The incorporation of smart intelligencein streamlining appdevelopment is expected to advance significantly in the future, resulting in unparalleled levels of personalized user experiences and predictive analytics. The emergence of quantum computing will bring about an additional paradigm shift in processing capabilities, empowering programmers to more effectively resolve intricate problems. Furthermore, in an effort to harmonize technological progress, green coding practices and eco-friendly application frameworks will become increasingly prominent as sustainability becomes a primary concern. Maintaining awareness of these trends and consistently adjusting to the swiftly changing digital environment will be essential for both enterprises and software developers.

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Essential Books for Advanced Application Developers in 2024

Article | March 14, 2024

Discover the top 10 application development books for 2024, featuring essential reads for application developers in 2024. Stay ahead in tech and sharpen your skills with these latest concepts. Contents 1. Introduction to Developer Reads 2. Top 10 Application Developer Books to Read in 2024 2.1. Kotlin and Android Development, Featuring Jetpack 2.2. Rapid Application Development with AWS Amplify 2.3. Rust Web Development: With warp, tokio, and reqwest 2.4. Mobile Applications Development 2.5. Web Development with Blazor 2.6. Modern Full-Stack Development 2.7. Angular Projects 2.8. ASP.NET Core 5 and React 2.9. Building Low-Code Applications with Mendix 2.10. Real-World Next.js 3. Wrap Up 1. Introduction to Developer Reads The world of application and mobile development has always been on a steep trajectory of innovation and transformation. Today, it's driven by rapidly evolving technologies, changing user expectations, and increasing demands for seamless, integrated experiences. Within the virtual halls of developer books, readers can immerse themselves in insightful articles that provide expert analysis and detailed guides, keeping pace with the technology's rapid evolution. Methodical tutorials and hands-on experiences are a must to arm developers with the skills necessary to surmount programming challenges across a plethora of languages and frameworks. 2. Top 10 Application Developer Books to Read in 2024 In an era where technology emerges at lightning speed, staying updated with the latest app development tools is crucial for any software developer. Here are the top 10 application developer books listed — the books that every software developer should read —for a comprehensive overview of books that cover a range of topics, including mobile and web application development, low-code platforms, and full-stack development strategies. These books are essential for developers aiming to refine their skills and budding coders in the development world. 2.1.Kotlin and Android Development, Featuring Jetpack Author: Michael Fazio Kotlin and Android Development, featuring Jetpack, is among the top books for software developers aiming to master the art of building native Android apps using Kotlin and Jetpack's comprehensive suite of tools, libraries, and methodologies. This Android app development book introduces the modern approach to development, enabling the creation of more efficient, resilient applications. Key inclusions: Strategies for developing efficient, resilient Android views using fragments and view models. Techniques for quick and reliable data persistence using Room, along with best data sharing and management practices. A comprehensive guide to writing null-safe code in Kotlin, reducing boilerplate, and enhancing code readability and maintainability. Detailed instructions for building two complete Android applications, 'Penny Drop' and the 'Android Baseball League' app, illustrate the real-world application of concepts. Insights into navigation, including using a navigation drawer and Android app links, to create a seamless app experience. 2.2.Rapid Application Development with AWS Amplify Author: Adrian Leung Rapid Application Development with AWS Amplify guides application developers in 2024 on the AWS Amplify framework to craft scalable, cloud-native applications for both web and mobile platforms. This Rapid App Development (RAD) resource meticulously details the process of building progressive web apps using React and cross-platform mobile applications with React Native in TypeScript, offering a seamless integration with the AWS ecosystem. Key learnings include: Developing React and React Native applications utilizing Amplify and TypeScript. Utilizing pre-built Amplify UI components for swift app prototyping. Incorporating user management and authentication seamlessly into your applications. Crafting and managing GraphQL APIs for dynamic data handling. Configuring a custom domain name and efficiently managing app content with the Amplify Admin UI. 2.3.Rust Web Development: With warp, tokio, and reqwest Author: Bastian Gruber The book, listed as the best app development book for individuals, is keen on exploring the world of mobile app development through the versatile Python programming language and the innovative Kivy framework. This book is structured to cater to both beginners and seasoned programmers by starting with the basics of Python and gradually progressing to more advanced mobile application development concepts. Key highlights of the book include: A thorough introduction to Python programming, setting a strong foundation for beginners. Detailed exploration of mobile app development using the Kivy framework. Interactive learning approach with questions and exercises in every chapter. Inclusion of hands-on projects towards the end, aimed at enhancing programming and project development skills. 2.4.Mobile Applications Development Author: Tarkeshwar Barua, Ruchi Doshi, Kamal Kant Hiran This book, among many other best programming books, is structured to cater to both beginners and seasoned programmers by starting with the basics of Python and gradually progressing to more advanced mobile application development concepts. The utilization of the Kivy framework is emphasized throughout, showcasing its potential for creating multi platform applications. Key highlights of the book include: A thorough introduction to Python programming, setting a strong foundation for beginners. Detailed exploration of mobile app development using the Kivy framework. Interactive learning approach with questions and exercises in every chapter. Inclusion of hands on projects towards the end, aimed at enhancing programming and project development skills. 2.5.Web Development with Blazor Author: Jimmy Engström Engström Web Development with Blazor: A hands on guide for .NET developers to build interactive UIs with C# is like a roadmap for application developers in 2024, looking to harness the innovative capabilities of Blazor for creating modern web applications using C#. This web development book delineates a clear path from understanding the fundamentals of Blazor to deploying production ready applications, making it an indispensable resource for .NET developers aspiring to expand their web development toolkit. Key learnings include: Mastery of Blazor Server and Blazor WebAssembly for building interactive web UIs without JavaScript. Insight into the nuances between server side and client side Blazor projects. Integration and utilization of Entity Framework for efficient data management. Exploration of JavaScript libraries within Blazor applications for extended functionality. Techniques for debugging, testing with bUnit, and deploying Blazor applications to production environments. 2.6.Modern Full Stack Development Author: Frank Zammetti The book is considered the best software book among others, providing guidance for web developers looking to elevate their application development skills to the next level. This book for Full Stack Development meticulously unfolds the synergistic power of utilizing TypeScript, React, Node.js, Webpack, and Docker together, creating a modern development stack that addresses the common shortcomings of JavaScript while leveraging its strengths. Key takeaways include: A project's initiation and logical structuring. User interface development with React and enhancing it with Material UI. Real time client server communication with WebSockets. REST API creation with Node.js and Express. Application packaging for optimized delivery with Webpack. Application deployment with Docker for simplified distribution. 2.7.Angular Projects Author: Aristeidis Bampakos Angular Projects: Build modern web apps in Angular 16 with 10 different projects and cutting edge technologies is a uniquely structured book that empowers Angular developers to expand their skills through hands on experience with real world projects. This mobile applications development book stands out by focusing on project based learning, where each chapter introduces a new application that integrates Angular with various libraries and tools, showcasing the vast potential and versatility of Angular in modern web development. Key learnings include: Efficiently setting up Angular applications with Angular CLI and Nx Console. Enhancing user experience with PWA techniques and SEO friendly server side rendering. Leveraging typed reactive forms for robust issue management systems. Developing mobile applications focusing on Ionic and exploring desktop apps with Electron. Utilizing Angular CDK and Angular CLI to build custom UI libraries and schematics. 2.8.ASP.NET Core 5 and React Author: Carl Rippon This book, one of the best books to read for software developers, is designed to empower web developers with the knowledge to build robust, cloud ready, and professional web applications leveraging the latest advancements in the .NET 5 framework and React.js, coupled with the deployment capabilities of Microsoft Azure. The book covers the React ecosystem's latest features, including function based components, React Router, and Redux for state management. Key learnings include: Building and securing RESTful APIs with .NET 5. Creating interactive and maintainable React components using TypeScript and Hooks. Styling React components with Emotion.js and managing state with Redux. Writing reliable unit tests for both the frontend and backend. Implementing CI/CD processes with Azure DevOps for deployment on Azure. 2.9.Building Low-Code Applications with Mendix Author: Bryan Kenneweg, Imran Kasam, Micah McMullen, Michael Guido One of the best software development books to read, Building Low-Code Applications with Mendix is tailored for tech-savvy business analysts, citizen developers, and seasoned programmers alike, aiming to streamline the application development process through Mendix, a leading low-code platform. The book offers a look into the principles of low-code development, showcasing how Mendix's drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic facilitate the rapid creation of web and mobile applications without the intricacies of traditional coding. It’s rich pedagogy comprises of: A solid foundation in low-code development and the advantages it offers in software solution delivery. Mastery over Mendix's features for rapid application development, from design to delivery. The construction of a fully functional web application that aligns with specific business requirements. Insights into data management, APIs, error handling, and debugging within the Mendix ecosystem. 2.10.Real-World Next.js Author: Michele Riva Real-World Next.js: Build scalable, high-performance, and modern web applications using Next.js. The React framework for production is a crucial resource for web and app developers in 2024, eager to leverage Next.js for creating robust web applications that don't compromise on performance, user experience, or developer satisfaction. This book covers the breadth of Next.js capabilities, from basics to advanced features, making it an indispensable guide for developers looking to enhance their React skills with scalable and maintainable full-stack applications. Key learnings include: Mastery of Next.js is essential for rapid application development. Insight into scalable architecture creation and optimal rendering strategy selection for your projects. Techniques for writing both unit and integration tests in Next.js applications. An understanding of Next.js' powerful routing system and built-in components. Strategies for building modern architectures using Next.js with GraphCMS or any headless CMS. 3.Wrap Up A curated guide, this article assists developers in remaining abreast of the swiftly changing technological environment. It presents a collection of indispensable and ultimate developer reading list encompassing a wide range of frameworks, languages, methodologies, and contemporary web development utilizing Next.js. Every book has been meticulously selected with the intention of augmenting the reader's repertoire of abilities to construct scalable, high-performing applications utilizing the most recent technologies. Looking ahead, application development is set to become even more diverse and innovative. As developers, embracing new languages, frameworks, and paradigms will be key to adapting and thriving. These must-read books for software developers listed in the article will prepare you for the current trends, laying the groundwork for understanding future developments in the tech world. Continuous learning through such comprehensive resources will undoubtedly set the stage for groundbreaking applications and solutions in the years to come.

