Benefits to Small Startups from Bluemix
July 12, 2017

Benefits to Small Startups from Bluemix

John Olsen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cloud PaaS (formerly IBM Bluemix - PaaS)

It's used across the whole organisation, Bluemix is providing the foundation for our enterprise apps, which we develop as mobile-first developers. The availability of push notifications, the functionality and integrity of the mobile system, as well as the overall security are the keys to its value to us.
  • Flexible development environments available, all interoperative, from Docker-based to apiconnect-based. We can use several repo-sites and keep code versions well tracked and reclaimable on any of them. The networked nature of the systems means we can develop from a world wide basis of engineers and programmers, although right now we have one Senior Software Engineer and a couple of coders, in different countries.
  • Datasources can be connected from anywhere.
  • Mobile Endpoint Security, and Server Security (meeting or exceeding 27001 and 27002) with IBM, represent resellable value to us.
  • We are a fledgling company, but as soon as we are able to afford to use the Blockchains offered by IBM, we will do so, because we can eliminate one entire class of financial (or any trust/transaction-based) risk this way.
  • With the use of Cordova we can code our front ends once and cover the web, Android and iOS platforms together with minimal fuss to tailor the code.
  • Sometimes the API Connect GUIs don't cleanly disengage after attaching models or updating schema and it is hard to know what has been written successfully and which (if any) models or tables were missed. I shouldn't have to manually check through a list of 377 models to find the ones in and out of a list on either models, folder or database tables. Printing a summary even in logs which did a "diff" sort of thing between 'task-set' and 'task-completed' (referring to attaching models or updating schema as tasks here as 'tasks').
  • Provide access to Postgres Database in Sydney datacentre for Australia.
  • Clearer documentation around setting up a secure (referring to SSL and certificate setup here) server on eg,
  • Allow a ramp in pricing onto the Blockchains. We will not be able to afford it until quite a few years into production, even if we launch successfully.
  • IBM Bluemix is mainly a foundation enabler at this stage, although our business plan does look promising.
  • The low cost of development on Bluemix for a start-up like us is so helpful......we had no spare cash for this project besides what we could save or borrow at first, and that wasn't much. We are still trying to attract venture capital to cover the main Cordova Coding effort plus the launch "Cash Burn".
  • Features like push notifications, mobile-back end, and world-beating security help us to sell our SaaS products/services.
  • The pure (usually!) functionality of IBM products and services is very rewarding to work with.They are so insightful and thoughtful, to say naught of clever!
We had been using Red Hat systems but found they could not financially do business with us in Australia. We came to IBM with an open mind, as I had my first experiences with networked IBM computing as a trainee mech engineer using FORTRAN on a remote TTY terminal in North Sydney from James Howden's offices.

Those times opened my eyes a lot and impressed me even then, in 1976.

Compare that to using CloudFoundry from way down the South Coast of NSW and experiencing the speed with which I could build a basic app server which worked and be able to edit code, and together with our casual software engineer, I was able to learn how CloudFoundry apps worked (including all about Docker). The degree of automation is amazing with the CloudFoundry systems, but I have to admit we stumbled onto all this partly because Red Hat failed us in a business sense, and my memories of my prior contacts with IBM have all been impressive, so when we started searching for an alternative PaaS provider, they seemed [to be the] most reliable, safest and best of the prospects.
Not important at all so far. We have to develop apps that are reliable and most importantly predictable as far as outcomes from tasks are concerned.
By installing Docker locally, we were able to code/test/run etc., our apps locally, building, running and linking pairs of small containers housing an app server and a database server. Alterations can be made to the models or the database tables, code can be edited, all locally. You can then "push" all the code from the app's root directory, to Bluemix in the Cloud (we have used the US South region as well as the Sydney, Australia region) with "cf push <app_name>", or "commit" and "push" to your upstream repo, and build & run it from there.

The cloud version, including API endpoints for each model should then be available on the Bluemix site from the browser, as long as you have configured your web certificates properly for the SSL system (https://). Of course you need to have connected a database service, with schema, and a full set of models for the app server to connect to. Adding database functions on the database server to post between 2 layers of the database (the Use Case layer receiving incoming Form-Data, and the Raw Business-Data Layer) and routing code in the node.js app server completes the backend.
We have used Red Hat which does not do business in Australia with people like us. They were a promising service (PaaS) while we were able to use the free version but as soon as we needed access to serious mobile-first services we had to pay and their policy meant we had to leave. Don't know why they don't want to do this sort of low-end business in Australia.

We briefly looked at Heroku and others but quickly realised that since we demand enterprise strength security, strength insight, and reliability, we had to choose IBM Bluemix.
For us as a start-up IT company (offering SaaS) whose entire existence revolves so far around the possibilities offered by the cloud and a PaaS like Bluemix, we are building our image on a "Mobile-First" reputation, and have the necessary skills to write our own financial recording/reporting systems, with master ledgers updated from journals, as well as the other bells and whistles required by modern enterprise apps. Bluemix allows our customers, people in businesses, to connect from the field or office, from anywhere in the world, and complete any (100%) of tasks available on the applications. Where the data to be recorded is largely text and numbers encodable in JSON format, real-time internet can be used very effectively to transmit requests and receive responses from the servers in the cloud. We arrange to save images and/or video recordings "on-device" until the user returns to an office or location where a wi-fi modem or hotspot can be connected to.

IBM Cloud Foundry Feature Ratings

Services-enabled integration
Development environment creation
Development environment replication
Issue monitoring and notification
Upgrades and platform fixes