Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Stop Dreaming

Articles and Tips: article

by Amber Boehm

01 Mar 2005

In your vision of an IT utopia, you choose the tools and deployment methods that best suit your needs for each project. In reality, it often comes down to applications. The decision to select a particular platform has long been driven by which platform is needed to support your critical business applications.

And that's when the vendor has you. Once that software and its platform are integral to your business, as the business grows you have no choice but to crawl back to the vendor--and hope for leniency. You'll need additional expensive licenses. You may have to upgrade to get support. And if you need a new set of software altogether, the vendor will often jab you with the sticker price for other solutions in its arsenal. You can't switch vendors and you can't test-drive products that have the performance you want--at the price you can actually afford. No, you're heavily invested in a suite and its system. And guess what? They don't play nice with cheaper--often better--solutions on the market.

But reality is changing. Today, open source software brings with it the freedom to choose. Open applications don't dictate platform selection, so there is no fear of vendor lock-in. What's more, constant patches and virus attacks--a fact of life with certain products--can now be a thing of the past.


File Services

Novell iFolder and Novell Storage Services

Personal file backup and anytime/anywhere access. Granular file access control and management.

Print Services


Supports IPP standards-based printing for Windows, Mac and Linux clients. Using Web-based maps, users can quickly find and install printers on their network anywhere in the world.

Web Experience

Virtual Office

Provides the end user with browser-based access to files, printers, e-mail, applications, links, corporate information, etc.

Web Collaboration

Virtual Teams

End users can quickly create their own team workspaces including shared directories, discussion boards, chat sessions, team Web sites, etc., without the assistance of IT staff.

Identity Services

Novell eDirectory

Provides single user identity which enables global security and management policies for access to resources. Web address book with search and self administration.

High Availability

Novell Clustering

Clustering which provides high availability for both NetWare and Linux servers.

Install and Patch/ Update Services

Novell ZENworks

Includes components of Novell ZENworks for easily updating both NetWare and Linux servers.

Administration/ Monitoring Services

Novell iManager & CIM

Browser-based single point of administration for all Novell Open Enterprise Server services. CIM-based management and providers. Server health monitoring is integrated into Novell iManager.

Desktop Integration

Novell client experience

Login script support, file access, background authentication, Novell iPrint, Novell iFolder available on both Windows and Linux desktops.

At its simplest, open source is software that ships with the source code. It's also free, so the price sure seems right, but the savings extend beyond that. You have the right to modify the source code to meet the needs of your business. And because such retrofitting can, and often must, be shared with the open source community, the software continually evolves. People improve it, adapt it and fix bugs and security holes at a speed that seems astonishing, especially when you're used to the slow pace of conventional software development.

Without question, open source is one of the most important forces in enterprise IT. You worry; however, if you move to open source, will you lose all vendor support? How secure is the technology, really? Will it scale? Is it easily managed? You require more than a do-it-yourself Linux kit; you need all the pieces integral to a sophisticated, reliable and highly secure enterprise-class deployment.

At the 2004 BrainShare Europe conference in Barcelona, CEO Jack Messman stressed the necessity of allying the proprietary and open source arenas. The future of software development, he said, is not to be found in either model, but in one that combines the best of both--in "both source," as Novell now calls it. Novell Open Enterprise Server is built upon this model. With the Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 and NetWare 6.5 operating systems, integrated management tools and a comprehensive array of proven Novell applications, Open Enterprise Server gives you the best of both worlds. You can securely leverage open source to build and power your line-of-business applications; you can adapt and evolve Web and application services with ease; and with a global ecosystem at your beck and call, you'll never want for support.

