Novell is pinning its hopes on Java servers for a revival of its ailing fortunes. Two weeks from now the company will unveil a new strategy designed to elevate IntranetWare into an application server platform to battle Windows NT and Unix. "Novell will deliver smart new services that live across the network," said Eric Schmidt, Novell's CEO. "We will use Java to add value to our Internet business solutions." PC Week has learned that the crux of the forthcoming strategy is a server development environment called Open Solutions Architecture (OSA). Last week, the company posted an early access version of the OSA SDK on its Web site. OSA comprises a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), an object request broker (ORB), a just-in-time (JIT) compiler, a suite of Enterprise JavaBeans, Java development and management tools. Novell has also implemented an interface between the NDS directory services and the directory independent JNDI (Java Naming Directory Interface) API. The Java Virtual Machine comprises several NLMs (NetWare loadable modules) that let the Intranet-Ware server run applications and Java applets. The Novell file system and networking are available using the standard Java APIs. The Novell ORB is based on VisiBroker for Java 3.0 and, according to Novell, can be used by any CORBA-compliant Java application (client or server) running on any platform that has network access to the NetWare server running the ORB. The Novell ORB incorporates features, collectively known as Caffeine, which help developers create IIOP-compliant objects in Java. JavaBeans are available for file and print services; telephony integration; speech and internationalisation. By using Java, Novell will not need to supply its own tools. Instead it has licensed Sun's JavaStudio and Java Toolkit. In October, PC Week revealed that Novell is working on Java programs called Jackets, which will live and execute on the network. These are likely to form the management components of OSA. Shipping dates for OSA were unavailable at the time of writing. Novell refused to comment on OSA. Novell: slight profit rise Novell CEO Eric Schmidt is pleased with the upturn. The company reported a slight profit for its fourth quarter 1997, following two successive quarters of loss. For the quarter which ended 31 October, the company reported net income of $7 million (#4 million). For the full fiscal year, Novell made a loss of $78 million on revenues of $1 billion which compares to net income of $126 million for fiscal 1996.
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