This month has seen a momentous occasion in the early history of KnowNow Information. We have received our first invoice from our former employers at IBM.

IBM invoice for Bluemix use

First invoice from IBM for use of Bluemix

We use IBM’s Bluemix to create our customer’s applications. It enables us to quickly deploy our code in conjunction with services provided by the platform. As an example, if we create the web front end and server PHP then we can set this up against one of the available runtimes whilst using services such as the Rules Designer to process the data in a RESTful way.

KnowNow Information became an IBM Business Partner earlier in the year. The intention was always to resell the technologies from IBM that we ourselves used in deploying customer solutions. It is Bluemix that has been used in all of our customer’s systems so far and our Beta usage was converted into billable usage in late summer.

If I consider how much it would have cost us to deploy these solutions 5 years ago then the cost savings alone make the use of Bluemix compelling. We would have had to purchase a server to develop, a server to run the production version and access to the Rules Designer (which alone would have been multiple 000’s).

What didn’t work with Bluemix

To be fair, so far we haven’t seen a reduction in development time. Earlier in the summer there were some issues with out of date versions of the Bluemix Rules tutorials. There was also ¬†confusion over whether we could get the Eclipse based system up and running successfully on a Mac. Both of these issues have since been resolved however and I can safely say that it is now possible to prototype a customer ready application on Bluemix. I would still stop short however of considering it ready for an enterprise grade system due to the difficulty in deploying your own buildpacks and slightly shaky support.

I can’t wait to see what other services become available on Bluemix in the future. At KnowNow Information we are committed to it’s continued use for our customer’s applications. We are looking forward ¬†in particular to see what we can achieve with some of the Watson services.

If you would like to talk to someone about how we have used Bluemix or how what it might be able to achieve for your applications then contact me at