Both Source, Both Kernels

Only Novell Open Enterprise Server brings together expertise and knowledge from proprietary networking services with the best of the open source community. Plus, Open Enterprise Server, like open source itself, is all about choice: you don't have to choose between NetWare and Linux. "We said we're not dropping NetWare but adding Linux," says Messman, "And we're still committed to that promise." If Messman and Novell are adamant about anything, it is this. The collection of services--including Novell Nterprise Linux services--in Open Enterprise Server transparently interoperates between the operating environments. You can mix and match to suit your needs, and even run Windows alongside your NetWare and Linux boxes. Novell works with open standards so you can take advantage of anything and everything that you want.

Use the Source, Luke

As a NetWare customer, you know how important NetWare is to your infrastructure. You have trusted it for years to provide you with enterprise-level file, print and networking services. Now NetWare is back in the developer space--and it's morphed into an environment that goes well beyond file and print.

Starting with NetWare 6, Novell added a number of open source components to NetWare, including Apache Web Server; Tomcat, the servlet container created by the Apache Foundation; and the Perl scripting engine. NetWare 6.5--the NetWare version included in Open Enterprise Server--adds the MySQL database and the Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) scripting engine to the open source mix. The resulting package, called NetWare AMP (Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl), lets you develop and host sophisticated Web-based solutions quickly and easily on your NetWare 6.5 server. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1


Apache is the software of choice for nearly 70 percent of all Web servers. It runs on all major platforms, and can scale to handle thousands of simultaneous connections to host even the most complex Web sites.


MySQL is the most popular open source alternative to traditional relational database management systems (RDBMSs). And as with open source in general, it has a lot more going for it than its price. It's fast, for example; no RDBMS is faster. It's also the easiest SQL server to maintain and requires the fewest overall hardware and platform resources. In addition, while MySQL doesn't offer the power of certain other RDBMSs, if you don't need features like triggers and stored procedures--and most don't--you'll find it much easier to get your database and related applications up and running with MySQL. Oracle database administrators must go through extensive training to learn how to properly maintain their large, complex and expensive database systems. (Should you need a database that implements more high-end features, PostgreSQL, which is also included sans price tag in Novell Open Enterprise Server, has less speed than MySQL but greater breadth of functionality.)

MySQL is also robust: the MySQL engine can support tens of millions of records and hundreds of concurrent users. Yahoo!, Google, Caterpillar and UPS are just a few of the companies that leverage MySQL in the enterprise.

And because MySQL is open source, it's yours to tinker with. In addition, because Novell has chosen to pay for the commercially licensed version of MySQL, users of Novell Open Enterprise Server are not subject to any licensing restrictions: you can modify the source code at will and you do not need to turn your modifications over to the open source community, unless you choose to do so. (Along with any modifications made to the other AMP software in Open Enterprise Server, Novell has chosen to give its MySQL code modifications back to the open source community.)


PHP is a widely used general-purpose scripting language well suited for dynamic Web development. It provides the scripting, command-line and GUI application tools necessary to create state-of-the-art Internet and XML applications.

Perl is the oldest of the server-side Web-scripting languages. Used for almost any task, it is best suited for small applications, text processing and Web forms.

There are literally thousands of open source applications on Web sites such as and written using PHP and Perl. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2

These free applications will install within minutes right on top of your NetWare AMP infrastructure--without any changes at the code level. And again, because these apps are open source you can also modify them. PHP and Perl are fairly straightforward scripts; in cases where you don't have a large budget or skilled programming talent in place, you can take these ready-made applications and easily drop in your own JPEGS, GIFS, banners, etc., to give your Web pages their own look and feel.

A number of excellent portals have also been written in PHP such as phpBB2 Plus. You can modify the source code as you see fit and deploy one of these, rather than invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to put up a major portal using something like Microsoft.NET or Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE).


In addition to PHP and Perl, Novell Open Enterprise Server also includes popular scripting languages: Novell Script for NetWare, Novell ScriptPages (NSP) and Universal Component System (UCS). These scripting languages simplify the task of developing NetWare-based applications and are much easier than writing NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) using C or C++.