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Transforming Development Workflows with Integrated Environments

Article | February 29, 2024

From coding to CI/CD integration, the future of integrated development environments plays a pivotal role of open-source communities. Learn about the top IDE providers leading in the tech industry. Contents 1. Introduction 2. The Strategic Importance of IDEs in Accelerating Development 3. Synergy with Modern Development Practices 3.1. Integrating IDEs with CI/CD Pipelines 3.2. Enhancing Agile Methodologies through Collaborative IDE Features 4. The New Frontier: IDE Integration with Microservices and Containers 4.1. Streamlining Microservices Development and Management within IDEs 4.2. Containerization Tools and Their Seamless Integration in Development environments 5. Top IDE Providers for Smooth Development 5.1. LANSA 5.2. Embarcadero Technologies 5.3. Idera, Inc. 5.4. Developer Express, Inc. 5.5. Devart 5.6. Eclipse Foundation 5.7. Mirantis 5.8. Wolfram 5.9. KDE 5.10. Qt Group 6. Final Thoughts 1. Introduction Integrated development environments(IDEs) serve as command centers for programmers due to the centralized nature of their platforms, facilitating the coding process. IDEs are the software programs that combine all the necessary software tools for development, thus streamlining workflow and management in integrated environments. Integrated development environments serve as critical platforms, enabling developers and engineers to solve and ease the complexities of programming with greater efficiency and precision. Historically, IDEs have evolved from basic text editors to sophisticated suites that support the intricate processes of software creation. Today, they are at a pivotal point of transformation, driven by technological advancements and the increasing demand for rapid innovation. This evolution is reshaping development workflows, aligning with the trends towards microservices and containerization, and enhancing collaborative efforts among developers. 2. The Strategic Importance of IDEs in Accelerating Development The importance of IDEs extends beyond mere convenience tools for coding; they are fundamental to the strategic decisions of technology companies. IDEs have significantly influenced the software development community by offering tools that facilitate the coding process. However, IDEs have assumed a new strategic function in the current era of digitalization, where time to market can determine the success or failure of a product. They must facilitate seamless integration with other systems, efficient debugging, and rapid prototyping, abilities that are not essential. Key Features of IDEs: Integrated development environments incorporate sophisticated code editors that provide functionality such as code navigation, syntax highlighting, and auto completion. It guarantees a streamlined coding process with a reduction in errors. Integrated tools simplify the debugging process by enabling programmers to rapidly identify and resolve issues within the code. Standard features include breakpoints, step-by-step debugging tools, and real-time variable investigation. Integrated development environments streamline the build procedure by automating it, thereby decreasing the probability of build errors. This aspect holds significant importance, especially in the context of larger initiatives that involve intricate dependencies. Version control integration is a common feature of IDEs. This integration enables developers to access change tracking, code repository administration, and collaborative functionalities, such as Git. Integrated development environments simplify the process of navigating between projects. Intelligent code suggestions and project-wide search capabilities enable developers to efficiently locate files and functions. Inbuilt code profiling and analysis tools facilitate performance optimization. Identifying bottlenecks and optimizing code for greater efficacy is a capability of developers. Coalescing the development stack, minimizing configuration overheads, intelligent automation are among the other features aiding in acceleration of development. 3. Synergy with Modern Development Practices Contemporary integrated development environments are outfitted with functionalities that mirror the current paradigm shift towards DevOps and serve as catalysts for the said shift. Contemporary integrated IDEs must feature real-time feedback loops in order to support the iterative development that Agile methodologies and continuous integration/delivery (CI/CD) require. By conserving time but substantially diminishing the cognitive burden on developers, these loops enable them to concentrate on constructing optimal software. 42.73% of professional developers use popular Node.js frameworks, libraries, tools, and IDEs, indicating a significant adoption of IDEs in specific programming language communities 3.1. Integrating IDEs with CI/CD Pipelines The integration and deployment of IDEs in CI/CD pipelines is a game-changer. It's more than just having an interface where a developer can check the status of a build. It is now about having a seamless experience where code is written, checked, built, tested, and deployed without the developer stepping out of the IDE. This integration reduces context switching, thereby saving precious time and maintaining the creative rhythm of development. The benefits of integrating IDEs with CI/CD pipelines includes significantly tightening of feedback loops, allowing for rapid bug detection and fixing. Key prerequisites for this integration include a properly configured development environment, version control synchronization, and an operational CI/CD tool. Developers should ensure their IDEs are seamlessly connected to version control systems like Git and the CI/CD pipeline, allowing for real-time tracking, committing of changes, and direct feedback within the development environment. With proper configuration and implementation, IDE-CI/CD integration can bring significant agility and reliability to the software development process. So, it is important for developers continuously monitor and optimize their CI/CD pipelines for better performance. 3.2. Enhancing Agile Methodologies through Collaborative IDE Features Agile methodologies have revolutionized software development, emphasizing collaboration and continuous improvement. Real-time Code Collaboration: IDEs offer real-time code collaboration features that allow multiple developers to work on the same codebase simultaneously. This fosters collaboration and speeds up development. Integrated Communication Tools: IDEs often come with integrated communication tools, such as chat or video conferencing, which facilitate quick and efficient communication within teams. Code Review and Feedback: Code review and feedback are crucial components of Agile methodologies. With IDEs, code review can be done in real-time, and feedback can be given directly within the IDE. Continuous Integration: As discussed earlier, IDEs integrated with CI/CD pipelines enable continuous integration, where changes are tested and merged into the main codebase frequently. This ensures that issues are caught early on and resolved quickly. By incorporating these collaborative features into their development process through IDEs, teams can effectively embrace Agile methodologies and deliver high-quality software efficiently. The global integrated development environment software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% in the forecast period of 2024-2032. Modern IDEs prioritize collaboration, often featuring live sharing, code reviews, and instant messaging to foster tight-knit development teams. These features support agile methodologies and cultivate a real-time development ecosystem. They offer features that allow developers to share and collaborate on code in real-time. These collaborative features break down barriers to teamwork, promoting a dev-culture where the collective expertise of the team is harnessed at each line of code. 4. The New Frontier: IDE Integration with Microservices and Containers The convergence of microservices and containerization within IDEs marks a significant shift towards more modular, scalable, and maintainable in the synergy of software development practices. This integration simplifies the development and deployment processes aligning with the industry's move towards DevOps practices, facilitating continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines for faster and more reliable software releases. 4.1. Streamlining Microservices Development and Management within IDEs The adoption of microservices architecture necessitates advanced orchestration capabilities to manage the complexity of multiple, interconnected services effectively. Integrated development environments that incorporate microservices support provide developers with a comprehensive overview of their application architecture, enhancing the efficiency of service creation and management. 4.2. Containerization Tools and Its Integration in Development In the prevailing container-first approach, IDEs serve as pivotal platforms for container orchestration. Through the integration of containerization tools such as Docker and Kubernetes, IDEs enable developers to seamlessly develop, deploy, and manage containerized applications within a unified development environment. The potential extends well beyond the native capabilities of integrated development environment benefits, offering a canvas where extensibility and integration with a myriad of third-party tools and services is encouraged. Implementing plugin architectures and customizability, leveraging on cloud-native IDEs, promoting a culture of tool agnosticism, where developers are not bound to a single language or ecosystem will continue to be the implications of IDE for deployment. Enabling multi-lingual and multi-paradigm development such that a single IDE can adeptly handle multiple languages and their intricacies will streamline the development processes. 