Enterprise Unix Roundup: And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

By Brian Proffitt (Send Email)
Posted Feb 20, 2008


Brian Proffitt
In case you had any doubt, Unix application development is still alive and well. And, it seems, so is The SCO Group.

Lest you think that there simply isn't any more ongoing Unix application development anymore, the news out of the Windy City last week would seem to disparage that notion. Open Text, the Chicago-based content management software firm, announced on Valentine's Day the release of the Exceed Freedom application to their rather large product line.

According to Open Text, Exceed Freedom is an add-on to Open Text's Exceed 2008 cross-platform connectivity application that allows users to run Unix apps right on top of their Windows desktops. The Exceed product line comes out of Open Text's Hummingbird Connectivity Solutions Group ... at least as far as I can tell from the somewhat byzantine product page on the company's Web site.

Enterprise Unix Roundup

Off the top of my head, "excitement" would not be the word that comes to mind about this product announcement. After all, the capability to run Unix application on a non-Unix platform does not seem a ringing endorsement of Unix, or Linux, for that matter. After a little more thinking, though, it occurred to me that such cross-platform access is ultimately a good thing for Unix.

A bit more about the product: Exceed Freedom basically expands Exceed's connectivity by allowing graphical connectivity to a Unix (or Linux) box running the X graphical environment. The non-tech explanation: you can connect remotely from your desktop to any server running X and manage and run applications on that Unix box.

Stop yawning, this is cool. Because? I'll tell you.

One of the big draws for systems admins looking at Microsoft servers is the fact that getting their Windows workstations to talk to their Unix application server can be a pain in the rear. Eventually, even the most Microsoft-jaded administrator might one day look to just biting the bullet and migrating all of his Unix apps to Windows once and for all, just so he can experience single-platform utopia.

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Don't do it, Mr. System Administrator! It's a fool's game to run homogeneous platforms. Especially when that platform rhymes with ... mindows.

Of course, there are solutions out there. Samba, dedicated application server platforms and so on. But wouldn't it be nice to simply use the machines you have with a minimum of fuss?

That seems to be the big deal about this Exceed Freedom product. To be able to let users point and click their way through a Unix application as if it were just another application on their desktop? That seems like a good deal to me.

You can read Open Text's press release to get more of the details.

SCO Won't Go Quietly
In other Unix news ... you know that whole "SCO is dead" thing? Apparently ... it's not dead yet.

Granted, with the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings and the SCO vs. everybody cases ... there was very little chance that The SCO Group was going to fade away into the abyss. At most, all of these legal proceedings will generate enough new cash to keep things going faster — provided the court approves the restucturing plan. Which, as far as I know, the court hasn't approved yet. The York Group reorganization proposal was nixed, as you may recall.

In the announcement of the plan, SCO affirmed its continued desire to press on with the litigation, which got a lot of folks excited. But, what else could they say? Of course they're going to publicly hype up their chances. It still does not change the fact that SCO has very little chance of prevailing in any of these cases.

I don't see this as dragging things out too much longer than they already have. The Novell trial is set for April 29. I don't see that date changing. If it does, it won't be by much. If SCO loses that case (and I have to say "if" only because I am not a lawyer), then all the other cases are blown out of the water. Yes, there's the appeal process, and now there's new coin to fund that. That is pretty much the only thing this restructuring deal has changed.

I would not be surprised if the SCO lawyers aren't privately talking settlement yet. (Which doesn't mean any of the defendants will bite, mind you. After all this trouble, IBM, Red Hat, Novell and AutoZone may not settle for anything else less than proverbial blood.) I'm not laying too many odds on a settlement offer happening, though.

More, I'm sure, to come.

Brian Proffitt is managing editor of JupiterWeb's Linux/Open Source channel, which includes Linux Today, LinuxPlanet, and AllLinuxDevices.

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