The beginning of a beautiful friendship

IBM and Lightbend collaborate on a toolchain for Java and Scala developers

Jane Elizabeth
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Big news from IBM and Lightbend this week: these two joined forces together to build a brand new toolchain for AI development for Java and Scala developers.

IBM and Lightbend have announced a joint collaboration this week in order to take advantage of Lightbend’s world-leading Reactive Application Development Platform on the JVM and advance the development of artificial intelligence and cognitive solutions in the enterprise. The goal of this collaboration will be to provide a complete toolchain for Java and Scala developers. Specifically, for building and deploying AI both on-premise and in the cloud.

As tech develops towards constantly streaming data, our tools have to follow suit. Applications today need to be reactive to changes in data as fast as possible. Scala is well-suited for handling streaming data and massive scale with frameworks like Spark, Kafka, and Akka. However, that’s not enough these days. Taking the next step means integrating Machine Learning and AI.

“It’s about embracing wholesale change in how we build data-centric applications,” said Jonas Bonér, founder and CTO of Lightbend. “The demands for availability, scalability, and resilience are forcing Fast Data architectures to become more like microservice architectures.”

SEE MORE: Should Scala move in the direction of a mainstream language like Java?

Two heads are better than one

The collaboration between IBM and Lightbend is fairly strategic. Combining IBM’s machine learning and other AI knowledge to Lightbend’s experience in Reactive microservices sounds like a winning recipe.

Using an open source core, Lightbend’s Reactive Platform gives developers reactive programming, data, and microservices in the JVM. With this collaboration, IBM can integrate these capabilities to its cloud platform and services, from data analytics to machine learning. In particular, IBM is planning to develop their data science tools for the Java and Scala communities. Basically, developers will be able to take advantage of the latest AI technologies while using their favorite reactive platforms. Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved!

“Java and Scala are the languages of cognitive and AI development,” said Bob Lord, IBM’s chief digital officer, “and cognitive development is the future.”

SEE ALSO: How well do you know your Scala trivia?

According to IBM, collaborating with Lightbend allows them to create new code, tools, and documentation that will help developers build Java- and Scala-based apps on the Lightbend Reactive Platform. They anticipate integrating key offerings from Lightbend across the IBM Cloud, including the Watson Data Platform. This also includes more than 150 services across cognitive intelligence, data analytics, IoT, security, DevOps, and blockchain available to developers through IBM Cloud.

“IBM and Lightbend have a history of collaboration but this strategic investment and relationship will allow enterprise developers to both reap the benefits of the Lightbend Reactive Platform while integrating IBM’s cognitive development tools, resources and support,” IBM wrote on their blog.

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Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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