5. Top IDE Providers for Smooth Development In the arena of IDEs, certain vendors have stood out for their innovation, foresight, and commitment to empowering developers with cutting-edge tools and user-friendly interfaces. Choosing the right IDE provider for any project is as important step as development and programming. 5.1. LANSA LANSA streamlines business operations with advanced integration and implementation solutions, enabling automation and efficient data exchange between applications and businesses. Its no-code platforms, LANSA Integrator and LANSA Composer, reduce manual efforts and IT resources, speeding up business processes and development. LANSA’s unique low-code environment allows for rapid cross-platform application development, combining the ease of low-code with the power of traditional coding. This approach significantly accelerates the creation, deployment, and management of enterprise-grade applications, enhancing productivity and fostering IT transformation. With LANSA, businesses can rapidly prototype, develop, and deploy integrated applications, achieving improved efficiency and competitive advantage. 5.2. Embarcadero Technologies Embarcadero's RAD Server offers a robust platform for rapidly developing and deploying services-based applications. It facilitates RESTful API publishing with JSON or XML, enhancing connectivity and integration with external databases, servers, and cloud services. RAD Server simplifies modernizing legacy applications into secure, scalable service-based architectures. Its comprehensive suite includes user management, push notifications, geolocation services, and built-in data storage. Additionally, RAD Server's ease of deployment and operation, combined with support for multi-tier architecture and built-in application services, positions it as a robust back-end for developing multi-platform UX applications. Embarcadero empowers developers to build high-performing, enterprise-level applications swiftly, supported by a global community and a legacy of innovation. 5.3. Idera, Inc. Idera, Inc. is a distinguished provider in the B2B software industry, renowned for its commitment to delivering user-centric solutions that enable technical users to make informed real-time decisions in their businesses. With over 20 years of innovation, Idera, Inc. has cultivated a portfolio of brands that are trusted for their ability to offer intuitive, elegant solutions across database administration, application development, and test management. Its products stand at the forefront of hyper-growth markets, including business process modeling, IoT, and disruptive test management tools designed to enhance productivity and strategic goal achievement. Idera, Inc.'s solutions are tools that catalyze the enhancement of collective knowledge and demolish data silos, thereby fostering collaboration across teams and geographies. 5.4. Developer Express, Inc. As a pioneering force in the software development industry, the Developer Express, Inc. is at the forefront of embracing and shaping the evolution of the .NET ecosystem, with a particular focus on Blazor for seamless integration between server and client-side operations. Its commitment extends beyond .NET, as it continually enhances its DevExtreme HTML/JavaScript library and actively supports vital frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue, ensuring advanced SCSS and TypeScript integration. Its dedication to innovation is evident in its efforts to integrate modern web technologies and improve desktop development tools for WinForms and WPF in response to .NET Core and Windows 11 advancements. 5.5. Devart The Devart specializes in offering comprehensive database development, management, and administration solutions across major platforms, including SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL. Its suite of products, including must-have tools like dotConnect for Oracle and dbForge Studio, are designed to significantly enhance productivity for software developers and engineers by streamlining SQL coding, reducing errors by 99%, and increasing daily efficiency by over 30%. The company's offerings also encompass data connectivity solutions across ODBC, ADO.NET, Python, and more, facilitating seamless data integration and cloud connectivity. With a focus on accelerating database deployment and integrating DevOps practices, the tools are engineered to optimize every aspect of the database lifecycle, ensuring a 2x to 4x faster programming experience and a 300% boost in efficiency with DevOps integrations. 5.6. Eclipse Foundation The Eclipse Foundation is a pivotal organization within the global software community, offering a robust, scalable, and business-oriented environment for open-source collaboration and innovation. It serves as the nurturing ground for a vast array of projects, including the renowned Eclipse IDE, Jakarta EE, and an expert in a multitude of other open-source initiatives spanning cloud and edge computing, IoT, AI, automotive sectors, systems engineering, open processor designs, and beyond. By focusing on the development of next-generation cloud-native developer tools, the Eclipse Foundation positions in facilitating professional development environments. Its initiatives are instrumental in driving technological advancements and fostering an ecosystem of open collaboration that benefits individuals and organizations worldwide. 5.7. Mirantis Mirantis delivers modern application development services, expertly guiding clients through the entire application lifecycle, from CI/CD to LCM automation. Specializing in accelerating secure, cloud-native application delivery, Mirantis assists in building new containerized apps, modernizing legacy applications into scalable and operable cloud-native designs, and facilitating app portability between platforms. By leveraging its extensive expertise in DevOps principles, automation, and Agile software engineering, Mirantis significantly enhances developer productivity, enabling faster development and production timelines. Its comprehensive platform engineering services ensure robust CI/CD, testing, and DevOps automation infrastructure without the time investment required for in-house development. Additionally, Mirantis streamlines application assessment, modernization, and workload migration, offering tailored strategies that optimize flexibility, performance, security, and cost savings. 5.8. Wolfram Wolfram's Universal Deployment System (UDS) revolutionizes software development economics by leveraging its unique technology stack to automate the deployment of functionalities across a vast array of computing technologies. It enables creators to develop material once and deploy it in various forms; ranging from high-volume services and polished end-user products to flexible software components. Across multiple platforms, including cloud, desktop, server, mobile, and embedded systems, it supports a broad spectrum of deployment technologies and scenarios, such as web APIs, cloud-hosted computation, mobile apps, and embedded code; the UDS offers unparalleled versatility. Additionally, it facilitates end-user, machine-to-machine, and component deployment, supported by an extensive infrastructure. This comprehensive approach enhances the developer productivity and broadens the reach and accessibility of applications across diverse environments. 5.9. KDE The KDE community is a prominent international technology group that develops free software for desktop and portable computing environments. Its offerings include a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, extensive office productivity, and a wide range of software across categories such as Internet, multimedia, entertainment, education, graphics, showcasing the power of integrated development software. Notably, KDE software supports over 60 languages and adheres to principles of ease of use and accessibility. With applications that run natively on Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows, and macOS, KDE also provides a developer platform built on Qt, allowing for creating and distributing applications across multiple platforms. Additionally, KDE introduces KDevelop, a cross-platform IDE for various programming languages, underscoring KDE's commitment to facilitating seamless, multi-platform application development and distribution. 5.10. Qt Group Qt Group is a global software company acclaimed for empowering over 1.5 million developers and industry leaders worldwide. With a focus on enhancing productivity throughout the product development lifecycle, from UI design, software development, and quality management to deployment, Qt Group serves a diverse clientele across more than 70 industries in over 180 countries. The company is renowned for Qt Creator, an AI-enabled cross-platform IDE that enhances developer productivity. Qt Creator facilitates software creation across desktop, mobile, and embedded platforms, offering sophisticated code editing, version control integration, project and build management, and multiple target support. Additionally, it provides a suite of development tools, including a device emulator, the Qt Quick compiler for optimized performance, and GitHub Copilot integration to expedite coding tasks. 6. Final Thoughts As IDEs continue to evolve, the incorporation of intelligence is anticipated to bring about a transformative phase of predictive coding, where IDEs will proactively suggest code snippets and solution patterns, significantly boosting development efficiency. Moreover, the open-source movement is poised to play a crucial role in this evolution, driving transparency, fostering community-driven enhancements, and ensuring that IDEs remain accessible and of high quality for all developers. IDEs are evolving into indispensable allies for developers and strategists alike, adapting to the rapid changes in the tech industry. This evolution of IDEs marks a new chapter where are the fundamental enablers in the technological progress and digital innovation.

