Red Hat touts content management, portal apps

Linux software vendor Red Hat Inc. plans to officially announce Monday two enterprise applications it has been developing and selling for the past year: a content management system and a portal server.

Red Hat Enterprise Content Management System 5.2, based on technology Red Hat acquired when it bought ArsDigita, began shipping in December, said Ed Boyajian, senior director of Red Hat enterprise applications.

The Red Hat Enterprise Portal Server 1.0 is slated for shipping in May, although its technology has been sold already to some Red Hat clients, he said.

Red Hat plans to competitively price the products, Boyajian said, although the company couldn’t provide pricing information at press time.

Red Hat, in Raleigh, N.C., is best known as a provider of Linux operating systems for both consumers and companies, but is expanding into the applications space, where it is convinced its open-source philosophy, aggressive prices and broad technical support will be found appealing, he said.

Red Hat waited until now to officially announce the products because now both have been integrated with the Red Hat Enterprise operating systems and with the Red Hat Enterprise Network, which provides automated software delivery and systems monitoring, he said.

Some of the companies already using these products include the Deutsche Post, Germany’s postal service, which is using the Content Management System, and giant French retailer Carrefour SA and U.S. coffee and pastry shop chain Dunkin’ Donuts Inc., which are using both products, he said.

By focusing on content management, Red Hat is going after one of the hottest and fastest-growing segments of the software market, said Susan Funke, an IDC analyst. “It makes sense for Red Hat to get into this,” she said.

For IT managers, Red Hat’s entrance offers another option in a segment that is still volatile and not yet dominated by any one player, she said. Currently, IT managers have a broad palette of options in terms of content-management software providers, including database makers, pure-play content management software companies and application-service providers, she said. Having an open-source software vendor in the mix adds another option for IT managers considering content management software, she said.