Novell is to create a Java virtual machine (JVM) with Intel as it chases the business application server market.
Under a project codenamed Netfire, the JVM for server based applications will be based on Intel's forthcoming IA-64 architecture. It will appear in Netware in 1999.
Novell said the development will enable users to run corporate Java applications on what one market researcher claims is world?s fastest network operating system.
But other analysts believe Novell is in danger of repeating the mistakes it made almost a decade ago when it tried and failed to get developers writing general applications for Netware, billed as the Super NOS.
Peter Joseph, corporate strategist at Novell UK, said the difference today is that applications will be written in Java - and so able to run on multiple systems - so that developers are not required to write to Netware.
The announcement does little to clear Novell?s ambiguous applications strategy. Is it trying to offer a file and print server, or an applications server? asked Clive Longbottom, strategy consultant at market researchers CSL Consultancy Services.
Joseph said: ?The JVM could executive any applications - general purpose or network applications for desktop or network services. It enables us to enhance our ability to run applications.?
He believes this could reinforce Novell's ability to run head to head against NT as an applications server platform, but only where the network plays a central role.
He said: ?Whereas you would bring NT in as part of the network, Netware IS the network. In a networked environment you would use NT to run specific applications. With Netware you are dealing with an infrastructure that is core to the network.?
Longbottom gave a word of caution. ?If it is going head to head against NT this could end up being the whole Super NOS thing again. Novell should fight at the database level. Bundling Netware 5.0 free with a five-user copy of Oracle8 is a major marketing coup - Novell should stick to databases. Business logic applications should stick with NT,? he said.
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