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Application Development Platform

Friction to Flow: Solutions for Addressing IDE Challenges

Article | February 29, 2024

Venture into an in-depth exploration aimed at resolving prevalent IDE challenges and providing solutions, from refining debugging processes to achieving seamless UI/UX across diverse platforms. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Identifying Common Friction Points in IDE Usage 3. Overcoming the Challenges Encountered in IDE 3.1. Steep Learning Curve 3.2. Version Control Difficulties 3.3. Insufficient Debugging Tools 3.4. Plugin Dependency 3.5. Inconsistent UI/UX Across Platforms 3.6. Difficulties in Project Management 3.7. Security Vulnerabilities 3.8. Limited Testing Tools 3.9. Inefficient Remote Development Support 3.10. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment Integration Complexities 4. Wrap-Up 1. Introduction Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) serve as the cornerstone of a developer's toolkit. These powerful platforms offer an integration of tools designed to streamline the coding, testing, and deployment processes. However, the challenges in modern IDEs present roadblocks that can hamper productivity, efficiency, and innovation. Developers face various obstacles, including learning processes, mastering new debugging tools, and managing projects to ensure consistent UI/UX across platforms. Moreover, the looming threat of security vulnerabilities and the limitations of testing tools further complicate the development workflow. This requires strategies for improving IDE performance in the development environment. This article on IDE solutions and challenges will lay out ten challenges, providing insights and actionable solutions to optimize the use of IDEs in software development projects. 2. Identifying Common Friction Points in IDE Usage Identifying and Addressing User Friction in IDEs 1. Understanding User Friction - User friction refers to challenges that hinder users from completing desired actions within a product. These arise from factors like poor UI design, confusing user flows, and resolving IDE performance issues. - Common causes of user friction in IDEs include generalized onboarding, unintuitive experience, outdated UI, product bugs, slow performance, and complex workflows. 2. Hierarchy of User Friction - User friction patterns fall into three main categories: structural friction, emotional friction, and cognitive friction, which are related to UI design, user feelings, and product understanding, respectively. 3. Diagnosing and Overcoming Friction Points - Employ empathy and observation to explore the IDE from a user's perspective, listen to user feedback, use product analytics to identify UI gaps, and implement in-app guidance to assist with navigation. 3. Overcoming the Challenges Encountered in IDE 3.1. Steep Learning Curve A lack of robust debugging tools may lead to prolonged debugging sessions, reducing overall productivity. Developers need visibility into code execution to diagnose and fix issues efficiently. Online courses or certification are the knowledge source for 40.39% of software developers. Empower with Debugging Techniques Invest in Strong debugging techniques for IDE include breakpoints, step-throughs, watches, and stack traces. Train developers to use these tools effectively through workshops and pair programming. Encourage a culture of logging and testing alongside debugging. 3.2. Version Control Difficulties Inconsistent version control leads to confusion and code conflicts. A small change to a source file can result in a different generated file, affecting the performance of the system. While the centralized server has a single point of failure, making copies of the repository is also difficult. In addition, IDE-generated files are usually user-specific. The version control system market size is estimated at USD 1.11 billion in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 2.39 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 16.63% during the forecast period (2024-2029). Unifying Branching Models IDE optimization strategies involve adopting a streamlined version control system, and a branching strategy is crucial to solve the aforementioned complexities. Standardize on a version control system. Offer clear guidance for branching, merging, and naming conventions. Implement tools to integrate seamlessly with IDE. This extensively simplifies version control workflows. 3.3. Insufficient Debugging Tools The absence of effective debugging tools can lead to prolonged debugging sessions, thereby reducing productivity. IDE developers need visibility into the code execution to diagnose and fix issues efficiently. Development folks spend 90% of our time debugging! Empower with Debugging Techniques Addressing the challenge of insufficient debugging tools necessitates a comprehensive approach that includes evaluating existing functionalities, and integrating or developing advanced plugins and extensions. This ensures IDE compatibility troubleshooting with current systems. Discover and invest in strong debugging techniques for IDE, such as breakpoints, step-throughs, watches, and stack traces to avoid inefficiencies. Train developers to use these tools effectively through workshops. Pair programming encourages a habit of logging, testing, and debugging. 3.4. Plugin Dependency IDEs often rely on plugins for extended functionality. However, being overly dependent on plugins can lead to maintenance headaches and performance issues. These issues include performance degradation, compatibility issues, and security vulnerabilities. Plugin Curation Curate a set of essential plugins that cover the team's varied needs. Regularly review and retire outdated or underused plugins. Encourage developers to contribute to or maintain internal plugins where appropriate, ensuring they align with the team's goals and standards. Address compatibility issues in IDE usage and emphasize the use of plugins from reputable sources or the IDE's own plugin marketplace to significantly mitigate security risks. 3.5. Inconsistent UI/UX Across Platforms With IDE developers working across a variety of devices and operating systems, UI/UX inconsistency can be jarring and impede the fluidity of the development process. This is another difficulty among the IDE challenges and solutions. As of the most recent data available in 2023, the global cross-platform app development framework market was valued at approximately US$ 120 billion. Universal Design Language Ensure the IDE adheres to a shared design language across platforms. Utilize cross-platform design tools and component libraries to maintain a consistent look and feel. Standardize design elements and user interactions across all platforms, coupled with offering customizable UI options to significantly enhance consistency and user satisfaction. Provide the best IDE for development environment. 3.6. Difficulties in Project Management Issues such as lack of visibility, communication breakdowns, and struggles with version control can significantly impede project progress, leading to missed deadlines and decreased team cohesion. An IDE lacking proper integration tools makes monitoring project milestones and managing expectations difficult. This often results in duplication of efforts and confusion over code changes. 37% of projects fail due to the lack of defined project objectives and milestones. Project Management Integration Select IDEs that integrate well with project management tools, such as issue trackers and scrum boards. Encourage the use of version control to maintain visibility over code changes and work progress. Prioritize integration with project management tools. Incorporate version control systems directly within the IDE, such as Git streamlines code management. Facilitate collaboration with simplified error resolution. Troubleshoot common errors in IDE 3.7. Security Vulnerabilities Integrated development environment challenges include security vulnerabilities in IDEs posing significant risks, including data breaches and unauthorized access, as these platforms often have access to sensitive project files and personal information. An analysis of 1,700 enterprise applications revealed that, on average, they contained 135 third-party software components, of which 90% were open source. Eleven percent of those open-source components had at least one vulnerability. Fortify with Remediation A solid security posture is the proven solution for IDE to protect both the team and the project. Select IDEs with robust security features, such as built-in code analysis and integration with security tools. Implement regular security updates and patches. Integrate robust security features like two-factor authentication and encrypted data storage to mitigate these risks and safeguard user data effectively. 