IBM Backs Novell Host Integration Solution

In a move that strengthens the time-tested bonds between Novell Inc. and IBM, the companies have announced a suite of solutions that provide NetWare users with the means to take advantage of the Internet for their host access needs.

This suite is available as the Novell Host Integration Solution, and consists of four modules: Novell NetWare for SAA 4, Novell NetWare Host Publisher v1.1, IBM Personal Communications 4.3 and IBM Host On-Demand 3.0.

"With this offering, the customer is looking at the benefits of a comprehensive package without having to implement a multi-vendor solution," says David Holbrook, manager of host connectivity for Novell (Provo, Utah). Implementation of an integrated solution helps businesses both deploy and manage their e-business objectives.

One of the primary benefits to using the Novell Host Integration Solution is the convenience from an overall licensing perspective, adds Joe Anthony, IBM program director for host integration servers. "You add a lot of flexibility for the customer," he says. "They're not forced into any one particular deployment."

One of the greatest selling points of the relationship to IBM was Novell's ability to provide single point of service, according to Luka Lojk, IBM market manager for NetWare for SAA. "Service for the host integration solution builds upon the service mechanism already in place for the past four years with NetWare for SAA," he says.

The target audience for Novell's Host Integration Solution are "those seeking to set up Web-to-host with an existing NetWare setup," Anthony says. "The NetWare installed base is still very strong, and we consider that to be an area where we want to continue to enhance [the relationship between IBM and Novell]."

Co-developed with IBM, Novell NetWare for SAA 4 is a directory-enabled host connectivity solution for integrating NetWare networks, corporate intranets and Internet applications with AS/400 and mainframe systems. NetWare for SAA 4 is designed to leverage the security, directory and print services incorporated into NetWare 5, which supports IP-only networks while retaining compatibility with IPX. This enables users to implement TCP/IP within their existing network infrastructure.

Novell NetWare Host Publisher v1.1 is a software product designed to permit authorized users to access applications and data on AS/400 and IBM mainframe systems through corporate intranets, extranets or the Internet using a Web browser. Host Publisher is designed to act as a bridge between NetWare for SAA and an enterprise's Web server, translating data streams into HTML pages.

IBM Personal Communications 4.3 is a host communication and terminal emulation package that features 5250, 3270 and VT emulation, as well as SNA applications support and SNA and TCP/IP connectivity. Personal Communications supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Host Access Beans for Java and ActiveX.

IBM Host On-Demand 3.0 is a 100 percent pure Java emulator designed to provide secure browser access to host data and applications. Host On-Demand provides TN5250, TN3270 and VT 52/100/240 terminal emulation, as well as Java-based customization capabilities, enabling developers to build custom e-business applications.

Despite the fierce competition in the Web-to-host market, IBM has managed to gain market share in this space during the past year, according to Anthony. "We saw a lot of value in helping our customers with [IBM's own Host Integration Solution], and that's why we wanted to partner with Novell and make sure they had all the components to bring together a Novell host integration solution," he says.

The announcement of Novell's Host Integration Solution represents a continued strengthening of Novell's relationship with IBM, according to Holbrook.

The announcement of the Host Integration Solution follows Novell's announcement of its new Directory Services Version 8 on May 11. In beta since mid-March, NDS 8 is designed to extend the directory from the network out to the enterprise. This is expected to give IT managers the capability to handle applications, business logic, routers, switches and user profiles from the directory.

Novell also announced at its BrainShare technical conference in Utah that WebSphere -- IBM's Web application environment -- will be ported to NetWare. "The WebSphere capability provides a very sophisticated way to deploy line-of-business applications and initiate host integration," Holbrook says.

The Novell Host Integration Solution is available beginning in June through Novell and its channel partners worldwide. The new directory is available for free download to current NetWare 5 users from Novell's Web site (