Calling it a "major milestone" for Linux, IBM has reported that the number of enterprise-level applications available for the open-source operating system has grown 30 per cent since the start of the year.
The growth is indicative of the growing acceptance towards business applications running on Linux, said Scott Handy, director of Linux solutions and marketing at IBM's software group. The number of Linux-based business applications available from independent software vendors stands at 2,288 as listed in IBM's Global Services directory, up from 1,700 at the start of the year, IBM officials said.
"Everybody knows Linux has been popular for Web servers. Now we are seeing rising demand for (Linux-based) business applications and a tremendous growth in ISVs (independent software vendors) supplying software," said Handy.
IBM offers three main products that are available for Linux: WebSphere, its application server; DB2, its database; and Lotus Domino, a groupware application server developed by its subsidiary Lotus Development Corp. To show how its partners are also backing Linux, Big Blue noted that SAP uses DB2 to power mySAP.com installations running on Linux, and SAS Institute uses WebSphere to run its electronic-CRM applications running on Linux.
"Linux provides good performance, is reliable, and is cost-effective," said Handy. All three characteristics combine to allow a user to license the operating system with minimal hardware infrastructure, he said.
The open-source nature of Linux, in which users can freely share and modify its underlying code, doesn't stop it from providing a viable platform on which ISVs (independent software vendors) can build commercial products, Handy said. "Commercially licensed software on top of open-source software is a viable business model," he said.