Apple’s Swift programming language already has a variety of use cases, and a growing number of developers are discovering it’s available for server-side instances, as well. To help accelerate its use on servers, perfect.org has released a new app called Perfect Assistant.
Available for Mac, Perfect Assistant is meant as an all-in-one way to create and manage server-side Swift projects. Intended for everyone from beginners all the way to seasoned developers, the app lets you do everything from start new projects from scratch to configure AWS deployment.
If you are new to Swift for the server, Perfect Assistant has some handy project templates you can use. If you already have templates, Assistant also lets you import them. It integrates with Xcode, so you don’t have to worry about fussy code transfers between IDEs or services. You can even choose to support both macOS and Linux simultaneously with a single build.
Project management is where Perfect Assistant shines. In addition to dependency management, Assistant lets you open a project in the directory or terminal, and offers build and deployment options for local, Linux, Amazon EC2 or a ‘Clean’ option that clears dependencies.
Though AWS is currently the only option for deployment, Perfect is adding Microsoft Azure in the future.
Many companies are working on server-side Swift functionality, and there are ways to piece together a respectable framework on your own. (If you want to worry about another language, Heroku is a solid option.)
IBM is involved with Swift on a deep level, though its offerings seem to lean into Kitura (a web framework and server for dedicated web services). As expected, IBM’s Swift efforts are positioned for enterprise users, and the company has reached out to the developer community, even participating in a server-side Swift talk at WWDC 2016.
None of these other options are quite as tightly integrated to Xcode or offer the familiarity of Perfect Assistant, though. “The Perfect Assistant is the next big step in making server-side Swift a key application development platform for the enterprise,” said Sean Stephens, CEO at PerfectlySoft. “Over the past year, our team has worked closely with the Swift community to address application development needs across the full stack. The Perfect Assistant is the manifestation of these conversations, and we look forward to gathering additional insights with our beta release.”
Perfect Assistant comes on the heels of independent, commissioned research to measure how Swift performed versus Node.js on Linux using Perfect 2.0. The results were surprising: not only did Swift destroy Node.js, it also beat other notable options such as Vapor, Zewo and IBM’s Kitura for both web requests and JSON data.
There’s no ‘perfect’ solution for all needs, but Perfect Assistant is one of the better options we’ve seen for linear, single-language server side development. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, it’s available for download directly from Perfect.