Novell adds app server to NetWare

NetWare continued along its evolutionary path earlier this month as Novell released NetWare 5.1, adding Web application-server capabilities to the network operating system.

IBM’s WebSphere Application Server Standard Edition 3.0 and WebSphere Studio Developer toolset are both included in NetWare 5.1, giving users the tools to create and deploy Web-based applications. A version of the Oracle8i database and Oracle WebDB development tool are also included so applications can be created using Oracle8i as the back-end database.

Indeed, enterprises that require these types of Web-based application are a major target for Novell’s release of NetWare 5.1.

“[NetWare 5.1] will be very attractive to people wanting to install new Web servers and servers that will host Web-based applications,” said Sean Sanders, product marketing manager for NetWare 5.1.

Other features of NetWare 5.1 include a NetWare Management Portal, which enables server and file management through a browser connection, and a NetWare-specific copy of Novell Directory Services (NDS) eDirectory that does not have the Windows NT or Sun Solaris functionality found in the general version of eDirectory.

Josh Ihrig, LAN 3 Network Operations Supervisor at the Utah Department of Health in Salt Lake City, said he plans to install NetWare 5.1 and “get rid of some of the Windows NT systems that the administration costs are so high on.

“The only thing Microsoft has had over [Novell] is the application-server side of things,” Ihrig said. “[Novell is] making it easier to develop [using NetWare and NDS] and making it more robust and more secure. With their digitalme concept and some of the other initiatives they’re taking, they’re really positioning themselves for great advancements.”

However, according to Al Gillen, research manager of server infrastructure software at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass., adding WebSphere to NetWare 5.1 will not be enough to convince non-NetWare users to make the switch.

“Novell seems to be trying to ride on IBM’s coattails and take advantage of the WebSphere application server,” Gillen said. “They’re trying to [expand] not by attracting developers specifically to NetWare, but rather by making NetWare compatible with another application-deployment environment.”