When you need greater processing power beyond what scripting has to offer, NetWare 6.5 offers these two choices:

Jakarta-Tomcat --Tomcat is the better choice if you are relatively new to or inexperienced with Java programming or if you need only very basic Java servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSPs). It is quite stable and includes all of the features of a commercial Web application container. As with PHP and Perl, there are thousands of applications leveraging Java on Tomcat that are freely available from the open source community. (Apache is pre-configured to work with Jakarta-Tomcat.) (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3

Novell exteNd Application Server --Novell exteNd is a comprehensive, J2EE-certified platform for building and deploying enterprise-class Web applications. It is the right choice if you plan to deploy sophisticated Web services using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI), or any of the high-end development tools, such as Novell exteNd Director and Novell exteNd Composer, that are compatible with Novell Open Enterprise Server. It supports the full J2EE standard: JSPs, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), and all other J2EE 1.3 components and technologies. It also supports deployment to other J2EE application servers, including IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and Tomcat.

NetWare Web Search Server

Of course, no Web solution is complete without capable searching functionality. With QuickFinder (formerly NetWare Web Search Server), you can find information on any of your public and private Web sites as well as on internal file servers, partner sites and Web sites across the Internet--all from a single search form on your Web page. You can create full-text indices of HTML, XML, PDF, Word and many other document formats--in almost any language--with the Novell Unicode-based indexing engine. And you can easily modify the look and feel of any sample search results pages to match your corporate design.

From hosting simple Web pages to large Web applications and services, NetWare AMP has the technological components you need.

So, What Does the "L" Stand For?

There's NetWare AMP and then there is its predecessor: the proven and longtime open source solution, LAMP--Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl and Python. LAMP offers the same great services--and then some.


The scripting language Python, popular with Linux users, is supported on the Linux side of Novell Open Enterprise Server. It can be used for anything from simple scripting tasks to complex object-oriented application development. It is also considered to be an excellent language for beginning programmers.

SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server

The Linux in Novell's LAMP is SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9. You can leverage SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server in Open Enterprise Server to run numerous business applications developed for Linux, in addition to the applications you can already run on NetWare. Because SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 is the first enterprise-class Linux server built on the new Linux 2.6 kernel, it has the power to really shake things up in your infrastructure.

Then...and Now

Traditionally, Linux has not been the platform of choice for running mission-critical applications. Solaris, AIX and HP/UX have historically filled that niche. The Linux 2.6 kernel has changed all that. Kernel improvements such as support for Intel's Hyper-Threading technology and 64-bit processors allow SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server to take full advantage of the latest Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) hardware innovations. Kernel preemption also enables much better system performance, response and scalability, especially when placed under heavy multitasking loads. Likewise, Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) support increases performance and efficiencies for large, symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) designs.


In essence, hyperthreading enables a single physical processor to masquerade as two or more processors--thereby boosting performance. It also adds scheduling complexity, but the scheduler in the 2.6 kernel can recognize and optimize processor loads across both real and virtual processors. (Windows 2000 Servers can see these faux processors, but they do not recognize them as virtual. On these servers you will require additional CPU licenses to take advantage of the feature.) SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server also includes in-kernel support for the new Native Posix Threading Library (NPTL). NPTL delivers performance gains for heavily threaded applications, including Java virtual machines.

Kernel Preemption

Kernel preemption enables certain codepaths in the Linux kernel to be interrupted and preceded by higher priority paths. In other words, critical applications can continue to run even when something low level and complicated is going on in the background.


Current multiprocessing systems were designed with many of the same limitations as their uniprocessor counterparts: only a single pool of memory is expected to serve all processors, for example. SMP is adequate up to 8--12 CPUs, but the 2.6 kernel supports up to 64 CPUs. NUMA avoids a potentially disastrous bottleneck by enabling these CPUs to access a dedicated memory bus for local memory. NUMA also supports multiple interconnected memory nodes, which each support a smaller number of CPUs. The result is greater scalability for applications accessing local memory.

