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Expanding the open analytics ecosystem

An overview of key announcements from IBM InterConnect 2016

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Big Data Evangelist, IBM

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Open data is a currency that runs through many announcements made at IBM InterConnect 2016 and in several announcements IBM made in the weeks leading up to the event. As discussed three weeks ago by Derek Schoettle, general manager, IBM Analytics platform and IBM Cloud Data Services, IBM is making significant investments in a wide range of cloud data services that build on open source database and analytics services. IBM also announced that it is submitting Quarks, an innovative new cognitive Internet of Things development tool, to the Apache Software Foundation.

Many IBM announcements made at IBM InterConnect 2016 range across the Cloud Data Services portfolio and are integral to the open for data theme that Schoettle introduced in his blog. These announcements introduce the ways IBM customers can leverage the power of open data analytics in their Cloud Data Services strategies.

Simplified access to diverse open source databases

Announced on 4 February 2016, IBM Compose Enterprise is expected to provide a single point of access that is available as a database as a service for tapping into open source databases such as Amazon Elasticsearch, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis and RethinkDB.

Open framework, tool and platform for graph analytics

Included in the 4 February 2016 announcement, IBM Graph leverages Apache TinkerPop to provide a robust graph computing framework that incorporates the Gremlin graph-specific query language.

Open data marketplace for data scientists, developers and data consumers

Also integral to the 4 February 2016 announcement, IBM Analytics Exchange provides a self-service, IBM Bluemix platform–based data marketplace for easy access to high-quality data sets that are ready to use for incorporation into machine-learning, advanced analytics and other applications.

Embedding open cognitive analytics in Internet of Things–capable edge devices and gateways

Announced on 19 February 2016, Quarks provides an open code base for developers to build embedded cognitive analytics for Internet of Things endpoints and applications. As discussed in a recent blog post about Quarks, it can manage and analyze continuous streaming data on any Internet of Things–capable device. It provides a single runtime for analyzing Internet of Things data at the edge using sophisticated techniques. It also runs on Internet of Things edge devices and gateways, and enables continuous correlation of data across the Internet of Things. And Quarks, now available on GitHub, works with Apache Spark, Apache Hadoop, IBM InfoSphere Streams, IBM Internet of Things Foundation and many other environments.

Accelerating the development of cognitive applications through open APIs

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM announced new and advanced IBM Watson application programming interfaces (APIs) on the cloud to accelerate the emotional IQ and image recognition capabilities of cognitive systems. These cognitive APIs enable developers to tap into Watson’s emotional and visual senses, further extending the capabilities of an extensive and highly diverse set of cognitive technologies and tools. Three APIs—Tone Analyzer, Emotion Analysis and Visual Recognition—are now available in beta versions, while Text to Speech (TTS) has been updated with new emotional capabilities and is being re-released as Expressive TTS for general availability. All APIs are available through the IBM Watson Developer Cloud on Bluemix.

Opening up the value of data and applications across hybrid clouds

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM announced Cloud Connect, a family of connectors that unlocks existing data and applications for easy discovery and use in cloud applications. The announcement also includes new tools that turn software into APIs for easy consumption in services that may run in public, private or hybrid clouds.

Storing and managing heterogeneous open data in the cloud

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM announced new object-based cloud storage services to help clients better manage their growing volumes of unstructured data. The new IBM Cloud Object Storage is expected to combine technology from Cleversafe, the recently acquired leading-edge object storage company, with IBM Cloud to provide enterprises with fast, flexible, hybrid cloud storage-as-a-service solutions. These new services enable IBM to provide enterprises with a choice of multiple APIs and the option to store massive amounts of data efficiently on premises, on IBM Cloud or across the two in a hybrid environment. This option offers the same level of reliability and consistency of technology across all deployment models.

Enabling development of event-driven, cloud-based, open analytics microservices

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM announced it is unveiling a fast, open alternative to event-driven programming. The newly announced IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk platform empowers developers to build feature-rich, event-driven applications quickly and easily. Developers can use OpenWhisk to rapidly build microservices that automatically execute software code in response to events such as a mouse click or receiving sensor data from any Internet of Things–capable device. OpenWhisk taps into Watson to enable applications that perform cognitive analysis and provide unique and transformative experiences.

Speeding the collaborative development of open analytics in mobility applications

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM announced it is bringing the Apple-developed, open source Swift language to the cloud to help radically simplify end-to-end development of data-driven analytics applications. IBM announced a preview of a Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog that enables developers to create enterprise mobile applications. Developers can start exploring the benefits of Swift on the IBM Cloud today through the Swift Sandbox and by developing and deploying Swift apps with Kitura, a new, open source web server released by IBM on both the OS X and Linux operating systems. They can also get started by creating Swift packages and submitting and sharing them to the global developer community through the Swift Package Catalog on Bluemix.

Expanding the developer ecosystem for open analytics

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM and partner Gigster announced that Gigster is tapping into IBM Cloud as its preferred platform to enable developers to build next-generation, cognitive-fueled applications. IBM will equip Gigster’s shared economy of 1,400 top developers with a cloud development platform that offers APIs for cognitive computing, the Internet of Things and more. Gigster is expected to tap into IBM Cloud’s predictive intelligence through Bluemix to run its project management system.

Tapping into a collaborative open-source analytics repository

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM and GitHub announced a strategic partnership to offer the GitHub Enterprise service in dedicated and local hybrid clouds. The offering is to be integrated with Bluemix’s broad portfolio of DevOps tools, including access to more than 140 APIs and services for cognitive computing and Internet of Things application development, as well as new sources of data. By enabling developers to view, collaborate, integrate APIs, iterate, deploy and update on one single platform, GitHub Enterprise on IBM Cloud can equip large corporations with an environment that can be used to build specific, competitive applications at the same speed as small, disruptive companies.

Deploying open analytics and data into hybrid clouds

At IBM InterConnect 2016, IBM and VMware announced their strategic partnership to accelerate enterprise hybrid cloud adoption. The new agreement is expected to enable enterprises to easily extend their existing workloads, including open data analytics, from their on-premises, software-defined data center to the cloud. Clients can have additional reach and scale to easily start locally and scale globally with cloud capabilities, and also comply with data residency and other regulatory mandates.

Take your open for data journey to the next step, and review open for data, Cloud Data Services and cognitive Internet of Things content from sessions at IBM InterConnect 2016 by checking out the event’s website, Tumblr page, Twitter page and Facebook page.