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IBM and Novell Join Forces to Support Growing Demand for Open Source


At the opening of the LinuxWorld/Next Generation Data Center trade show in San Francisco, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Novell today announced a new agreement to join forces to capture a larger piece of the growing open source application server market. Under the agreement, Novell will deliver and support WebSphere Application Server Community Edition (WAS CE) as part of SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Server, making it the industry’s most comprehensive open source-based server offering.

The agreement comes on the heels of the one millionth distribution of WAS CE, IBM’s open source-based application server, which is based on Apache Geronimo and free to download and use. IBM and Novell will offer support and migration tools to help customers using JBoss to quickly and easily move to WAS CE. Combining WAS CE with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell® provides an unbeatable combination for the small and medium-size business (SMB) market, where Novell excels, and a compelling offering for enterprise customers with distributed computing environments, specifically in the retail and financial services industries. IBM and Novell will team on joint marketing and sales campaigns targeting customers around the world.
By entering into the agreement, IBM gains access to Novell’s SMB market leadership, providing new sales opportunities from Novell’s existing customer base. In return, Novell gains a strong global partner, allowing it to tap into IBM’s worldwide sales force. The partnership will provide customers with an enterprise-ready open source alternative to JBoss, while developers will have an opportunity to build on a tested platform in WAS CE, with the full support of IBM, Novell and the open source community as they build their applications.

“Customers today are looking for an integrated solution to solve their application development needs,” said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell. “Novell and IBM have partnered to bring customers a best-in-class experience by delivering two powerful software platforms through one channel. Now, when customers need support for their open source operating system or their open source application server, they can get it with one phone call to Novell.”

In addition to the agreement with Novell, IBM is also introducing the next release of WAS CE -- WAS CE 2.0. WAS CE 2.0 will have full Java EE 5 standard support providing greater developer productivity leading to reduced costs, code re-usability, leveraging of existing assets, and increased IT responsiveness to business needs. A research report from Evans Data found that WAS CE gained share nearly three times as fast as JBoss in 2006 and the Java EE 5 certification can help IBM extend that leadership.*

“By teaming with Novell, we’re able to provide customers around the world with unmatched open source technologies and support,” said Tom Rosamilia, general manager, IBM Application and Integration Middleware. “The one millionth distribution of WAS CE validates the fact that we’re meeting the needs of developers and businesses looking to embrace open source-based technologies, and the agreement with Novell allows us to take that success to the next level.”

WAS CE helps developers reduce the complexity of application development by pre-integrating the most common services for building applications. Based on core open source technology from the Java EE 5 certified Apache Geronimo application server, WAS CE 2.0 and related subscription support can help customers begin to deploy a service oriented architecture (SOA). WAS CE provides the flexibility to reuse existing services, increases time to value, and enables expanded access to core applications quickly.

With the introduction of WAS CE 2.0, the IBM WebSphere Application Server family now allows customers to rapidly develop and deploy applications that leverage new Java EE 5 standards. For customers looking at open source solutions, WAS CE 2.0 is the best option for those who need quick access to application server technology with no upfront costs. It enables businesses to accelerate development and deployment cycles by harnessing the latest innovations from the open source community.

One customer benefiting from WAS CE is Arena Solutions, a provider of on-demand product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions.

“Arena Solutions has always believed in using open source technologies in its core infrastructure,” said Eric Larkin, chief technology officer of Arena Solutions. “As part of the open source community, we’ve been able to achieve substantial business and technical benefits. When we decided to migrate our Arena PLM software to a more standards-based and modern development and delivery platform, the natural choice was to look at open source Java EE application servers. We chose IBM’s WAS CE over other development platforms like JBoss because of their level of support and ongoing involvement and commitment to open source.”

WAS CE, based on IBM’s May 2005 acquisition of Gluecode, Inc., provides a flexible foundation for developing and deploying Java applications. Technical support is offered through an annual subscription. IBM also offers its partners free sales, marketing and technical support to use WAS Community Edition. This allows partners to provide departmental and small and medium-sized customers with an open source foundation for a service oriented architecture that can scale to meet business needs. Over 400 IBM partners currently offer solutions on WAS CE.

WAS CE 2.0 will be available later this year.


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