3.8. Limited Testing Tools An IDE with limited testing capabilities can lead to a disjointed testing process and an increased chance of releasing buggy code, potentially leading to bugs and inconsistencies in the final product. Only 40% of organizations use formal security rating tools to check open-source package safety. Testing Expansion Expand the IDE's testing capabilities by integrating comprehensive testing suites and plugins. Facilitate easy access to external testing frameworks to enhance testing efficiency and coverage. Foster a culture of test-driven development to embed testing into the coding process. 3.9. Inefficient Remote Development Support Ignoring accessibility in IDE design can limit the ability of some developers to engage with their work fully. This may lead to exclusions and frustrations among developers, thereby losing the talented acquisitions. Inefficiencies grow from inadequacies, and inefficient RDS can result in less efficient development. As per asurvey, companies outsource their development tasks for various reasons, including 26%, to gain access to talented professionals. Universal Design Approach Ensure that the chosen IDE utilizes universal design principles to make all features accessible to developers with various needs. Offer training on accessible development techniques and tools to create a more inclusive environment. Advocate for better accessibility features. Collaborate with developers with different needs and provide feedback to IDE developers. 3.10. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment Integration Complexities Inadequate automation owing to poor integration, mental effort from frequent context switching between IDEs and CI/CD technologies, and visibility gaps regarding build state and deployment progress can drastically reduce efficiency. Tool incompatibility may require complicated workarounds. Manual pipeline interactions increase security concerns due to human error or data exposure. A study shows that organizations with CI/CD adoption practices have 25% faster lead times and 50% fewer failures compared to those that don’t. Integration Streamlining Choose IDEs with built-in or easily integratable CI/CD features. Ensure that these features support your team's chosen CI/CD practices and tools. Create clear documentation and provide training on CI/CD integration within the IDE to promote efficient development workflows. 4. Wrap-Up The problems and solutions in the IDE require adequate automation due to proper integration. The integration that seamlessly blends coding, testing, deployment, and monitoring within a single platform will likely include advanced support for artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist in code generation, error detection, and even automated optimization suggestions. As a result, it will significantly reduce development time and improve code quality. Furthermore, cloud-based IDEs will become more prevalent, offering IDE developers the flexibility to work from anywhere, collaborate in real time, and access powerful computing resources without the need for high-end hardware.

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IBM to Acquire StreamSets and webMethods Platforms from Software AG

IBM | December 18, 2023

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Software AG (FRA: SOW), a company majority owned by Silver Lake, to purchase StreamSets and webMethods, Software AG's Super iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service) enterprise technology platforms, for €2.13 billion in cash. As organizations continue to accelerate their digital transformations, application and data integration solutions are critical elements for application modernization and effectively deploying AI across the enterprise. StreamSets and webMethods are among the technology leaders in application integration, API management, and data integration. IDC predicts the worldwide integration software market will exceed $18.0 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1%.1 The acquisition of StreamSets and webMethods is further evidence of IBM's deep focus and investment in AI and hybrid cloud. StreamSets will add data ingestion capabilities to watsonx, IBM's AI and data platform, while webMethods will give clients and partners additional integration and API management tools for their hybrid multi-cloud environments. The core offerings include: StreamSets - a cloud-native DataOps and data ingestion platform which allows enterprises to achieve consistent access and delivery of data across a wide spectrum of data sources and types. StreamSets also facilitates the design of smart data pipelines and the ingestion of real-time and batch data. webMethods - an integration and API management platform. The integration platform, deployed both on-prem and in the cloud, offers B2B integration, managed file transfer, and provides a modern API gateway to manage, monitor, and monetize APIs. Software AG's Super iPaaS platform is growing, profitable and has a significant recurring revenue profile. StreamSets and webMethods serve more than 1,500 clients across the globe. "Together with IBM's watsonx AI and data platform, as well as its application modernization, data fabric and IT automation products, StreamSets and webMethods will help clients unlock the full potential of their applications and data. This powerful combination helps drive innovation while preparing businesses for AI, no matter where applications or data reside," said Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM. "Today's news will give IBM clients and partners one of the most modern and comprehensive application and data integration platforms in the industry." The pending acquisition follows a more than 20-year relationship between IBM and Software AG, with both StreamSets and webMethods expected to drive synergy with IBM's current portfolio, including watsonx, Red Hat, the company's IT automation products, as well as IBM Consulting. Additionally, StreamSets and webMethods are expected to benefit from IBM's global scale, operating in more than 175 countries. "IBM is the ideal home for webMethods and StreamSets, the products at the heart of our Super iPaaS vision," said Sanjay Brahmawar, Chief Executive Officer of Software AG. "Combined with IBM's global scale and focus on hybrid cloud and AI, our people will have a fantastic opportunity to develop while helping enterprises everywhere get the most out of their applications and data." "We believe that there is no business more iconic or better suited than IBM to continue investing in and growing these great platforms," said Christian Lucas, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Software AG and Managing Partner of Silver Lake. "The opportunity to bring the StreamSets and webMethods teams together with IBM to innovate in building the future of hybrid cloud and next-generation AI solutions for the enterprise is uniquely compelling. We are pleased that our investment in Software AG helped spark that vision, reflecting Silver Lake's commitment to partner with the world's best management teams and technology leaders in driving exceptional value creation for customers, employees and other stakeholders." StreamSets and webMethods will be acquired with available cash on hand. The consummation of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024. About IBM IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Thousands of government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's long-standing commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information.

