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An apology to pawns…er, developers

James Plamondon, the former technical evangelist for Microsoft Corp. who in a 1996 speech called independent software developers “pawns,” said last month he now “regrets” using the metaphor. In an e-mail sent to Computerworld (U.S.), Plamondon called third-party developers “key industry influencers” who are “critical” to an IT company’s success. “Therefore, describing key industry influencers as ‘pawns’ is both offensive and inaccurate,” Plamondon wrote. In addition to the pawns comparison — a reference that became public last month in testimony at the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust trial in Iowa — Plamondon also compared wooing developers to a “one-night stand.”

Avaya buys SIP app server firm

Avaya recently announced plans to acquire Ubiquity Software, a maker of SIP-based applications and software development tools, for around US$144 million. Ubiquity, based in Cardiff, Wales, makes SIP-based application servers used by carriers to develop and deploy IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS). With IMS technology, carriers can provide converged wired and wireless telephony, or fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) services. Avaya, whose customer base is composed mostly of enterprises, did not say what specific plans it has for Ubiquity’s carrier-focused SIP application server products. If the deal goes through, the acquisition could give Avaya better technology for delivering enterprise FMC products. Avaya has started to pursue FMC aggressively as of late to keep up with FMC-related moves by Cisco .

Oracle updates free SQL tool

Oracle Corp. has released the first major upgrade to SQL Developer, its free visual database development tool. The new version can browse non-Oracle databases, including Microsoft SQL Server and Access and MySQL AB’s open-source MySQL. The SQL Developer 1.1 tool simplifies the creation and debugging of code in standard SQL and in Oracle’s proprietary PL/SQL programming languages.

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