Kernel Specs

SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 supports more than 4 billion unique users and groups. File systems have a theoretical upper limit of 16 TB and support 64 GB of RAM. As a result, SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server can now support some of the largest server architectures around. And unlike Microsoft Windows, it supports a broad range of hardware architectures, including x86, AMD64 (Athlon and Opteron) and Intel EM64T, as well as the Intel Itanium Processor Family, IBM POWER, IBM zSeries and IBM S/390. A common code base makes it easy to build applications for a variety of system architectures; move code between development, test and production environments; and support different hardware as the needs of your business change.

Put Your Money Away

When choosing an enterprise Web application infrastructure, companies are often unaware they're spending more than they need to. IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic, for example, are traditionally deployed on high-priced, proprietary Unix operating systems running on expensive hardware such as Solaris and AIX.

With Novell Open Enterprise Server, you can deploy your entire J2EE stack on inexpensive Intel commodity-based hardware. It's the difference between taking a robust 4-way or 8-way Intel box that might cost a couple hundred thousand dollars and using a Solaris or X-type server that will cost 2 million to 4 million dollars.

It's also very easy to cluster servers running Novell Open Enterprise Server. You can create a two-server cluster out of the box, and grow that cluster up to 32 servers--achieving levels of redundancy and uptime never before available on inexpensive Intel hardware. With Open Enterprise Server, you get mainframe-like reliability and scalability--with Intel economics.

Linux kernel 2.6 efficiencies in Open Enterprise Server also enable you to deploy Linux on older machines, reducing expenditures for new hardware. Switching to Linux gives your IT assets a longer useful service life.

Stop the Insanity

If you can avoid the licensing fees of IBM and BEA, you're way ahead of the game. For those application servers you will shell out anywhere from $2,000 per CPU for limited licensing and functionality, to $24,000 per CPU for the full editions. And as your Web application use grows and you add more processors to support the changing workload, you'll end up paying far more for the very same piece of software.

There is another option. The open source JBoss Application Server is freely available in Novell Open Enterprise Server. You can support a dozen applications on a uniprocessor x86 box or 100 applications on a 64-way Unix behemoth and JBoss still costs nothing.

Microsoft Option
Open Enterprise Server/Open Source Option

Web Server




SQL Server

MySQL, PostgreSQL

Web Scripting

Active Server Pages

Perl, PHP, Python, Java Server Pages

Applications/Web Services


Mono, Java, J2EE, JBoss


Windows XP

Novell Linux Desktop

JBoss Application Server is the first open source application server to achieve J2EE 1.4 compliance through Sun Microsystems. Sun's is the industry's only comprehensive test suite for assessing compatibility with the J2EE specifications--ensuring application portability and the seamless interoperability of best-of-breed Java components. The combination of JBoss, Open Enterprise Server and Novell exteNd provides a mature and cost-effective environment for delivering enterprise applications on Linux.

Continuing its commitment to providing the benefits of open source to users of both NetWare and Linux, Novell will soon replace Novell exteNd Application Server with JBoss on the NetWare side of Open Enterprise Server.

...And in Your Network Bind Them...

Sticker price aside, there's no question that open source is more desirable if migration takes place without daily disruptions to business. Open Enterprise Server provides a networking foundation where NetWare and SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server coexist and interoperate within your infrastructure. Portability is inherent: you can take PHP script, Perl script or your MySQL database store, for example, and move each between NetWare and Linux without changing the scripting code. Novell Nterprise Linux Services will also interoperate transparently: if you have NetWare servers delivering print services and SUSE LINUX servers running the file system, or vice versa, you can print between the two without making modifications.

Novell Open Enterprise Server is accommodating and responsive to changes due to company mergers and acquisitions, personnel, company direction and strategy and, of course, technology. By using integrated upgrade and migration utilities, you can select the platform mix that is best suited for your needs--and you can deploy services across your enterprise, right when and where they are needed. End users experience no change in operation and you can leverage your current infrastructure and skill set as you're migrating in either direction.