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IBM Launches watsonx Code Assistant, Delivers Generative AI-powered Code Generation Capabilities Built for Enterprise Application Modernization

PR Newswire | October 26, 2023

Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) launched watsonx Code Assistant, a generative AI-powered assistant that helps enterprise developers and IT operators code more quickly and more accurately using natural language prompts. The product currently delivers on two specific enterprise use cases. First, IT Automation with watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed, for tasks such as network configuration and code deployment. Second, mainframe application modernization with watsonx Code Assistant for Z, for translation of COBOL to Java on IBM Z. Designed to accelerate development while maintaining the principles of trust, security, and compliance, the product leverages generative AI based on IBM's Granite foundation models for code running on IBM's watsonx platform. Granite uses the decoder architecture, which underpins large language model capabilities to predict what is next in a sequence to support natural language processing tasks. IBM is exploring opportunities to tune watsonx Code Assistant with additional domain-specific generative AI capabilities to assist in code generation, code explanation, and the full end-to-end software development lifecycle to continue to drive enterprise application modernization. According to a recent IDC report, "Because it relies on a model trained on curated data, watsonx Code Assistant can help enterprises improve code quality by propagating best practices through code recommendations, instead of polluting enterprise code bases with code generated by models trained on unvetted repositories."2 With this launch, watsonx Code Assistant joins watsonx Orchestrate and watsonx Assistant in IBM's growing line of watsonx assistants that provide enterprises with tangible ways to implement generative AI, said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Growth, IBM Software. Watsonx Code Assistant puts AI-assisted code development and application modernization tools directly into the hands of developers – in a naturally integrated way that is designed to be non-disruptive – to help address skills gaps and increase productivity. Additionally, IBM Consulting brings deep domain expertise across these use cases working closely with clients across industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare and government, to build strategies to allow them to take advantage of the potential of generative AI and code generation to accelerate modernization. IT Automation - IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed The Ansible Automation Platform helps enterprise developers and IT operators implement automation, using Ansible Playbooks, for IT tasks including infrastructure management, hybrid cloud deployment, network configuration, application deployment and more. With IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed, platform users can input plain English prompts to automatically generate task recommendations for Ansible Playbooks that adhere to best practices in task creation and maintenance. This way, a greater number of team members can create Ansible Playbooks more efficiently and implement automation engineered to be more resilient and easier to support without in-depth training. Technical Preview Key Data: Approximately 4,000 developers participated in the technical preview. 85% overall average acceptance rate of the AI-generated content recommendations. (from July 27 – Oct 23, 2023, based on over 41,000 recommendations) Productivity improvements in the range of 20-45%. "Red Hat has already shown what domain-specific AI can do for IT automation at the community level," said Ashesh Badani, Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Red Hat. "The release of watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed has the potential to close skills gaps, create greater organizational efficiencies and free enterprise IT to deliver even more business value." The Hybrid Cloud Platforms team within the IBM CIO Office uses Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to support a wide range of tasks within their IT environment whether it's patching, resolving vulnerabilities, or running regular health checks of their systems. Bob Epstein, Leader of IBM CIO Hybrid Cloud Platforms, expects that the number of developers able to produce Ansible Playbooks with the full release version could increase as much as 10x as watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed empowers other team members such as Site Reliability Engineers who can use natural language to generate Ansible-specific automation tasks. "I like to look at our modernization journey in these stages: In the past we were crawling, doing a lot of things manually. Then, when we started automating, we were walking. Once we implemented Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, we were running. And as we look ahead, with watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed, I think we will be able to fly," said Robert Barron, Architect, Hybrid Cloud Platforms, IBM CIO Office. Mainframe Application Modernization – IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z helps enable faster translation of COBOL to Java on IBM Z and enhances developer productivity on the platform. It is being designed to assist businesses in leveraging generative AI and automated tooling to accelerate their mainframe application modernization – while allowing clients to take advantage of the performance, security and resiliency capabilities of IBM Z. Today, the product follows the application modernization lifecycle, starting with an application discovery capability, which maps out a technical understanding of the application and its dependencies. Then, an automated refactoring capability leverages the information captured in application discovery to identify selected elements to decompose the monolithic application into modular COBOL business services. Finally, watsonx Code Assistant for Z leverages generative AI to transform individual COBOL business services into object-oriented Java code. The next step in the lifecycle is validation testing. Anticipated in a future release, the product will support automated test case generation to validate the new COBOL or Java services. TCS and IBM hold a long-term partnership that fosters a collaborative ecosystem to develop joint successes for their customers and stakeholders. Leveraging this partnership and the deep contextual knowledge, TCS has grown a purpose-led, dedicated, full-service practice for in-place application modernization. "There is a significant need for the developer productivity gains that generative AI can bring to transform applications on the mainframe," said Keshav Varma, ISU Head, Technology, Software and Services Business Unit, TCS. "While watsonx Code Assistant for Z has only just become available, we have several clients that have already requested that we create proofs of concept for them. With decades of enterprise experience from both our companies, we look forward to building on our deep partnership with IBM using watsonx." IBM Consulting Brings Expertise to Help Clients with IT Automation and Modernization Early IBM Consulting engagements for both watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed and watsonx Code Assistant for Z aim to provide clients with the ability to deliver continuous automation, Ansible Playbook productivity, quality improvements, and transformation of IT operations – in addition to helping them identify the right application areas to modernize with Z. For those looking for more personalized use cases with watsonx Code Assistant, IBM Consulting and IBM Client Engineering can work side-by-side with clients to identify specific pain points and solve critical business and technical challenges from the users' perspective. IBM Consulting brings deep industry expertise in application modernization, IT automation and generative AI via dedicated Red Hat and watsonx practices that work closely with IBM Research, IBM Technology and Red Hat. Statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

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Software

DataStax Launches New Integration with LangChain, Enables Developers to Easily Build Production-ready Generative AI Applications

