Originally Published: Thursday, 11 November 1999 Author: Scott Nipp
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

More Major Software Wins

An operating system is only as good as the applications which run on it. The applications which a person chooses to run on any operating system are where the real use and value of the system lie. Applications from databases to games to productivity suites are the heart and soul of what people do with their computers. What does it matter if a particular operating system will make a $100 486/33 outperform the latest and greatest gigahertz Pentium clone if there are no applications to run on it? Applications are what we all use for work or pleasure, and our favorite underdog has just gained a few more first class applications with which to feather its cap....

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An operating system is only as good as the applications which run on it. The applications which a person chooses to run on any operating system are where the real use and value of the system lie. Applications from databases to games to productivity suites are the heart and soul of what people do with their computers. What does it matter if a particular operating system will make a $100 486/33 outperform the latest and greatest gigahertz Pentium clone if there are no applications to run on it? Applications are what we all use for work or pleasure, and our favorite underdog has just gained a few more first class applications with which to feather its cap.

The rapid proliferation of applications which now run on Linux is wonderful for anyone even thinking of running Linux. The first question most people ask me about Linux is, "Will it run this?", or "Does this application run on Linux?" These are very important questions, and I am beginning to reply more often with a yes indeed it will run the application you want. As the number of applications which run on Linux continues to increase, so will the Linux user base. This pattern is exponential in nature, as the more people there are running Linux, the more likely application developers are likely to release their products on Linux.

Security related software has seen phenomenal growth on Linux, and this trend is continuing. Checkpoint Software Technologies has recently announced that they are in the process of porting their two most popular software packages to Linux, VPN-1 and FireWall-1. These applications are both extremely popular in corporate IT environments. VPN-1 is a Virtual Private Network software solution which makes it possible for a company to allow its employees and business partners access to its internal network via the Internet. This functionality means that employees and partners can use their existing Internet connection to access these systems rather than having to go through a separate dial-up connection, which is both inconvenient and slow. FireWall-1 is a network security package which provides monitoring, authentication and reporting of network access. This is extremely valuable to network managers in protecting against and detecting network intrusion. The release of these products on Linux gives corporate IT organizations one more opportunity to enjoy the flexibility and stability of Linux.

The folks over at Lotus have also taken notice of Linux, and have now announced that the Domino Release 5 server will be available for Linux before the end of the year. Domino is a multi-faceted product which provides Internet messaging, Web-based application services, and other group collaborative software. Domino is a very popular software solution for large organizations to provide a variety of software solutions relating to communications and collaboration. The release of the Domino server is a testament on behalf of Lotus of their belief in the stability, performance and future growth and acceptance of Linux.

The world of software applications is a very complex one, with dozens of major companies offering literally hundreds of different major software products and packages. This is further complicated by the fact that these companies must write this software to work with the peculiarities and differences of the operating systems on which they will run. This is one of the big reasons that it is not very often that a new operating system is introduced into the market, and even less often that it is rewarded with any significant level of success. Linux is definitely on the road to success, and with the continued support of software development companies Linux will only continue to grow.

Scott Nipp is a Technical Solutions Consultant at Sprint Paranet. He spends his time there fighting the good fight, advocating Linux to his managers and customers.





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