In addition, integrated common management tools in Open Enterprise Server bind NetWare and Linux together to help you easily manage your mixed enterprise environment. Open Enterprise Server provides the following management services, all of which help to keep costs down and interoperability at a maximum:

Identity Management --Novell eDirectory features a distributed architecture with policy-based user and group management and hierarchical rights definition. Included drivers synchronize identity information between NT domains, Active Directory and eDirectory. Additional drivers are available to integrate a myriad of other applications and directories. The comprehensive identity management solution enables your enterprise to deliver the right resources to the right people--securely, efficiently and affordably.

Global, Browser-Based Management --Open Enterprise Server features Novell iManager for global management of users and groups and administration of multiple directories, as well as for storage, server, and printer monitoring--managed from anywhere, through any browser.

Management of Users, Servers and the Enterprise --The Common Information Management (CIM) architecture allows management data to be delivered through any number of third-party management tools. Companies already using CIM-supported management tools for other portions of their technology architecture can now leverage these on Open Enterprise Server. For example, iManager plug-ins for system health monitoring and storage use the CIM framework. Future versions of Open Enterprise Server will include many more such plug-ins.

Easy and Automatic Updates --Novell ZENworks assesses risks and also reports on and automatically deploys the patches necessary for each network device.

Taking On "You Know Who"

A key in the enterprise and in open source is to play nice with the world of Windows--which Novell Open Enterprise Server does. On the other hand, if you're looking for an exit strategy from restrictive Microsoft technologies, Open Enterprise Server provides a compelling alternative.

What About Security?

One of the weaknesses of Microsoft products is just that--they are products made by Microsoft. As such, they are automatic targets for the software hacking community. Outbreaks such as Nimda and Code Red have plagued Microsoft IIS and the Windows platform in general, and the SQL Slammer worm is one of many forms of malware that have heavily infected Microsoft SQL Server over the years. Microsoft's notoriety paints a large bull's-eye on every one of its products.

The deep integration and multiple interdependencies among Microsoft components also create a major security challenge. When a Windows component or application is broken, it is often because Windows itself is broken. This is one thing that makes Windows patch development so difficult and time consuming. And sometimes, other components have been developed with dependencies on the actual bug: by fixing Windows, you may well break several applications that depend on inherently flawed code.

With open source software, anyone can see how the program works and modify it. By its very nature, then, it is vulnerable to hackers and their viruses. But to date, Linux has experienced relatively few attacks: the open source community pulls together to continually maintain programs and improve security. The good guys outnumber the bad, as it were, and always stay a step or two ahead.

This fact is coupled with another: modeled on Unix, open source systems are modular. As a result, these systems have far fewer interdependencies than Windows. So what does this mean? It means that developers can tweak a major component in Linux without reworking the kernel or other system components. Modularity is the reason bugs in open source software such as the Apache Web server can be fixed in a matter of days, while the IIS Web server might take weeks or even months to repair. It is also why there are always a number of known but unresolved security issues with Windows.

But It's About So Much More Than Security

Security is just one complication with the Windows solution to Web-based applications. Another major disadvantage is that solutions developed using IIS, SQL Server and a Virtual Basic (VB) development environment only work in a Windows environment. Similarly, while Novell Open Enterprise Server fully supports J2EE, Microsoft's .NET strategy is still fundamentally proprietary: servlets or applications written to .NET services are not portable to other systems.

In addition, Windows Server 2003 is not an out-of-the-box Web-services deployment suite. Far from it, in fact: it does not include a database server, application server, development tools or an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). All must be purchased separately.

Microsoft's expensive licensing policies make an open source alternative even more attractive. Replacing the Microsoft IIS environment with Novell Open Enterprise Server eliminates major security problems, gives you access to AMP/LAMP open-source technologies and also provides a development environment and Web-services functionality right out of the box.

