Photograph by Odd Andersen — AFP/Getty Images
By Barb Darrow
September 10, 2015

IBM is buying StrongLoop, and its expertise in the popular Node.js programming framework, to fortify its BlueMix development platform.

Terms of the deal, announced Thursday, were not disclosed. Plans call for IBM (IBM) to integrate the startup’s Node.js capabilities into both its mobile development platform and its venerable WebSphere application server, as well as to offer StrongLoop from BlueMix, which is IBM’s go-for-broke software development platform based on Cloud Foundry.

StrongLoop offered a commercially supported version of Node.JS, a server-side JavaScript framework favored by developers who want to build applications that tap into a variety of data sources. Node.JS enables developers to build software efficiently using application programming interfaces (APIs), IBM said.

The startup was founded in 2012 by Node.js experts Bert Belder, Ben Noordhuis, and Al Tsang to offer supported versions of Node.js (basically a free open-source language) for Red Hat (RHAT), Linux, CentOS, Debian/Ubuntu, Apple (AAPL) Mac OS, and Microsoft (MSFT) Windows operating systems.

IBM’s statement said JavaScript ranks as the top language “for discussion and usage” followed by Java, which remains the top language overall for building web applications and transaction systems.

“Combining StrongLoop’s tools and services with IBM’s WebSphere and Java capabilities, IBM will help clients bridge Java and Node.js development platforms, which can enable clients to extract greater value from their application investments.”

And, to cross another buzzword off the list, IBM will also add some of StrongLoop’s technologies to its Internet of Things (IoT) foundation.

For more on IBM’s cloud-and-data strategy, check out the video.

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