Novell and Web Development?

By Blane Warrene
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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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