Open Enterprise Server provides much-improved portability as well. For example, the included J2EE applications and many other popular platforms can run securely on both Open Enterprise Server platforms--while leveraging features that simplify Web development and decrease time to market. In addition, the Mono Project is bringing the ease of use that marks Microsoft's .Net tools to developers creating software for non-Microsoft operating systems. (For more information see Mono Opens Up .NET.)

So... Why This Linux?

Only through Novell can you put Linux to work across the enterprise. But for Linux products to be of value, enterprise-class security, scalability and reliability are essential. With Open Enterprise Server, it's about the services up the stack--not just the operating system itself.

It's Secure... and Then Some

SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 has earned the highest level of security and operations certification in the Linux market: Common Criteria (CC) Common Access Protection Profile (CAPP) Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+. Its comprehensive set of critical services includes rich authentication and access control; support for encrypted file systems; virtual private network, firewall and proxy services; automated monitoring and intrusion detection; and an easy-to-use certificate authority solution.

Novell Open Enterprise Server enables still greater security on Linux--and on NetWare:

  • Centrally managed security policies eliminate security issues.

  • Policy-based security allows you to set the standard, but also to easily adjust for specific needs.

  • Drivers synchronize user passwords across disparate systems in the enterprise.

In addition, with the included Novell Modular Authentication Service (NMAS) you can require multiple authentication methods and set up graded authentication. A simple password, for example, can provide access to basic resources, while a digital certificate or a combination of methods will widen that access. Finally, Novell iChain is designed to work with Novell eDirectory and provide secure authentication to Web services such as portals.

It's Reliable and It Will Scale

With Novell Open Enterprise Server, you can deploy any number of two-server clusters to ensure service availability. Your server clusters can be NetWare servers, Linux servers or a combination of both. You can license up to 32 additional nodes per cluster.

Of course, as your organization grows, so do storage needs. Novell Storage Services is a 64-bit, indexed storage system that can handle billions of directories and files--with file sizes up to 8 terabytes. Included in Open Enterprise Server, Novell Storage Services provides the most secure shared file system available for the enterprise, with a single view of networked files stored on Linux, Windows and NetWare servers.

It'll Back You Up

Novell Storage Solutions also supports pool snapshots--metadata copies of storage data pools that preserve a point-in-time view of every file in the pool. You can perform backups at any time without disrupting business, and you can activate snapshots at a later time to recover any number of previous versions of a file. Snapshot tools in Open Enterprise Server are also independent of hardware vendors; you can leverage a mix of storage hardware vendors in your storage infrastructure.

Why Novell?

While you probably like the power and flexibility Linux allows, you may still be reluctant to adopt it. The number one reason for hesitation is support.

If you have purchased Novell Open Enterprise Server, you can call Novell if you need support. On the other hand, if you download open source code and run it outside of Open Enterprise Server, there could well be no one for you to call.

The Doctor Is In

Through the acquisition of Ximian and SUSE LINUX, Novell has expanded its support portfolio to include some of the industry's most innovative and experienced open source experts. And Novell is unique among Linux vendors: it provides 24x7x365 worldwide Linux support. Novell offers a number of support options, including on-site services, field and dedicated support engineers, enterprise-level service agreements and more--all focused on your unique system and business needs.

Novell also employs a large in-house IT consulting staff, and supports a global channel partner network. Both have the credentials to help you design IT strategies that leverage Linux and open source software, without limiting future infrastructure choices.

Get Up to Speed

Novell helps all levels of an organization achieve comfort and proficiency with Linux. The Novell Technical Skills Assessment (TSA) tailors training programs to specific needs and measures pre- and post-training competency levels.

Novell has also created a variety of Linux certification tracks. These include training that maps to vendor-independent certifications such as Linux Professional Institutes Level 1 and Level 2 certifications, certifications on the Novell SUSE LINUX distribution, and finally, the Novell Practicum examination. Novell can recommend appropriate curriculum and exams based on job roles and real-world Linux IT positions.