Business Wire | October 25, 2023

DataStax, the company that powers generative AI applications with real-time, scalable data, today announced a new integration with LangChain, the most popular orchestration framework for developing applications with large language models (LLMs). The integration makes it easy to add Astra DB – the real-time database for developers building production Gen AI applications – or Apache Cassandra, as a new vector source in the LangChain framework. As many companies implement retrieval augmented generation (RAG) – the process of providing context from outside data sources to deliver more accurate LLM query responses – into their generative AI applications, they require a vector store that gives them real-time updates with zero latency on critical, real-life production workloads. Generative AI applications built with RAG stacks require a vector-enabled database and an orchestration framework like LangChain, to provide memory or context to LLMs for accurate and relevant answers. Developers use LangChain as the leading AI-first toolkit to connect their application to different data sources. The new integration lets developers leverage the power of the Astra DB vector database for their LLM, AI assistant, and real-time generative AI projects through the LangChain plugin architecture for vector stores. Together, Astra DB and LangChain help developers to take advantage of framework features like vector similarity search, semantic caching, term-based search, LLM-response caching, and data injection from Astra DB (or Cassandra) into prompt templates. In a RAG application, the model receives supplementary data or context from various sources — most often a database that can store vectors, said Harrison Chase, CEO, LangChain. Building a generative AI app requires a robust, powerful database, and we ensure our users have access to the best options on the market via our simple plugin architecture. With integrations like DataStax's LangChain connector, incorporating Astra DB or Apache Cassandra as a vector store becomes a seamless and intuitive process. “Developers at startups and enterprises alike are using LangChain to build generative AI apps, so a deep native integration is a must-have,” said Ed Anuff, CPO, DataStax. “The ability for developers to easily use Astra DB as their vector database of choice, directly from LangChain, streamlines the process of building the personalized AI applications that companies need. In fact, we’re already seeing customers benefit from our joint technologies as healthcare AI company, Skypoint, is using Astra DB and LangChain to power its generative AI healthcare model.” To learn more, join the live webinar on October 26 at 9am PT, where LangChain founder and CEO, Harrison Chase, and SkyPoint founder and CEO, Tisson Mathew, discuss their experience building production RAG applications. About DataStax DataStax is the company that powers generative AI applications with real-time, scalable data with production-ready vector data tools that generative AI applications need, and seamless integration with developers’ stacks of choice. The Astra DB vector database provides developers with elegant APIs, powerful real-time data pipelines, and complete ecosystem integrations to quickly build and deploy production-level AI applications. With DataStax, any enterprise can mobilize real-time data to quickly build smart, high-growth AI applications at unlimited scale, on any cloud. Hundreds of the world’s leading enterprises, including Audi, Bud Financial, Capital One, SkyPoint Cloud, Verizon, VerSe Innovation, and many more rely on DataStax to deliver real-time AI. Learn more at DataStax.com. Apache, Apache Cassandra, and Cassandra, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation or its subsidiaries in Canada, the United States, and/or other countries.

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Software

IBM to Acquire StreamSets and webMethods Platforms from Software AG

IBM | December 18, 2023

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Software AG (FRA: SOW), a company majority owned by Silver Lake, to purchase StreamSets and webMethods, Software AG's Super iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service) enterprise technology platforms, for €2.13 billion in cash. As organizations continue to accelerate their digital transformations, application and data integration solutions are critical elements for application modernization and effectively deploying AI across the enterprise. StreamSets and webMethods are among the technology leaders in application integration, API management, and data integration. IDC predicts the worldwide integration software market will exceed $18.0 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1%.1 The acquisition of StreamSets and webMethods is further evidence of IBM's deep focus and investment in AI and hybrid cloud. StreamSets will add data ingestion capabilities to watsonx, IBM's AI and data platform, while webMethods will give clients and partners additional integration and API management tools for their hybrid multi-cloud environments. The core offerings include: StreamSets - a cloud-native DataOps and data ingestion platform which allows enterprises to achieve consistent access and delivery of data across a wide spectrum of data sources and types. StreamSets also facilitates the design of smart data pipelines and the ingestion of real-time and batch data. webMethods - an integration and API management platform. The integration platform, deployed both on-prem and in the cloud, offers B2B integration, managed file transfer, and provides a modern API gateway to manage, monitor, and monetize APIs. Software AG's Super iPaaS platform is growing, profitable and has a significant recurring revenue profile. StreamSets and webMethods serve more than 1,500 clients across the globe. "Together with IBM's watsonx AI and data platform, as well as its application modernization, data fabric and IT automation products, StreamSets and webMethods will help clients unlock the full potential of their applications and data. This powerful combination helps drive innovation while preparing businesses for AI, no matter where applications or data reside," said Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM. "Today's news will give IBM clients and partners one of the most modern and comprehensive application and data integration platforms in the industry." The pending acquisition follows a more than 20-year relationship between IBM and Software AG, with both StreamSets and webMethods expected to drive synergy with IBM's current portfolio, including watsonx, Red Hat, the company's IT automation products, as well as IBM Consulting. Additionally, StreamSets and webMethods are expected to benefit from IBM's global scale, operating in more than 175 countries. "IBM is the ideal home for webMethods and StreamSets, the products at the heart of our Super iPaaS vision," said Sanjay Brahmawar, Chief Executive Officer of Software AG. "Combined with IBM's global scale and focus on hybrid cloud and AI, our people will have a fantastic opportunity to develop while helping enterprises everywhere get the most out of their applications and data." "We believe that there is no business more iconic or better suited than IBM to continue investing in and growing these great platforms," said Christian Lucas, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Software AG and Managing Partner of Silver Lake. "The opportunity to bring the StreamSets and webMethods teams together with IBM to innovate in building the future of hybrid cloud and next-generation AI solutions for the enterprise is uniquely compelling. We are pleased that our investment in Software AG helped spark that vision, reflecting Silver Lake's commitment to partner with the world's best management teams and technology leaders in driving exceptional value creation for customers, employees and other stakeholders." StreamSets and webMethods will be acquired with available cash on hand. The consummation of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024. About IBM IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Thousands of government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's long-standing commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information.

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AI Tech

IBM Launches watsonx Code Assistant, Delivers Generative AI-powered Code Generation Capabilities Built for Enterprise Application Modernization

