Linuxworld: IBM and Novell to Co-market Application Server

Aug 09, 2007

IBM and Novell announce closer cooperation at Linuxworld Expo in San Francisco.

As a major aspect of collaboration, the two companies will be positioning the free WebSphere Application Server Community Edition (WAS CE) as a competitor to the Open Source Jboss solution. In contrast to the commercial WebSphere Application Server, WAS CE is based on the Open Source Apache Geronimo solution. Despite sharing a name, the two WebSphere Application Servers have a completely different code base. In fact the two products only share a couple of components such as the IBM Cloudsphere database server. Novell will be looking to include WAS CE with its Suse Linux Enterprise Server distribution and to provide support for the package.

IBM hopes to attract new mid-sized companies as customers thanks to the cooperation agreement, and is working on the assumption that Novell has customers on this scale. Big Blue also cooperates with WAS CE competitor Red Hat, who distributes the Jboss Application Server, although cooperation is restricted to mainframes. IBM will be launching joint marketing activities with Novell, in a similar style to joint marketing with Red Hat, to promote sales of Open Source products.

At the same time, IBM has announced that Version 2.0 of WAS CE will be released later this year. In the future WAS CE 2.0 will include standard support for the Java EE 5 development platform. IBM acquired the basic technology in May 2005 in the form of Gluecode. Right now, a free download of Application Server Version 1.1 is available: IBM also offers commercial support.

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