Have No Fear

Novell is no newcomer to Linux. eDirectory has supported Linux for five years, and many other Novell services run on Linux and are supported with application programming interfaces (APIs) for rapid third-party development. Novell is committed to delivering an impressive range of open source development tools and services to its customers: AMP, enterprise Linux, open source YaST (its leading SUSE LINUX configuration tool), Novell iFolder and Novell's primary development platform--Eclipse IDE. With the Mono Project, Novell is bringing open source and .NET developers together and providing an intriguing write-once, run-anywhere opportunity.

As further proof of its commitment to the open source initiative, Novell is aggressively incorporating Linux into its own IT infrastructure--from the data center down to employee desktops. Best practices documented during these migrations will be synthesized and made available to consultants, channel partners and customers to minimize their own migration risks and achieve the benefits of Linux quickly and painlessly.


As you consider making investments in Linux, you face the question of copyright safety. Jack Messman has said, "Open source threatens entrenched interests, some of whom are fighting back with vague accusations...." The Novell Linux Indemnification Program is a licensing addendum that protects your company financially should a third party file an infringement claim.

Novell provides much more than the basic warranty-like protection offered by other Linux vendors: it actually defends your company against copyright litigation. Novell is also in a unique position to defend you and open-source software: it has more than 400 patents in its portfolio which is far more than other open source providers. And Novell provides the added assurance that Novell Linux deployments will never be interrupted.

A Developer's One-Stop Shop

In another move to encourage Linux in the enterprise, Novell joined Eclipse in early 2004. Eclipse is an open source initiative dedicated to providing a commercial-quality IDE--also called "Eclipse"--for the development of applications as diverse as Web sites, embedded Java programs, C++ programs and Enterprise JavaBeans. (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4

"Plug-ins," the bits of software that extend the Eclipse platform, are the basic building blocks of all tool and language integration within Eclipse. Usually a small tool is written as a single plug-in, whereas a complex tool has its functionality split across several plug-ins. The various tools plugged in to the Eclipse Platform operate on regular files in the user's workspace. When the Platform is launched, the user is presented with an integrated development environment (IDE) composed of the set of available plug-ins.

The extensible nature of the Eclipse platform enables Novell to provide a common tooling environment to developers regardless of programming language, development framework or operating system. Any developer with an innovative idea and the knowledge to write a plug-in can alter the IDE and improve it. And you can mix and match different tools and have them work together seamlessly. In essence, Eclipse has the potential to give you the wisdom of an entire development community. It can also significantly reduce complexity by providing a unified environment for building, testing and debugging solutions. You'll shorten your development times, decrease time to market on upgrades to existing code and shorten the development learning curve.

Novell will include Eclipse on the Novell Client CD for customers who purchase Novell Open Enterprise Server, or you can download it from the Novell Web site.

Forge Ahead

The Eclipse platform also gives you access to the Novell Forge Web site, a repository of more than 250 active open source projects--many of which were launched by Novell. You can use Novell Forge to launch and manage your own open source projects, to participate in any of the projects already underway, or to join or start a focused community of interest--all within a secure environment.

A "project" involves the creation, development and distribution of a software product. The main project page displays such things as information and statistics about the project, management tools (if you are the project owner), a list of users who are project members, current file releases for the project, project news and a public area with information about bugs, enhancement requests, documentation and other items.

A "community" centers around an idea, concept, discipline, technology, market or other similar topic. Projects and communities are implemented nearly identically and share a lot of code. The primary difference is that of purpose.

To get started, simply open an account.


To realize the full potential business value of open source, you need a reliable source for applications, tools and support services. Novell Open Enterprise Server does not disappoint: it brings together the best in open source and enterprise software to provide a secure, cost-effective, high-performance solution--fully supported by a leading solutions provider.

