Adelaide-based software developer Align Systems has developed a new project management tool on Linux, shunning the use of proprietary vendor platforms.
Align decided to build Aeonscope, an accounting and project management system for professional services organisations, on an Oracle8i database and the Linux operating platform, after finding proprietary alternatives unable to scale and too costly for its customers.
"We used Linux to build this system because of its flexibility," said Vic Ratnieks, managing director of Align Systems. "It is stable, scalable and draws upon the vast resources of open-source software to give benefits to our customers. It's also cost-effective for our clients and can run on commodity-based hardware."
Originally, the product was built to run on a Novell system, but Ratnieks said Align Systems didn't find Novell as scalable as Linux. "Then Oracle dropped its support for Novell anyway," he said.
Ratnieks is confident the majority of his target market - professional services companies like engineering or legal firms which charge their clients for their time - are all taking Linux seriously for a variety of uses. He believes it is no longer a gamble to base applications on Linux.
"Linux has always had a cult following but now I believe it has a commercial following," he said. "IT managers are actually looking seriously at using Linux in organisations, given that it runs on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis and never causes you any problems at all."
He also sees products such as Microsoft's Project 2000 as being unable to deliver the same results as Aeonscope. "Microsoft Project is a $500 off-the-shelf product, a one-man project tool," he said. "Aeonscope is a much bigger product which can run on hundreds of workstations and normally involves us sitting down with customers, assessing their needs and doing the full specifications."