Informix Software sees Linux going enterprisewide

Linux, the freeware operating system that has made it through a few
federal doors, is starting to look much more commercial now that several leading
application vendors have declared their support.


“We believe there will be a wave of Linux moving into the enterprise,” said
Steve Lambright, senior server product marketing manager at Informix Software Inc.


The Menlo Park, Calif., database company began shipping a Linux version of Informix-SE
after its user group ranked Linux support as No. 1 on their wish lists, Lambright said.


Likewise, Oracle Corp. plans a version of its Oracle8 object relational database
management system and Oracle Applications enterprise resource management suite for Linux.
Netscape Communications Corp. will port its Netscape Messaging Server and Netscape
Directory Server to Linux by early next year.


Caldera Inc. of Orem, Utah, headed by Novell Inc. founder Ray Noorda, also has a Linux
version of NetWare file, print and directory services.


Users perceive Linux as a high-value alternative to Microsoft Windows NT for Intel
servers, Lambright said.


“They get everything they have come to expect from Unix, but at an NT price,”
he said.


Some, however, view Linux more as a low-cost alternative to conventional Unix itself.


Linux climbed from its freeware and shareware origins up the corporate ladder with the
help of Caldera, Red Hat Software Inc. of Research Triangle Park N.C., and developers of
SuSE Linux, Lambright said.


Until now, however, enterprise database vendors have not supported the Linux operating
system. Commercial Linux databases have been limited to InterBase from Inprise Corp.,
formerly Borland International Inc. of Scotts Valley, Calif.


Informix-SE is easy to configure, runs in 2M of RAM and requires no database
administrator, he said. Applications written in Informix-ESQL/C for Informix-SE need no
changes to work with Informix Dynamic Server, the company’s multithreaded relational
DBMS.


Informix Dynamic Server runs on the major Unix platforms, including SunSoft Solaris,
Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, IBM AIX, Digital Unix, Silicon Graphics Irix and Siemens Nixdorf
Reliant Unix, as well as Windows NT.


Without releasing a long-range roadmap, Lambright said that Informix is committed to
Linux and plans to introduce more Linux products in the future.


“The business for us is to get developers to work with Informix on Linux,” he
said.


Informix-ESQL/C developer tools are freely downloadable from the Web site at
http://www.informix.com/idn.


The company has a similar marketing program to seed development of Informix database
applications for NT. Under that program, Informix not only gives away free developer
licenses for Informix Dynamic Server but also offers 50 free run-time licenses for each NT
application written for Informix Dynamic Server.


Lambright said feedback from enterprise users convinced the company that government and
corporate executives would have more respect for Linux if they had to pay for Informix-SE
for Linux run-time licenses. The company set the price at $250 apiece.


Contact the Informix federal office at 703-847-2900.

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