Curl preps Linux version of app dev tool

Curl Corp. announced Wednesday a Linux version of its development platform for creating Web-based front ends for server applications.

The Curl Client/Web Platform lets developers create Web front-end applications that have the rich functionality, speed and look-and-feel normally found on traditional client-side software.

The company already had a version of the Curl Client/Web Platform for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems, and has now made a version for the open source Linux operating system as a response to increasing demand from enterprise developers and independent software vendors (ISVs).

The Linux version will allow developers to do their development work on a Linux machine and to create applications that run on Linux clients, two things which were impossible to do with the existing Windows version of the product, said Chris Lesar, Curl's senior director of business development, on Tuesday.

The Windows version does allow a Windows client application built with Curl's product to tap a Linux server, since the Curl product is "server agnostic," he said.

The Linux version of this application development platform has been crafted at a kernel level, so it should support a wide variety of Linux flavors from multiple vendors, Lesar said.

"Our interface to Linux is at a fairly low level, so we don't expect incompatibilities between versions or families of Linux," Lesar said.

The Curl Client/Web Platform, which includes a runtime environment and an integrated development environment, is available in limited distribution now and should be generally available in the third quarter of 2003. Limited distribution means the company ships the product only to certain clients that request it. "We want to get the proper support mechanism out in the field before we make this product generally available," he said.

Curl is in the process of deciding now which Linux flavors it will support with its product as far as providing technical assistance is concerned, Lesar said. The company has already decided it will support the latest versions of Linux from Red Hat Inc. and Suse Linux AG, Lesar said.

A "starter kit" of the Curl Client/Web Platform for Linux costs US$25,000. This entry-level license gives developers what they need to craft an application and deploy it on a small scale, along with some training, he said. Deployments that go beyond a small scale cost more, he said.

Curl, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is making this announcement at IBM Corp.'s developerWorks Live conference in New Orleans.

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