With NetWare 6.5 in Open Enterprise Server, you can deploy open source Web services on your NetWare servers, long-time leaders in reliability and security industry-wide. But Novell is also uniquely qualified to remove the barriers to Linux adoption. With SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 and the array of open services in Open Enterprise Server you have the option to let Linux power your line-of-business applications--while delivering enterprise-class security, scalability and reliability. Open Enterprise Server sets the stage for a complete Linux-based, server-to-desktop environment, and provides solid return on investment through reduced management, hardware and licensing costs.

And because Novell backs Open Enterprise Server, you can deploy with confidence. A global staff of experts is continually developing new Linux solutions, making key contributions to open source projects and, of course, supporting your existing Linux deployments 24x7x365. Novell also provides the licensing and legal protection you need in today's litigious environment. Novell is completely committed to making Open Enterprise Server a total solution to rival any enterprise platform on the market.

NetWare AMP--Ruled A Success

The Georgia Court of Appeals is the third busiest state appellate court in the U.S. To reduce the number of calls received by the harried clerk's office, the Court wanted to leverage Web services to make its docketing information securely available to the public.

John Ruggeri, IT Project Manager for the Georgia Court of Appeals, began exploring open source technologies. "We didn't want to be locked into a proprietary solution for our database, Web design and Web services," he said. "Flexibility and portability are key issues for us." John knew he could rely on open source to reduce costs, but he knew as well that exposing the docketing process to the public would require the most secure and reliable environment possible.

In the end, the Georgia Court of Appeals leveraged NetWare 6.5 to rapidly implement open source solutions on a secure and stable platform. NetWare 6.5 allowed the Court to build and deploy a secure portal out of the box and in house--they hired no consultants. Now users can access the portal to check the status of 1500--1800 pending cases, view the court calendar and get information about filing appeals. The portal decreased phone inquiries by 30 to 40 percent in the first few months. In addition, the IT staff can leverage the open source community as a source of experience and information about their new open source technologies. They've also bought a few books on PHP and have begun to write simple scripts to make the Web site even more useful and accessible.

"With Novell, our first Web site was a no-brainer," said Ruggeri. "We made a commitment to solve our problems with software, not people. Novell has made it all possible."

Mono Opens Up .NET

The Mono Project is an open source community initiative to enable Windows applications developed for .NET to run on Linux, Unix and Mac OS X--and, very soon, on NetWare--without any rewriting or recompiling. The idea is to let you leverage your (.NET) skill set while still allowing you to choose the ideal platform(s) for your environment.

Miguel de Icaza, Mono founder and now vice president of development at Novell, started the project in 2001. Microsoft had just submitted the C# language and other core pieces of its Visual Studio .NET development tools to ECMA International for standardization. But the intellectual property rights to Microsoft's resulting shared source license stayed with Microsoft. "The limitations of the shared source license impede the development and deployment of commercial applications on other platforms," said de Icaza.

The Mono Project development platform, on the other hand, provides open source developers with a true "build once, deploy anywhere" tool set. Under the terms of the licenses used by the Mono Project, you can write and distribute commercial and proprietary applications-- something you cannot do with Microsoft's "shared source" license. Like Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net development tool, Mono enables you to write software code with different languages, including C#, Java, Python, Visual Basic and Jscript. It provides support for numerous application frameworks, including ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and gtk#. The project is centered on the development of three key elements:

  • A C# compiler extending the GNOME development platform--enabling you to create .NET-compatible applications.

  • A complete implementation of class libraries that is compatible with the Microsoft Common Language Infrastructure (CLI)--enabling you to create end-user applications as well as powerful Web services using the database functionality available on open source systems.

  • A Linux version of the Common Language Run-Time (CLR) just-in-time (JIT) run-time engine--enabling Linux systems to run .NET applications built on other platforms.

Novell is so committed to Mono that it has stopped using the C++ language to develop two of its products--iFolder and ZENworks--in favor of Mono. Novell also hosts a Web site with resources and information for Mono developers:

Mono is shipped separately with the SUSE LINUX SDK.

* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine


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