- By Grant Gross -
If you're a business owner wondering just how this Linux thing can fit into you business, consider this announcement from IBM today: The number of business applications available for Linux has increased by 30 percent in 2001 alone, at least by IBM's count.
IBM now counts 2,300 business-related applications available for Linux, according to IBM's Global Solutions
Directory, which lists applications from IBM and independent software vendors.
One underlying message from Linux supporter IBM: There's never been a better time to use Linux, whether you're running a small mom-and-pop business or a large corporation.
Scott Handy, director of Linux solutions marketing for IBM, expects that rate of growth in business applications to keep up with the projected rate of growth in the Linux server market, which IDG projects will be 28 percent a year until 2004.
"We're very happy to see the shift to business applications in addition to what Linux was used for before," Handy says. "Linux has become a marvelous operating system, and now it's really becoming a marvelous business operating system. It's really self-sustaining at that point."
The IBM press release, released this afternoon, also promotes IBM, of course. In this case, how IBM can help independent software vendors port their applications or create new applications for Linux.
Among the software vendors working with IBM to, in the words of the press release, " deliver Linux-based applications," are:
SAP, "providing e-business software solutions," according to the press release;
QAD, "delivering collaborative commerce applications for global
manufacturing enterprises and their private exchanges;"
SAS, "delivering business intelligence, e-commerce and customer
relationship management solutions;"
- jBASE Software, "offering client/server and World Wide Web based
multidimensional database management software."
IBM offers about a half-dozen ways for small software houses to work with Linux, from the previously mentioned Global Solutions Directory to a handful of Linux competency centers to worldwide IBM Developer Centers, where ISVs can port and test their Linux-based applications with IBM middleware and servers.
Among the Linux applications listed at the IBM Global Solutions Directory are offerings from Oracle, Red Flag Software, H.R. Management Software, and Innovative Software Europe. To search the directory database for Linux applications, click on the "Search for solutions now!" button on the front page, then click on the "Operating systems" button. Check "Linux," then hit search.