In a move that could help enterprises more easily expand their use of open source software beyond the Linux operating system, SuSE Linux is proposing a new service program for middleware products based on open code.
Under the proposed scheme, SuSE would include open source middleware offerings in its product portfolio and guarantee that customers signing a service contract with the company would receive patches, new releases and more, according to SuSe CEO, Richard Seibt. “This is not about competition but rather about collaboration,” he said. “Our aim is to enable open source middleware in enterprises — that is, to make it safe and easy for them to use.”
The bundling of open source products comes in response to customer demands for simplified service, according to Seibt.
As part of the service, SuSE would ensure that all middleware applications running on Linux work without bugs. “If a bug surfaces, we fix it,” Seibt said. “Customers don’t have to waste time finding someone to handle that.”
SuSE has already held talks with several providers of open source middleware.
“The response has been good; there’s definitely interest in collaborating,” Seibt said. “But, of course, the devil is in the details.”
Signalling its new focus on middleware, SuSE has announced an agreement to join the ObjectWeb consortium, which is focused on open source middleware.
As a member of the consortium, the German software company would have privileged access to the community of developers of many middleware components and platforms, including Java open application server (JOnAS), the company said.
In September, Red Hat, which competes with SuSE, joined the ObjectWeb consortium.
As for SuSE’s continued independence, Seibt would only say that the company continued to be a rumoured candidate for acquisition by several companies, including most recently Novell.