Novell has used the LinuxWorld show in San Francisco to release a new version of its Extend service-oriented architecture suite, providing complete Linux server and desktop support for the first time.
Extend 5.2 includes visual development tools to hide the complexity of Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) when integrating systems to deploy web services-based applications.
The move accompanied Novell's unveiling of a joint support agreement with JBoss, whereby Novell will bundle JBoss J2EE application server with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.
Extend includes its own J2EE application server, but in the next release, slated for late 2005, this will be replaced by JBoss.
Steve Brown, Novell's UK managing director, told vnunet.com: "Customers want to move to Java.
"There are key technology messages for the technicians and partners to absorb, but what matters most is how organisations best take advantage of this."
The suite also supports deployment on IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and Jakarta Tomcat application servers.
Brown explained that one factor in choosing the JBoss open source application server was that it was based on Novell's SuSE Linux operating system. But it was necessary to support other application servers to meet customer needs.
The software runs on SuSE and Red Hat Linux, Windows, NetWare and Solaris server operating systems. It uses drag-and-drop tools to integrate legacy systems and applications to web services.
These can then be orchestrated - run in a defined sequence - to automate the business process through personalised portals without normally resorting to programming.
Version 5.2 supports Linux desktops for the first time and has added PeopleSoft connectivity to its list of integration options.
Novell Extend 5.2 starts at $50,000 per processor. A free 30-day evaluation copy can be downloaded here.
The service-oriented architecture suite was acquired with Novell's purchase of SilverStream two years ago.
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