Novell has released further details of its Open Solutions Architecture (OSA), as predicted in 2 December PC Week. The OSA, which will provide developers with a framework and tools for distributed computing, is intended to revive Novell's ailing fortunes by encouraging developers to build applications for the NetWare platform. Dominic Storey, director of technology at Novell, said the key aspect of OSA is that it gives developers a way to manage distributed applications. "It's not the development of distributed applications that is the difficult part, it's the management. This is where OSA really shines," he claimed. One of the constituents of OSA which helps with management is Trader, an object broker written in Java which, according to Storey, can be used by developers to locate components easily. In Novell's vision of distributed computing, NDS is used to store details on object repositories. Using this information inside NDS, Trader can find a particular object repository and hence track down components wherever they may be located. Novell is also in the process of updating software products including BorderManager, GroupWise, ManageWise and NetWare in order to make services contained within these products available to software developers via OSA. OSA is a platform-independent framework for building server applications in Java. The framework provides developers with access to core services such as data access, directory services, management services, messaging, workflow and collaborative computing. All of this runs on a Java VM. On top of these core capabilities, OSA offers Open Services Frameworks which give developers accesses to services via components and class libraries. OSA is also designed to work with any Corba-compliant service such as Oracle NCA (Network Computing Architecture) cartridges and can be accessed from languages other than Java. Novell currently has a beta of OSA on its Web site. The full OSA SDK is due in January and will be free. OSA will also be included in NetWare 5.0, previously codenamed Moab, the next release of its network operating system which is due in the summer. OPEN SOLUTION ARCHITECTURE (OSA) Last week Novell revealed that the next release of its network operating system, codenamed Moab, will be called NetWare 5.0 when it ships next year. But the last version of NetWare, release 4.0, changed the system's handle to IntranetWare in a vague attempt to catch the intranet bandwagon. Now, the company claims it has been "successful in repositioning NetWare and Novell as a provider of Internet/intranet solutions, and we feel it is a logical evolution to resume with the NetWare brand for the Moab product". Or could it be that the rebranding just confused Novell customers?
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