IBM launches VPN for developers

IBM Corp. has created a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for developers that aims to reduce the cost and time associated with porting and testing applications for IBM servers and software, IBM said Tuesday. A VPN is a secure method of transmitting data over the public Internet as if it were a component of the local network.

The VPN will be used by members of IBM's PartnerWorld for Developers program, said Tim Robinson, a technical consultant in IBM developer relations. The normal course of porting applications to IBM's products, such as the eSeries server, its middleware applications or operating systems like AIX or Linux, involves developers flying to Solution Partnership Centers (SPCs) to test their applications and meet with IBM engineers, he said. By using the VPN to connect to the SPCs, developers won't have to travel as much, which will save them money, he said.

The program will also save developers time as using the VPN to start porting applications to IBM platforms will take days, rather than the weeks it takes to begin using the old method, he said.

Though all applications worked on in the developers program will be ported to IBM platforms, the VPN will offer clients for the Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris operating systems, he said.

The new service extends IBM's current iNet Porting service by adding graphical user interfaces and encrypted data transmission, IBM said. The costs associated with using the VPN will be the same as the standard testing service, Robinson said.

Robinson expects that as many as 25 percent to 33 percent of IBM's current PartnerWorld for Developers members will use the service in 2002. The service is available immediately in North America, and will begin in the first quarter of 2002 worldwide, Robinson said.

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