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Novell grabs open source Web services for NetWare 6.5

Mar 25, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsWeb Development

* NetWare 6.5 to include Apache, MySQL and Tomcat

We’ve been looking at all of the new features, functionality and add-ins due with the upcoming release of NetWare 6.5. The features are divided into three areas: Virtual Office, Business Continuity and Web Services. This week we will delve into Web Services.

There are three major prongs to the Web services portion of NetWare 6.5, the Apache Web server, MySQL Database server and the exteNd (formerly SilverStream) application server.

Apache is the open source Web server that is used by more sites (60%) than all other Web servers combined, according to a recent Netcraft survey (

After first trying to create its own server software (with NetWare 4) and then licensing the Netscape server with NetWare 5.0, Novell finally switched to a winning strategy of recompiling Apache for the NetWare platform. By all accounts this has been very successful.

Included in this package for NetWare is the Tomcat container for the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies, a much better implementation than the earlier Novell-only developments. But there is also the Novell optimized Java Virtual Machine (and the Java 2 Platform) underlying these tools. Riding on top are a huge selection of open-source applications and services as well as the necessary open standards to support them, such as the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) and Simple Object Application Protocol (SOAP) protocols, as well as the Perl and PHP languages and programming environments.

Unlike earlier experiments with Web services (NetWare Web server, IBM’s WebSphere, the Netscape server, etc.,) the Apache, MySQL and Tomcat ports are thoroughly integrated with NetWare and eDirectory. They are also now, or shortly will be, fully integrated with NetWare’s iManager management portal. That’s almost as important as the fact that they’re included at all. None of you need to learn and support multiple management environments if you don’t have to.

If you’re unfamiliar with these Web services tools, I’d suggest you begin your education through the Novell Developer Web site ( Here you’ll find details of the versions of these open source utilities in a NetWare environment as well as links to more general documentation, implementation and available services.

For the open source components, follow the links at the bottom of or go directly to the home pages for Apache, Tomcat and MySQL (see links below).

Many of the new services and applications first appear at the developer Web site (as “Leading Edge” releases, so that developers can begin creating useful tools before the new features reach general release. If you maintain a lab for testing NetWare installations (because I’d never suggest adding these developer releases to a production network) it’s a good way to be proactive in learning what’s going to be available in upcoming Novell product releases.

One of those Leading Edge items is the MySQL open-source database system, which we’ll look at closely next issue.