Websphere Comes to Linux

Confirming its devotion to the Linux platform, IBM Corp. made available a version of the Websphere application server for the open-source operating system. Websphere Commerce Suite V5.1, a version for creating e-commerce sites, now operates on Intel-based Linux.

Websphere Commerce is written in pure Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) running atop the Websphere application server. It provides basic commerce site functionality such as shopping carts and payment managers, as well as more esoteric technical needs.

Version 5.1 is the first version to be written entirely in Java. "[Enterprises] have to change as fast as their business changes," says Scott Handy, director of worldwide Linux solutions marketing at IBM. The Java support allows developers to more quickly update applications for changing conditions.

This is not the first release of Websphere Commerce for Linux. IBM has already released the product for mainframe Linux, but is now bringing it to the Intel platform. "It's the only time the mainframe version came before the Intel version," Handy says.

IBM is trying to push mainframe Linux as a platform for the application server by pricing the mainframe version the same as the Intel version. Users can harness the power of the mainframe at the same cost as an Intel server, offering enterprises the ability to save money with a bigger machine.

Websphere is a family of J2EE application servers designed to meet enterprise needs for business logic and online services. In addition to the standard J2EE extensions, members of the WebSphere family offer extensions for specific e-business needs, such as e-commerce, portal building and Host integration.

In addition, IBM offers adapters for popular products, such as DB2, CICS, and mySAP. The adapters enable developers to quickly connect data from one application, such as a database, and move it to another service, through the application server.

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