PR Newswire | October 26, 2023

Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) launched watsonx Code Assistant, a generative AI-powered assistant that helps enterprise developers and IT operators code more quickly and more accurately using natural language prompts. The product currently delivers on two specific enterprise use cases. First, IT Automation with watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed, for tasks such as network configuration and code deployment. Second, mainframe application modernization with watsonx Code Assistant for Z, for translation of COBOL to Java on IBM Z. Designed to accelerate development while maintaining the principles of trust, security, and compliance, the product leverages generative AI based on IBM's Granite foundation models for code running on IBM's watsonx platform. Granite uses the decoder architecture, which underpins large language model capabilities to predict what is next in a sequence to support natural language processing tasks. IBM is exploring opportunities to tune watsonx Code Assistant with additional domain-specific generative AI capabilities to assist in code generation, code explanation, and the full end-to-end software development lifecycle to continue to drive enterprise application modernization. According to a recent IDC report, "Because it relies on a model trained on curated data, watsonx Code Assistant can help enterprises improve code quality by propagating best practices through code recommendations, instead of polluting enterprise code bases with code generated by models trained on unvetted repositories."2 With this launch, watsonx Code Assistant joins watsonx Orchestrate and watsonx Assistant in IBM's growing line of watsonx assistants that provide enterprises with tangible ways to implement generative AI, said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Growth, IBM Software. Watsonx Code Assistant puts AI-assisted code development and application modernization tools directly into the hands of developers – in a naturally integrated way that is designed to be non-disruptive – to help address skills gaps and increase productivity. Additionally, IBM Consulting brings deep domain expertise across these use cases working closely with clients across industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare and government, to build strategies to allow them to take advantage of the potential of generative AI and code generation to accelerate modernization. IT Automation - IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed The Ansible Automation Platform helps enterprise developers and IT operators implement automation, using Ansible Playbooks, for IT tasks including infrastructure management, hybrid cloud deployment, network configuration, application deployment and more. With IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed, platform users can input plain English prompts to automatically generate task recommendations for Ansible Playbooks that adhere to best practices in task creation and maintenance. This way, a greater number of team members can create Ansible Playbooks more efficiently and implement automation engineered to be more resilient and easier to support without in-depth training. Technical Preview Key Data: Approximately 4,000 developers participated in the technical preview. 85% overall average acceptance rate of the AI-generated content recommendations. (from July 27 – Oct 23, 2023, based on over 41,000 recommendations) Productivity improvements in the range of 20-45%. "Red Hat has already shown what domain-specific AI can do for IT automation at the community level," said Ashesh Badani, Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Red Hat. "The release of watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed has the potential to close skills gaps, create greater organizational efficiencies and free enterprise IT to deliver even more business value." The Hybrid Cloud Platforms team within the IBM CIO Office uses Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to support a wide range of tasks within their IT environment whether it's patching, resolving vulnerabilities, or running regular health checks of their systems. Bob Epstein, Leader of IBM CIO Hybrid Cloud Platforms, expects that the number of developers able to produce Ansible Playbooks with the full release version could increase as much as 10x as watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed empowers other team members such as Site Reliability Engineers who can use natural language to generate Ansible-specific automation tasks. "I like to look at our modernization journey in these stages: In the past we were crawling, doing a lot of things manually. Then, when we started automating, we were walking. Once we implemented Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, we were running. And as we look ahead, with watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed, I think we will be able to fly," said Robert Barron, Architect, Hybrid Cloud Platforms, IBM CIO Office. Mainframe Application Modernization – IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z helps enable faster translation of COBOL to Java on IBM Z and enhances developer productivity on the platform. It is being designed to assist businesses in leveraging generative AI and automated tooling to accelerate their mainframe application modernization – while allowing clients to take advantage of the performance, security and resiliency capabilities of IBM Z. Today, the product follows the application modernization lifecycle, starting with an application discovery capability, which maps out a technical understanding of the application and its dependencies. Then, an automated refactoring capability leverages the information captured in application discovery to identify selected elements to decompose the monolithic application into modular COBOL business services. Finally, watsonx Code Assistant for Z leverages generative AI to transform individual COBOL business services into object-oriented Java code. The next step in the lifecycle is validation testing. Anticipated in a future release, the product will support automated test case generation to validate the new COBOL or Java services. TCS and IBM hold a long-term partnership that fosters a collaborative ecosystem to develop joint successes for their customers and stakeholders. Leveraging this partnership and the deep contextual knowledge, TCS has grown a purpose-led, dedicated, full-service practice for in-place application modernization. "There is a significant need for the developer productivity gains that generative AI can bring to transform applications on the mainframe," said Keshav Varma, ISU Head, Technology, Software and Services Business Unit, TCS. "While watsonx Code Assistant for Z has only just become available, we have several clients that have already requested that we create proofs of concept for them. With decades of enterprise experience from both our companies, we look forward to building on our deep partnership with IBM using watsonx." IBM Consulting Brings Expertise to Help Clients with IT Automation and Modernization Early IBM Consulting engagements for both watsonx Code Assistant for Red Hat Ansible Lightspeed and watsonx Code Assistant for Z aim to provide clients with the ability to deliver continuous automation, Ansible Playbook productivity, quality improvements, and transformation of IT operations – in addition to helping them identify the right application areas to modernize with Z. For those looking for more personalized use cases with watsonx Code Assistant, IBM Consulting and IBM Client Engineering can work side-by-side with clients to identify specific pain points and solve critical business and technical challenges from the users' perspective. IBM Consulting brings deep industry expertise in application modernization, IT automation and generative AI via dedicated Red Hat and watsonx practices that work closely with IBM Research, IBM Technology and Red Hat. Statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

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DataStax Launches New Integration with LangChain, Enables Developers to Easily Build Production-ready Generative AI Applications

Business Wire | October 25, 2023

DataStax, the company that powers generative AI applications with real-time, scalable data, today announced a new integration with LangChain, the most popular orchestration framework for developing applications with large language models (LLMs). The integration makes it easy to add Astra DB – the real-time database for developers building production Gen AI applications – or Apache Cassandra, as a new vector source in the LangChain framework. As many companies implement retrieval augmented generation (RAG) – the process of providing context from outside data sources to deliver more accurate LLM query responses – into their generative AI applications, they require a vector store that gives them real-time updates with zero latency on critical, real-life production workloads. Generative AI applications built with RAG stacks require a vector-enabled database and an orchestration framework like LangChain, to provide memory or context to LLMs for accurate and relevant answers. Developers use LangChain as the leading AI-first toolkit to connect their application to different data sources. The new integration lets developers leverage the power of the Astra DB vector database for their LLM, AI assistant, and real-time generative AI projects through the LangChain plugin architecture for vector stores. Together, Astra DB and LangChain help developers to take advantage of framework features like vector similarity search, semantic caching, term-based search, LLM-response caching, and data injection from Astra DB (or Cassandra) into prompt templates. In a RAG application, the model receives supplementary data or context from various sources — most often a database that can store vectors, said Harrison Chase, CEO, LangChain. Building a generative AI app requires a robust, powerful database, and we ensure our users have access to the best options on the market via our simple plugin architecture. With integrations like DataStax's LangChain connector, incorporating Astra DB or Apache Cassandra as a vector store becomes a seamless and intuitive process. “Developers at startups and enterprises alike are using LangChain to build generative AI apps, so a deep native integration is a must-have,” said Ed Anuff, CPO, DataStax. “The ability for developers to easily use Astra DB as their vector database of choice, directly from LangChain, streamlines the process of building the personalized AI applications that companies need. In fact, we’re already seeing customers benefit from our joint technologies as healthcare AI company, Skypoint, is using Astra DB and LangChain to power its generative AI healthcare model.” To learn more, join the live webinar on October 26 at 9am PT, where LangChain founder and CEO, Harrison Chase, and SkyPoint founder and CEO, Tisson Mathew, discuss their experience building production RAG applications. About DataStax DataStax is the company that powers generative AI applications with real-time, scalable data with production-ready vector data tools that generative AI applications need, and seamless integration with developers’ stacks of choice. The Astra DB vector database provides developers with elegant APIs, powerful real-time data pipelines, and complete ecosystem integrations to quickly build and deploy production-level AI applications. With DataStax, any enterprise can mobilize real-time data to quickly build smart, high-growth AI applications at unlimited scale, on any cloud. Hundreds of the world’s leading enterprises, including Audi, Bud Financial, Capital One, SkyPoint Cloud, Verizon, VerSe Innovation, and many more rely on DataStax to deliver real-time AI. Learn more at DataStax.com. Apache, Apache Cassandra, and Cassandra, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation or its subsidiaries in Canada, the United States, and/or other countries.

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