A rash of announcements from major database vendors has propelled the Linux Open Source operating system into the enterprise limelight.
Last week, Oracle announced it is to port its flagship Oracle 8 database, as well as Oracle Applications, to Linux running on Intel servers. It said the move was the result of developer demand for an open, low-cost platform for deploying database applications on the Internet.
Oracle 8 for Linux will be offered on a 90-day trial period via the Web and will be available by the end of the year. "Over the last few months, as the ground swell for Linux has increased, our customers have asked for Oracle's commitment to this popular platform. The announcement is a direct response to that customer demand," said Gary Bloom, executive vice president of Oracle's system products division.
The Oracle announcement follows similar plans by Informix and Computer Associates (CA) laid out earlier this month.
CA has said it will have a Linux port of its Ingres II database by September and will offer it for free on its Web site as part of a Software Developers Kit (SDK) for Unix, hoping to make money by supporting users in line with the business model used by commercial Linux vendors.
Colin MacKellar of the CA User Association said: "(Ingres II on Linux) certainly has real potential in the commercial field - it should allow low-cost, proof-of-concept work and may easily extend into production when the lessons about relative cost of ownership between Linux and NT begin to strike home. Using an operating system with the stability of Unix, in conjunction with a database of the calibre of Ingres, allows IT people to focus on the real issues of serving the business purpose of their system."
Informix also plans to support Linux, and last week announced the availability of a free developers kit that includes Informix SE, ESQL/C for Linux (Informix's SQL toolkit) and I-Connect, the runtime version of ESQL/C. The company has also initiated an Informix Linux developers' programme. Terry Lawlor, UK marketing manager at Informix, said: "It's been one of the top requests from our user groups. We've seen a significant trend in the market."
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