Development hold ups at Lotus are stalling IBM ambitions to port its IBM Software Suites to the Linux and Sco platforms.
The vendor formally announced the suites for AIX and Sun at BPEC, its annual business partner conference in New Orleans last week, following on plans revealed to PC Week last year. IBM is eyeing Sco and Linux as the next two possible candidates for future ports of its software suites.
The suites, which until last week had only been ported to the Microsoft NT platform as a rival to Microsoft BackOffice, are the form the backbone of IBM's ebusiness offerings like Start Now Ebusiness. The basic constituents of the suites, which come in small business, departmental and enterprise editions, are Lotus Domino, the UDB database, MQ series middleware, the AFS fileserver and the Web server, Websphere.
But SCO and Linux versions of Lotus Domino are not available yet and there will not be while Lotus Domino 5.0 continues to slip. This version of Domino is entirely different from previous versions, as its client versions will be interchangeable with products from rivals like Microsoft.
"Clearly getting Domino 5.0 out is Lotus' first priority, but a Linux version of Domino is planned for later this year," said Richard Sullivan, vice president of integrated solutions marketing at IBM. Lotus has not yet committed to a SCO version, he added.
DB2, MQ and AFS have already been ported to both Sco and Linux. Sullivan believes that there will be a market for Suites on Linux, but the Sco market is much larger.
But analyst Janet Waxman, programme director at IDC, was unconvinced that IBM should be porting its suites to other vendors hardware. "It's very interesting that IBM has decided to port to Sun at the same time as IBM's RS/6000. Sun should be IBM's worst nightmare," she said.
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