Novell and Web Development?

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Sounds a bit odd to the ear…However, Novell is becoming a powerful force in the Linux and Open Source marketplace, and long before buying Ximian (Linux desktop developers) and SUSE (Linux OS) Novell entrenched themselves in business environments of all sizes.

While the Novell platform never quite had the sexy marketing of its Windows and Unix counterparts, administrators everywhere continue to rave about its stability and scalability.

Importantly, to web developers cultivating clients in the medium and large business markets, you can still find Novell systems as old as 4.11 deployed. More interesting is the fact that the following open source solutions are ported to Novell:

  • Apache
  • LDAP
  • MySQL
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • PostgreSQL
  • RSync
  • Tomcat

This provides just about the complete web development platform including support for running database-driven and Java-driven solutions.

There are two tracks working here, 1) Access to customers who may be hesitatant to utilize Linux but have Netware infrastructure, and 2) Opportunities to bring Linux into a customer’s environment because of their trust in the Novell name (namely SUSE Linux Standard or Enterprise).

To some it may seem Novell was a dusty name on a dusty shelf a year or so ago. The tables have definitely turned and anyone marketing web development to the medium size business market and up should study up on the new Novell package.

Novell is of course found at their corporate site and their open source activities can be seen at Novell Forge.

As a footnote to this, considering that email service is often under the web provider’s umbrella, Ximian’s desktop includes Evolution, which has Microsoft Outlook style functionality, and also offers a separate Exchange Connector which enables Evolution users on Linux desktops to particpate in the collaborative environment of Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 and 2003.

Novell of course is integrating all of its products with SUSE’s Linux platform and Ximian products.

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  • http://www.ensight.org Jeremy W.

    There’s actually a whole lot going on than what you’re hitting at. I’ve been saving this for a day when my ideas are low though, and I’d hate for my readers not to read it first.

    You’re right that Novell could redefine things, I’m just not sure that the scope is big enough.

  • JFanolut

    Yes, Novell has all the tools you mention, but you left out their productivity tools designed exclusively for Web development applications – exteNd. The exteNd Composer IDE builds backend integrations that connect to over 20 legacy systems and exposes them as standard Web Services. And the exteNd Director IDE can consume those Web Services presenting them in custom portals and intranet applications.

  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    [QUOTE=Anonymous]Yes, Novell has all the tools you mention, but you left out their productivity tools designed exclusively for Web development applications – exteNd. The exteNd Composer IDE builds backend integrations that connect to over 20 legacy systems and exposes them as standard Web Services. And the exteNd Director IDE can consume those Web Services presenting them in custom portals and intranet applications.[/QUOTE]

    Excellent that you point that out….On that topic – Novell additionally has DirXML, which is part of their identity management framework. For larger web applications with large sets of users, DirXML can manage changes to users and syndicate this data between web apps and other servers to reduce manual user management. We leveraged this on a commercial open source app we took to market last year..

    There are probably 20 columns and blog posts alone on Novell’s tools and solutions, however, the Linux angle was very appealing to start with. I was a Novell 3 and 4.11 hack as well as operating in the Windows/Unix world and was fascinated when they acquired SUSE and Ximian. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes…..

  • verbal

    I assume that when you say “Ported to Novell” you mean “Ported to Netware”– Novell’s a lot more than Netware by this point: groupware, resource management (Zenworks), web services (ExteNd, formerly known as Silverstream), user and identity management, security, etc. etc… all apps that run on Windows and on Netware– as well as on Linux, nowadays.

    And as a footnote, Evolution 1.5 and up also work with Groupwise (6.5 and up) for all the same features– calendar, mail, addressbooks, etc. etc.

    cheers,
    verbal.